Remember the little incident we had in an aire in France back in September when the Frenchie reversed into us? Well, our insurance company finally decided to ‘do their job’ and pursue the French blokes insurance company for a settlement, eventually, the French insurance company yielded & admitted that I was not to blame and also admitted responsibility on behalf of the bloke that hit me…result, long-winded, but a result all the same. Now I need to find a garage capable of doing the repair to a reasonable standard. A little town of Los Palacios y Villafranca is just south of Saville with an authorised ‘Fiat’ repair shop, so we make a bee-line for it. I was met by (such a nice little bloke) called Jose, who, despite not knowing a single word of English, gave me a price for the nose spray-job (€115 cost to be met by the insurance company) and an oil/oil filter/air filter service for Charlie’s engine, (at our cost) of €148. Back in France we were quoted €550 just for the spray-job, so this was very competitive. He could do the job, but would need a couple of days (today was Friday) to get the correct paint in, then it would take 7-10 hours to cure, the service would be done whilst the paint cured. So we need to head off and entertain ourselves for the weekend.
There is this name that keeps cropping up, El Rocio, cowboy town, it wasn’t too far away. Some of the MoHo fraternity folks we met said it was a bit of a joke, some really liked it. So we decide to kill a bit of time and go see for ourselves. An hour and a half later we’re pulling into the campsite which is just around the corner from the main town and as we were warned “there are no roads, only sand” we decide to walk into town, rather than struggle with bikes, good job too, as we found it was quite deep sand in places.
The town buildings reminiscent of scenes from so many spaghetti westerns, eerie music playing in the back-ground and Clint Eastwood, chewing a match, sitting on the porch of a bar with bat-wing doors. ‘The Mexican Bandits’ are in the bar over the road, raising hell. There could be a shoot-out in the middle of the street soon. Mothers bring in their children to safety, curtains twitch and the church bell on one tree hill ‘dings’ once, dogs bark and the bar piano suddenly stops….sorry…sorry…CUT!
That could have been yesterday,..today, coach loads of tourists, Spanish mostly, wander around in the sunshine, taking ‘selfies’ with horses and strange buildings in the background. Flamingos feed on the lake, we saw hundreds on the road in and little lizards sun-bathe on the walls. Apart from dodging the land-mines, (why don’t anyone clean up the horse shit?) it’s the perfect Sunday afternoon stroll, cafes, restaurants, ice-cream and tat shops, ho and there’s a big building around the back of the cathedral with thousands of burning candles inside. All this will chance in about 6 weeks, when the town is transformed into a gathering place for hundreds of Brotherhood ‘clans’, some come (on horse-back) from as far away as Saville for the meet. Flamenco will be danced, sherry will be drunk, horses (and daughters) will be exchanged and a good-old-knees-up will be had, into the early hours, an echo from yester-year in Spain.
Time to get back to getting Charlie’s nose fixed, we head to Port of Gelves, again. We were last here mid December 2015, it’s one of the better aires, not too far away from the garage and perfect for scooting into Saville, again.
We dropped Charlie off with the garage, and headed into the local town to look for the hotel, time for Angie to have her ‘beloved’ bath-time heaven!
Nothing special about the town of Los Palacios y Villafranca, but we did find a cheap eat on the high street, a Tapas style joint with a menu where most things were €1. ‘100 Monaditos’ Mini sarnies, cheese balls and chips it is then!
The Garage had done a cracking job on the repair, it just looks like a new nose quarter. Oil andoil filter changed and a new air intake filter too. At only 15,000mi on the clock, the engine is not due a service, but it’s had to do some hard work over the Pyrenees and Atlas mountains since we set off and with all the dust in M… (the north African place we can’t mention) the engine oil will be 4 years old come August, so its time to change it. Jobs done, back to Saville.