The Road to Valladolid

So we left the airport and hit the open road. It took us less than ten minutes to get lost. With a sat nav.

It happened as Marie checked out the music. The car had been fitted with a USB stick full of Jamiroquai and other stuff we really didn’t fancy. So the stick was removed and we used the USB port to charge a phone. By the time we’d done this, we realised we were about to drive down into Valladolid itself.

We really couldn’t work out how we’d gone wrong, so I turned the car around and got back on track.

The road quickly got interesting. I wasn’t expecting too much of an interesting route as Valladolid is a pretty flat province in the second most mountainous country in Europe (Switzerland pips Spain for the №1 spot). The road became winding and twisty, through shallow valleys and up hillsides. This was more like it.



“STOP! Back there. The colours are perfect!”

Marie had spotted a harvested wheat field which was nicely straw-yellow and apparently a perfect setting for our Blue Wave Fiesta. So I carefully reversed the car over a culvert and into the field, trying to avoid putting the car into the ditch.

Then we were out of the car. I took a few snaps with my phone — like this one:

Our Fiesta in the wheat field

I looked around and there was Marie with her DSLR. Crouching, then standing, then squatting, then lying on the ground, all to get the right shots. Flip, she was really taking this seriously!

“Done! Let’s go!”

At this point, a silver Ford S-Max with “Ford Motor Company” and “Tail Car” emblazoned on the side drove past. It slowed and the 2 guys in it looked at us, then carried on.

We stopped a couple more times for more shots. More wheat fields, this time the car positioned like this, then positioned like that. More standing, crouching and lying on the ground. This was beginning to feel even more of an adventure than it already was. Superb.

See what I mean? Pro photographer at work.

Then the Tail Car went past again. I couldn’t work out how they’d got behind us again. This time, they didn’t stop, but just carried on driving.

After looking at Marie’s shots, we got back into the car and sauntered off. As we headed into a village, Marie spotted a large concrete barn or storage shed, painted yellow with brick red doors.

“Oh yes! Can we get the car over there?”

Sure, but I’d need to turn around as we’d missed the turning. So I took the next street on the right to turn round. And there was the Tail Car, waiting for us. So they’d gotten behind us by hiding up and waiting for us to pass.

The guys in the Tail Car grinned and waved at us as I turned the Fiesta around. God only knows what they must have thought as I then drove back the way we’d come…

So we parked the car in front of the storage shed how Marie wanted it. She took the shots she wanted. I only took this one, of an ominous sign stuck to the shed wall:

No, we didn’t open the shed door

After the photos, we set off again towards Simancas. Within 10 minutes we drove up behind the Tail Car. We overtook it at speed, beeping the horn and waving as we passed. The S-Max disappeared into the distance behind us.

We made it to Simancas and, again going off piste, tried to see if we could park the Fiesta next to the castle for some photos. The castle at Simancas has been fully and tastefully restored and is home to the Spanish national archive. It would have made a great backdrop for the Fiesta, but we were out of luck; we couldn’t get the car anywhere near the castle for a decent shot. After getting embroiled in the narrow one-way streets of Simancas village, we headed out onto the autovía heading for my friends’ place.

To be continued

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