Over the Hills and Far Away – 12 – Autos and Armadillos
We’d finally wrung the last drop of sunshine out of this corner of France and crossed the border back into Spain, aiming to spend a few days sauntering home. always gasping for a coffee, it wasn’t long before we’d pulled over for a cuppa. eventually we did actually manage to get a few kilometers under our belt and ended up in a town strangely called Autol. We found agreat spot for the night by a gently babbling stream, and a picturesque path running alongside it. Unusually for me, I wanted more coffee and situated myself on a perfectly placed bench by the river on which to enjoy it.
Suitably refreshed, we followed the path along the river and discovered in the centre of the village, two huge monoliths that looked like a man and a woman, and indeed local legend handily bears out this, telling of two thieves who , in trying to escape justice , were turned to stone. The efficacy of this type of punishment is undeniable, as is the aesthetic advantage it lends to the village of Autol, which, apart from the two monoliths, consists of a sprawl of gravity defying houses and a church, meandering up the vertiginous hillside.
These kind of villages are the complete antithesis of the pre-planned American (and frankly boring) grid system, which has a place for everything and everything in its place. Here in Spain, everything is in the wrong place, the same place, or has run out of space and bugger the consequences. The upshot being that we are often witness to joyfully unbridled chaos.
The next day we headed out of Autol and made for a town I couldn’t help calling Armadillo, though apparently it’s called the singularly less interesting Arnedillo. A distant, less-armour-plated cousin, perhaps? The weather was starting to send u s a message in the form of intimidating low cloud-cover.
We were travelling along the Ruta de Cicados – which was essentially, “The Dinosaur Trail”. As an old rocker, I was certainly qualified to be here, then. We espied “Armadillo” shoehorned into a gap in the gorge just before entering a tunnel and coming out the other end to find a great parking spot for motorhomes. Voila – We had our next nights stop. Meanwhile, the storm clouds continued to gather……
Tomorrow, we would explore Arnedillo, weather permitting.
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