Another indifferent night, being awoken several times by the sound of high heels on the hard floor of the corridor. The latest at 3.50. And then at 4.50 by the sound of something creaking in my environs. Which can be painful. I begin to wonder whether the hotel is frequented by ladies of the night. Or by transvestites. Which might explain the automatic check-out system.
06.35: Unplug the fridge because of the irritating gurgling sound it's making. Find it has nothing in it except a plastic fork. Read the hotel Rules and note they don't accept responsibility for 'loutish' acts committed in the public car park in front of it. Start to worry about local louts.
06.55: After 10 minutes of pondering the issue, decide that the irritating running water sound isn't coming from either the defrosting fridge or any bathroom but from the bloody rain.
07.00: Give up on sleep and switch on the tiny TV.
08.00: Leaving the room, I'm asked by the cleaner to be quiet. I tell her I'm not disposed to keeping my noise down for the benefit of revellers who woke me up 3 or 4 hours previously.
09.15 We take one look at the pouring rain and decide to forego further walking in Valladolid and to head for Avila.
11.00: We arrive in Avila ahead of the rain and the tourist hordes.
12.00: They catch us up and join us on the famous walls. We get wet.
12.55: We beat the hordes to our chosen restaurant and dine very well.
16.00: We give thanks to Santa Teresa and depart for Madrid airport, beneath a blazing sun.
18.30: I drop off the rest of the group and head north for a 20 minute drive to the house of my lovely friends, Lucy and David. Where I arrive an hour later. And where I am fed and put to bed in an electric blanket. Just as you would with an old dog in pain. I guess it could be worse