Our day’s drive north ended in the town of Caceres. We parked in an aire, an approved overnight parking area for camper vans. It was 2 pm and the aire was only ten minutes walk from the old city. We had missed breakfast and we were hungry so we chose one of a row of pavement cafes, asking to sit inside as we were chilly. Inside was the usual noisy tapas bar crammed with people. We were shown to an upstairs restaurant that was almost deserted. By now it was 2.45 pm so we assumed we had just got in on last knockings. But no, by the time we had finished our meal of soup, salad, steak and chips the room was full of diners with not a table to spare. We had forgotten that the Spanish eat late.
The aire was an excellent place to stay overnight and it even had one electricity power point – with six or seven campervans plugged into four available sockets. There was also a facility to empty grey water, but no toilet emptying. By the time we left in the morning the car park had more than twenty vans parked on the site. Most of these visitors would have gone into the town and spent money in the shops, cafes, bars and restaurants and, in return, would have got a free night’s parking. Why don’t towns in the UK do this?