31st May 2009

We left fairly early and headed further north to find another campsite.  It was a drive of about 250 miles so it would be late afternoon by the time we got there.  We kept a look out for a supermarket so we could top up our provisions but the only one we found was shut, not surprising on a Sunday.  It was now lunch time and we were pretty hungry, so we were looking for a roadside restaurant, something nice to eat as we are missing English food.   Our history of stopping for lunch isn’t good. We nearly always end up not being able to find anything until it's too late, and today looked the same, but then we spotted a large hotel/restaurant at the side of the road, which had a couple of coaches parked outside but room enough for the van.  We think it was the Hotel El Rocio near Luarca in Asturias.

Hotel Restaurant El Rocio
It was absolutely heaving with people in the bar entrance, obviously everyone out for Sunday lunch, but Paul managed to attract the attention of a Spanish lady behind the bar who looked like the owner.  He explained (somehow) that we would like a table for lunch and she said wait there, quite rudely we thought, and then rushed off somewhere behind a huge door into another room that we couldn't see.  After about ten minutes just as we were giving up all hope of getting lunch, she burst out of this other room and beckoned us to follow her which we did, into this vast restaurant with about 200 people sitting down at long tables. The noise was deafening, Spanish families, many older people all chatting away ten to the dozen.  She sat us down at a free table and gave us two menus and a carafe of water and then called the one and only waiter to take our order.  He was an older man, probably in his sixties, and he was sweating like mad and rushing about everywhere.  He signalled us to wait a moment and continued to take the order from a table of about twenty people.  As far as we could work out, it was a set menu, either chicken or fish and so it didn't take him long to sort them all out.  In the meantime, we worked our way through the menu which naturally was in Spanish and which we couldn't understand most of, and then Paul spotted Huevos, con Jamon y Patatas Fritas.  "That's ham egg and chips", he said, couldn't get more English than that. "What do you think?"  "Sounds good to me", I said so when the waiter finally arrived at our table, panting and sweating, we asked for two portions and some bread, Oh and a glass of wine. We sat back watching the commotion of all these people having Sunday lunch, thinking that our food would take ages to arrive but after about twenty minutes, back came the waiter with our food. Oh boy, what food it was too!  It was served in a metal dish a bit like a Balti dish, and there were chips piled up, with crispy bacon on top of that and topped off with two beautifully cooked fried eggs.  It was so good, even I didn't mind that the eggs were soft.  We've never enjoyed food so much mmmm!

After lunch we pressed on and found the campsite, which was near a small coastal town called Ribadesella, which is really nice. We pitched next to another English couple in a caravan, Vince and Sandra.  They were very friendly and had similar views to us on animals and religion so we spent most the afternoon and evening talking and drinking wine with them.  Vince helped Paul set up the satellite dish to see if we could get any English TV as he said that he was receiving the signal well enough with his 65 cm dish, so we ought to be able to as well. Magic! We got a signal and watched a documentary on The Mamas and Papas which was really interesting.  All in all a much better day, saved by good food as usual!
Camping Ribasadella
The showers at Ribasadella

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