Date
October 31st, 2018
Author
Kay

31 October

Bit more rain overnight, but luckily it hasn’t rained today!

Tintin asked if I wanted to dry my hair today, as it’s cold and we were off walking. Well that set off lots of problems! He had started the engine, turned the inverter on, then I turned on my hairdryer (all as usual) anyway, hairdryer cut out. When we checked the control panel, the engine battery was reading 0.00, but the engine still starts. Looked like the connection between the ordinary battery and leisure battery wasn’t working anymore - which could be a problem in the next few days if we don’t have sun (powering the leisure battery). Tintin sent Bill at Marquis an email - and we went off - more about that later!

Had read that this Aire is 3.5km from historic centre, so on the basis we had no exercise yesterday, decided the walk was necessary!

At only 6°, it was a speedy walk to warm up - took about 40 minutes to the cathedrals. Saw a CrossFit type gym in passing! As luck would have it, our visit today coincided with their annual event. The 1755 Lisbon earthquakes damaged the bell tower, so the bell ringer had to climb up to the bells, and now on each 31 October a person in Salamanca outfit talks to the crowds (didn’t understand!) and plays a traditional tune from Salamanca after ascending to the bell tower (inside). When we arrived there were three men on horseback, one playing a flute and his drum, whilst people were dancing using castanets.

Quick look in the cathedrals - the old and the new are next to each other and built between 15th to 18th century. Looked magnificent, all sandstone architecture (which is everywhere) but was €12 admission, decided to have a look around at the rest first.

The Casa de las Conches (house of shells) was built by a knight of the Order of Santiago de Compostela and was completed in 1517. It has more than 300 shells on the outside. Inside there is a restored courtyard. It is now a public library.

Decided to buy some lunch. We just don’t learn from our mistakes! Bought some cheese and ham pastries and a huge thing which looked like a Danish pastry. Maybe I’ll just say that the Spanish haven’t perfected the art of light pastry!

The Plaza Mayor is one of the largest in Spain. Built between 1729 - 1755 in the Baroque style architecture of the 18th century. All the arches are equilateral, and there are four levels. Sadly (from our point of view) today the whole of the centre was taken up with a huge book fair - so distracted from the photos showing the huge area. Otherwise - stunning!

Found the tourist office, which was actually open! Picked up a map. There is a San Martin church, but again - wanted dosh in return for seeing inside. I think because we’ve just spent a few days visiting old hill top towns, one after another, we can’t be bothered to look - just happy to look around and absorb the atmosphere.

Entrance to Iglesia de Purisima was free, so took a look. Nothing like the ornate Portuguese churches. Beautiful carvings in the stone but in general just look more appealing to me. The dome was rather beautiful too!

Just wandered around for a while. Like Évora, everywhere you look, there’s something good to see. There were quite a few students around, and the university is one of the most important buildings in Salamanca.

Walked down to the Roman Bridge which spans the River Tormes. Was constructed in the 1st century AD - is 176m in length with 26 semi-circular arches.

Up to 15,000 steps by the time we were back at Dave after over 4 hours - in time for a cuppa!

Then continued Tintin’s difficult day (not mine - I don’t understand!). Bill had responded. Tintin checked all the fuses in our underfloor battery locker - all ok. Phoned Bill again, he suggested looking at fuses under the carpet on passenger side on the engine battery. Hard to get up, but he found a blown fuse! Thought it was a 5 amp fuse, so actually made one with a bit of wire (and I don’t know what!) and it worked! What a clever man. However its a 50 amp midi fuse, he has spares for most things, not this! Went off in search to the garages nearby - has walked to most nearby, even got his bike out and rode back to nearly the cathedral as he’d been told where to go. Seemed hopeful, but sadly not. We probably need to find a motorhome dealership, as it’s more specific. Job for another day. For now, our batteries are not linked...

Think he deserves a rum and coke! He has now found an Adria dealership near here, and phoned. However, tomorrow is All Saints Day - so closed. Wonder whether fuel stations and supermarkets will be closed too? If so, we’ll be staying another day!

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Martin and Kay Dumont from Guernsey, first time motorhomers and ready to travel. ‘Dave’ is our Mobilvetta K Yacht 85, purchased in 2017 and travelled all the way from Italy. After following Jason and Julie Buckley’s blog 'Ourtour' for years I just couldn’t get the name ‘Dave’ out of my head. So the Mobilvetta had to be another 'Dave’. More...

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