The kindest village in the world
As we were leaving Spain, we started to have some problems with the van. We went to the nearest VW garage to ask if they could fit a new brake calliper and were told VW stopped selling the part six years ago and it couldn't be done. So we tried a smaller garage and he wouldn't touch it because it's too old. Thankfully, we were able to find a Spanish online campervan parts shop that sold the calliper ... we just needed a delivery address. So I contacted a man called Victor (Frango to his friends) on Couchsurfing to see whether he could give us his address to send the part to. And there began what will probably be one of the highlights of our whole year!
The camping aire in Moncorvo has lovely views, toilets and free hot showers!
Frango met us, took us for lunch at his restaurant then drove us in his 4x4 up an amazing track that had beautiful views at the top.
Sadly, there were forest fires last August so many of the animals that used to live there no longer do. In Frango's lifetime he has seen wolves, deer and wild boar there.
Frango gave us a tour of Moncorvo and showed us a traditional house where the animals used to live downstairs - this made the house warmer.
We had a tour of the library and I was able to find a copy of the paper from the day I was born.
Frango welcomed us for dinner every evening while we waited for the part to arrive, and on the last night we joined his family and friends to celebrate two birthdays. It was a brilliant party! Frango's restaurant was built using part of the old castle wall which you can see in the photo below.
Frango also let us borrow bikes so we could go on a cycle ride, and showed us a great place to paddleboard.
We were also introduced to Frango's mechanic friend, Rui. When the part arrived at 5pm on Friday, I presumed we would have to wait until Monday to get it fitted. But Frango called Rui and within minutes we were in his workshop!
Rui showed the same generosity as Frango and gave us bottles of wine and port... and then wouldn't take any payment for fitting the part!!
We cannot get over how friendly and helpful everyone is in Moncorvo. As we have been here a few days and met some of Frango's friends, some people recognise us and say hello as we pass them on the street. We've never been to such a generous, welcoming place. I'm pleased the van is fixed, but I am sad that we have to leave today. Thank you Mocorvo, thank you Rui and thank you Frango! I really hope we return one day.