Northern Spain

After we left Pamplona we headed to a place called Montegorria. Kev had read someone else’s blog and they recommended it, saying it was a ‘surprisingly nice hilltop village’. Hmm not sure what they saw that we didn’t but we didn’t take any photos, and there wasn’t much to see. The buildings were ok but it was just streets of old roman residential houses.

We moved on to where we intended to stay the night, a place called Tafalla. The Area (French version of an aire) was non descript. It was behind some houses, and next to a waste disposal unit. We filled up with water and headed into town. We didn’t expect much but was pleasantly surprised. The cobbled streets wound around a huge church in the centre, then dipped into the new town.

There isn’t enough there the warrant an overnight stay, so we headed back to our home on wheels 🚐.

I told Kev I’d turn the gas off (we never drive with it on, just turn it on to keep the fridge cold when we stop). He looked shocked 😮. Usually I leave him to do it. He got in the motorhome and took the door security pole off (brilliant bit of security).

He then leaned over and gave me a kiss on the cheek. It was my turn to be shocked 😂. I looked at him and scowled 🤨 . I don’t think it was the response he was hoping for…He opened his door and spat outside, so as to get rid of the kiss he’d just given me. Well it backfired on him as he didn’t open his door properly and he ended up spitting on his door 😂😂 serves him right haha.

Our next place to visit was called Falces.We followed the sat nav in, but I guided Kev down the wrong road and we ended up trying to navigate down a cycle path in the middle of a park!! 🤣

Falces was a weird little place. Nothing much happening there. It was quite run down with hardly any shops or cafes. They had a bull festival once a year, as did most of the places on this vicinity. Basically they let the bulls run loose in the streets and the locals run with them trying not to get trampled on. Not my idea of fun, but they seem to enjoy it. Kev is pretending to be a bull in the photo below! 🤣

The Area was quiet, with only us there. It is situated between the mountain and the river. It’s free with services, and quiet on an evening. The walk along the riverside is nice, and was lovely to see the leaves turning autumnal colours.

We left Falces after the morning rush of traffic (about 4 cars haha) and headed to Olite. This promised to be a Romanesque walled city with a free Area within walking distance of the town. We weren’t disappointed. It had a fairy tale castle/palace in the centre which cost us €3.50 to enter. What a magnificent piece of architecture it stands proud looking over the multicoloured terracotta roof tiles of the city houses.

The Tourist Information office recommended we visit Foz de Lumbier and Ujué. Apparently these are sights not to be missed whilst in this area of Navarra.

Lumbier was a 45 minute drive away. It has a huge free car park, which leads off to the walking trails of the gorge and falls. The path is flat so is accessible for all. It is certainly a must see place. The cliffs stretched high above the flowing green waters and we could see Griffon Vultures soaring above our heads. I took loads of photos but here’s just a few.

In the middle of the pathway are two tunnels which used to be train tunnels. These are long and extremely dark. I took a photo of Kev and it looks like he’s been superimposed. They need lighting in these.

On the way back to Olite we passed signs for Ujué (meaning dove), so we turned off and headed into the mountains. This gorgeous little hilltop village was breathtaking. We walked to the bottom and was greeted with sprawling views of the surrounding countryside. You could hear the cow bells clanging away in the distance, but they were attached to a huge herd of sheep.

We bought some food to take back, that was typical of Ujué. In English it’s called “shepherds breadcrumbs”. It’s basically fresh cut bread mixed with olive oil, garlic, bacon and tomatoes. It just looks like brown breadcrumbs. We always try the local dishes so thought we’d give it a go.

We planned on spending the night in Olite, so headed back around 5.30pm before it got too busy.

We both wanted a shower, so Kev got in first whilst I prepared our evening meal (a tandoori tray bake with chicken, onions, butternut squash, mushrooms and carrots all marinated on a tandoori mix and roasted on a baking tray).

We have a huge bathsheet so when we got a shower previously I used half the towel to dry myself, leaving the other half for Kev to use. There’s nothing worse than trying to dry yourself on a wet towel, and I didn’t want to use two towels when one huge one would suffice. Kev did not reciprocate this thought of generosity. He used the full towel and it was soaking! “Thanks for that” I said. Only realising this once I’d had a shower and picked the sopping wet towel up. He was making himself a coffee and threw me a filthy look then retorted (pretending to speak to the police after my ‘tragic accident’) “It was an accident officer, I was making a coffee and I tripped and the full kettle of boiling water just splashed all over her”. He’s so kind and caring…NOT 😂.

After we’d dined we went for a walk into Olite again to get some night photos. The sky looked promising. Take a look at these beauties. They haven’t been retouched, just taken on my phone.

It was lit up with bright golden lamps that glowed against the deep blue evening sky

The Area (above) was a bit noisy in the morning due to traffic from the nearby road, so we were up early and off to see the largest desert in Europe, the Bardenas Reales. Kev called out the coordinates and I put them into the sat nav, then off we went. Halfway there and the “bitch in the box” told us to take a right down an unpaved road which was strange as I have put in the option to avoid them 🤔. It wasn’t giving us an alternate route so for half an hour we were bouncing up and down on this road, full of rubble, stones and ditches. All I could think of was that the tyres were going to burst and we’d be stuck in the middle of nowhere. It was a horrendous part of the journey and couldn’t understand why an Area would be down a road like this!

This was the road we should have been on 🤣

We finally reached a main road and saw the signs for the national park. We had a few funny looks off a guy driving a tractor and some people in a car, when we joined the main road from the middle of nowhere.

When we got to the Tourist Information office, to collect a map, I decided to check the coordinates again for the Area. Either Kev had told me them wrong or I’d input them wrongly but they definitely weren’t correct. No wonder we were on a road that was for jeeps and off road vehicles! 😂

The drive through the desert was fantastic, and the sun came out for us. It was the scene from Game of Thrones in Series 6. I’ve just started watching GoT, and must say after the first series I’m now hooked!

It’s only a 34km trip around a loop in the desert but the sights are worth seeing.

Our home for the night was at the side of some Troglodyte houses. The Area was quite large and could take maybe 20 motorhomes. When we woke up the following morning there must have been 30 motorhomes parked there! A lot had been boxed in, so trying to get out was a nightmare. Luckily we were ok. If we’d have been boxed in overnight, I’d have purposely knocked on their door, very early, and asked them to move 😂.

We walked along the footpath behind the Area to see what delights the town had to offer. The temperature had risen, so we were wearing shorts and t shirts. I had managed to get a top on that was previously too tight, but now it was quite loose., so was feeling good. “Oh, I see you’re showing your midriff through your top….Porky!” He then squeezed my sides, and said “Can’t do it for you” 🐖🐷. I couldn’t help but laugh. He’s a cheeky sod, very sarcastic and…. fatter than me!! 😂😂

8 thoughts on “Northern Spain

  1. What a great read. Perfect timing as we’re just about to head into Northern Spain in the next week. We’ll be hunting down some of those stopovers. Great help and advice, thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved it there but like you the bitch of a sat nav caused problems lol enjoy .Weather here in Portugal beautiful so far.Take Chris n Rog

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post..well written and good pictures. some new places to add to our next trip starting DEC 2019 around Christmas..adding to our story. Taking a similar route but off to torrox costa. then work back to Portugal, this time..changing our minds on the way, as always..As mentioned by other travellers,,sat navs are a pain.. we use two different types at good old fashioned maps…it helps.
    Take care, and safe travels..Tony and Teresa, trustyrustytravels.

    Liked by 1 person

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