16 October 2022: Essentially travel news. . .

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Awake! For, Morning, in the Bowl of Night, has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight
And, Lo, has caught the Sultan’s Turret in a Noose of Light

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable
Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain’

Travel News

A couple of fotos of beautiful Basque buildings on my trip from Pamplona to Roncesvalles:-

My drive down to the main highway from the hilltop village of Los Pantinos, was possibly even more enjoyable than the one getting to it on Friday night. The road was equally serpentine but this time I could actually see the countryside. But before I could enjoy the road, I had to get out of the village and this – despite it being light – proved more difficult than the night before. Possibly because I was leaving by a different set of very narrow lane. Indeed, at one 45 degree turn, I had to go backwards and forwards 6 times before I could get through it.

Here’s the view from the road I finally got to as I left the place:-

As on the previous day, I was blessed with a glorious sun, which highlighted the fabulous autumn colours of many of the trees.

Having reached the main road, I drove to Canfranc, to see the famous station. This is being restored and might become a 5-star hotel. I wasn’t disappointed by it, though the area around the astonishing building was far more developed than I’d expected, including hotels, bars, cafés and the inevitable souvenir shops. And Canfranc town is very close by. The funny thing is, I couldn’t see any railway lines. What might well have been a siding in front of the station is now a small river, possibly the tributary of a larger one nearby.

After Canfranc, I stopped off in Jaca and then drove past Olite again to Estrella, en route to Logroño. Estrella has a Romanesque church said to be the best example of such in all of Spain. For a relatively small town, it certainly boasts huge ‘temple’. As elsewhere in Aragón and Navarra, the tapas dishes available were terrific. They put Galicia’s limited supply to shame.

I’ve missed out on quite a few of the small places on my planned itinerary but I’ll be back in beautiful Aragón and Navarra next year. Possibly to do a 7-10 days hike along one of the caminos there. If I can face the hills that my legs don’t like.

At least I’ll know what bloody orejas are, and how to negotiate them without being fined. I wonder if I’ll ever see Spanish drivers being fined for mis-negotiating roundabouts . . .

Today, I’ll do the 5.5 hour trip back home, most of the way on 2 of Spain’s glorious autovías. Which will become toll-charging autopistas in 2024. I might well stop of in Chaves in Portugal, where several of my Pv friends are having lunch, after a weekend at a casa rural there.

Cosas de España/Galicia

Lenox Napier of Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas has kindly sent me a report of a resident of my barrio of Poio who’s fallen foul of the law for the reasons given in the report I’ve posted below, translated Knowing the narrow, winding streets of Combarro very well, I find it impossible to believe that the miscreant achieved the reported speeds there. Though I’ve no doubt he could elude a police car there. I recently cited the case of 2 German ladies who got their Merc stuck at a corner there, not being able to go forwards or backwards. I know the problem . . .

Finally   . . .

I have to post this early, as I’ve just offered to take 2 Canadian camino ‘pilgrims’ to a place they were going to have to wait several hours for a bus to . . ..   

To amuse . . Best I can do right now . .

For new readers: If you’ve landed here looking for info on Galicia or Pontevedra, try here. If you’re passing through Pontevedra on the Camino, you’ll find a guide to the city there.


Flees from the Local Police of Poio on an old tricked-out moped: it reaches 145kph

He escaped at full speed and recklessly through the pedestrian area of Combarro, but was located days later, without insurance

Circulating at almost 150kph at the controls of an old Derby Variant moped from the 80s. This was achieved by a resident of Poio, who had illegally modified his vehicle to the maximum, and apparently used it illegally in the municipality. Until the Local Police was able to locate it during ten days of searching. And the first time the agents encountered this vintage “monster”, the driver managed to flee recklessly, at full speed, through the pedestrian area of Combarro. The police officers could not catch up with him because he was driving at more than 120kph and the patrol car could not pass through the narrow streets used by the moped.

This first contact occurred last September 20. The Local Police explained that on that day, the driver “fled on a moped at high speed, without being able to identify him initially, when he was circulating through the parish of San Xoán, overtaking vehicles in continuous lines and with reckless driving” and they were surprised to see that “He was circulating at high speed, between 120 and 130kph”.

Ten days later, on September 30, the vehicle was located on the sidewalk in an area of San Xoán, and the driver was identified at that time. He was immobilized because the agents considered that there were elements that could modify the classification of the moped and constitute a risk to road safety. In addition, he lacked insurance.

For this reason, an extraordinary ITV review was requested, with a speed test, where it was found that it could reach a maximum of 144.6 kph, three times more than what is allowed for vehicles of this type.

The Local Police also carried out an expert appraisal to find out the changes made to the engine that allowed it to reach that speed. Mopeds are vehicles equipped with an motor of no more than 50cc and with a maximum speed by design of no more than 45kph. It was found that the one located in Poio had been rectified to 74cc, with the change of engine block, cylinder, catalina[ the large plate where the chain is attached] pinion, and change of magnetic plate for the rotor, which essentially changed the classification of the vehicle, so that it was now already a motorcycle.

The officers emphasise that “This vehicle is a road safety hazard as it is not built to be able to stop it at those speeds because the vehicle’s brakes do not have the safety features that a motorcycle should have”. The exhaust pipe and lights had also been modified.

This modification constitutes a presumed offence of falsification in the classification of the vehicle, in addition to the significant alterations made to the vehicle without authorisation.

In addition to the complaint for reckless driving on the day of the hit-and-run, the owner is facing several violations of the General Vehicle Regulations for major alterations, with another complaint for not having compulsory insurance, as the vehicle doesn´t correspond to the insured policy. In addition, proceedings were initiated for an alleged crime of forgery, which has been referred to the courts.