As I don’t want to cover the stretch to the French Alps in a record time, I leave the Quinta das Gralhas on January 20 after a 10 day stay. My radiator still contains non-anti-frost coolant which is used after the repair of the radiator in Morocco. From now on I’m really going to meet the cold and that means a visit to a dealer to replace the liquid with an anti-frost species.
In Guarda I am happy that one can do the job right after lunch. The four of them have been busy doing this for almost two hours. The cab has to be tilted completely in order to pour the 20 liters in the radiator. Thereafter, a short drive is necessary to remove the air bubbles. As an additional service, the entire engine is cleaned with a high pressure washer to remove grease, oil and debris. I am very happy with it and the guys wave me goodbye when I leave for Spain.
By now the day has advanced so that I’ll have to look out for a camper place soon. Just before the border I find a nice spot next to the Middle Aged walled village of Castelo Mendo.
The next morning I get up in a white frosted landscape. A stroll around and in the village delivers beautiful pictures. When the sun has driven the frost the journey starts, through Spain and over the Pyrenees to the French Alps. But in only short stages. There is no hurry.
Spain is crossed from west to east and successively I visit the places Ávila, Segovia and Medinaceli for a short time before I arrive in Andorra. The cold is all overwhelming, so I do not stay long in these places to explore them in detail. The plateau above Madrid is even covered with snow, but fortunately the sun is shining.
With light drizzle I arrive in Andorra, where I can completely fill all tanks with cheap diesel.
In the evening the rain turns to snow and next morning I get up in a white snowy landscape.
The meteo for the next few days expects more snow and therefore I decide to descend as fast as possible from Andorra to lower regions of France.
Fortunately, the winding roads down are passable so I do not need to make a huge detour.
The snowy landscape is breathtaking, especially because the sun is not obstructed by a cloudy sky.
The trip to the French Alps is rather smooth and on January 30, I meet my brother in Les Contamines-Montjoie, a village in the Haute Savoie region, close to Chamonix.
Together we enjoy skiing and good food. The last day there has fallen so much snow that we have to dig out each other’s car, but for the rest the roads are passable to take the ride to back to the Netherlands.
My brother drives back to his hometown in one day, while I drive quietly to Roermond in 3 days via Luxembourg and the Eiffel where I can stay a couple of days at a friend’s house. From now on a rather busy time will come to fulfill a number of appointments and meetings in the south of country before I reach my starting point in Goes.
When everything is arranged and all the preparations done, the real journey will start, direction Asia. There is no exact time schedule for that, so keep on following me. Possibly somewhere in March.