Yep. The heat had got to the dogs and, if I’m honest, to Vanya and I also. We simply cannot take it like we used to. We checked a Google weather map for destinations where it is likely to be both cooler and dry and then headed off up the A67 to the Asturian coast to a place not far from Lannes (Vanya had found an interesting looking campsite on Novales Cove).
We hadn’t planned on stopping at Aguilar de Campoo (we simply needed a stop to take lunch and buy a few general provisions) and we very nearly turned back to the motorway as the road to the town began to lead us through a large scruffy industrial complex of factories and warehouses. However, a small 12th century castle overlooks the town and it’s presence suggested there could actually be more to Aguilar de Campoo than factories and warehouses and so we continued into the town… and we were pleasantly surprised.
Having parked the Van we passed over a small bridge and into the town through an old town gate on to the Plaza Espana (the Spain Square, although in truth it is more of a Spain rectangle than a square). The collegiate Church of San Miguel fills one side of the rectangle and the other three sides are arcaded. It is very pretty.
There was a service underway in the church and, leaving the dogs with Vanya, I popped inside to take a few surreptitious photos. That was a mistake. It is one thing trying to sneak a few sneaky photos in a normal church service but quite another when it is a funeral. I hadn’t spotted the (silver coloured) hearse parked at the entrance to the church. Whoops! We beat a hasty retreat to the other end of the plaza. Well, I did.
There is a decent sized park behind the Plaza Espana and we took the dogs there such that they could exercise and yet stay cool under the park trees. We didn’t know it at the time but, in amongst the trees and flower beds, there is a series of muddy irrigation canals (fed by the River Pisuerga) which very much resemble a swamp. It was inevitable that, despite our screaming, admonitions, ultimatums and threats, the dogs would chose to cool off in these particular bogs and within moments they were an absolute mess. Bastard Whoops!!
We had stopped at Aguilar de Campoo because we were hungry and wanted to take lunch. Lunch however was postponed while we walked the dogs around the town until they had stopped shaking mud all over the place and had at least half dried off.
We got there in the end.