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Peña de Francia

It's a hill, 1723m high (Ben Nevis, for comparison, is 1344m) about 50kms from Ciudad Rodrigo.

Apparently a French chap found an image of a Black Virgin Mary in a cave there in the 15th Century. Within a couple of years of the "discovery" the Dominicans had the place sewn up tight and they set about building a monastery, church and what not on the summit. I presume that the TV repeater station came later. I understand the good folk of Ciudad Rodrigo carry one of those big Holy statues all the way there, and up the hill, on their backs each September

It was a cracking place. Crisp air, blue sky, views over to the snow on top of the Sierra del Bejar and the religious buildings looked really stocky and solid as though they really should be there. When we were in the church I noticed we were blowing smoke, all those monks doing all that kneeling and praying for all those years crossed my mind. But, in my overcoat and with the heater in the Mini proving to be first rate I didn't think about them for long.


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That's it

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So this blog is dead. Ciudad Rodrigo is history. Culebrón for the summer and then Cartagena.
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Phone company

The one time state, now private, telephone company here in Spain is called Telefonica. Its reputation is not good. People complain that the service is expensive and poor.
Generally our dealings with Telefonica have been fine though we had a lot of problems when we asked for the line in Culebrón to be temporarily suspended. Finally we had it disconnected.
Anyway, we need a phone and, living in the countryside in Culebrón, our only options are Telefonica or something that involves rebroadcast signals via little antenas. We plumped for Telefonica. I went in the shop here in Ciudad Rodrigo on Wednesday to order the line and broadband. The engineer from Pinoso rang me about five minutes ago, on Friday morning, to ask if he could call by at around five this afternoon to reconnect the phone. I had to put him off till we get back.