Day 9 - Burgos to Salamanca

Trip Start Mar 03, 2013
Trip End Mar 25, 2013

Flag of Spain  , Castile-León,
Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Caught the bus for Salamanca, a 3 1/2 hour ride on a very nice bus. They had a movie, but only the people in the first row could see or hear it. Then the radio was on playing American & Brit music - Simon & Garfunkel, Cher, Beatles, BeeGees.  We left the mountains behind. Around here it is as flat as Illinois. They have farmer fields all around that are green, not sure what they are growing. Hay? Then there should be livestock and we saw very few cows and sheep.  

But we finally saw some live pigs!!!!  For those of you who didn't follow us on our last trip to Spain 11 years ago, everywhere we went we saw hams hanging in the stores, ham on all the menus, but we never ever saw a pig anywhere. I asked my Research Department to look into it (my brothers clown 1 and clown 2) and they came up with many interesting theories. Well today we figured it out. Our bus passed a big truck filled with live pigs!  So pigs live on trucks. They just drive from one place to another, probably staying in pig RV parks. Anyway it made sense to us.  I'm just surprized we haven't seen any pig RVs before this.

We have also seen hundreds and hundreds of wind turbines on the hills all over Spain. So I asked my Research Department about this - how much do they cost to build, how much electricity to they generate, how long until you break even on your investment.  Same with the vast solar panel farms we saw.  Here is what my research department reported on that:
There are a lot of turbines because the government offers subsidies to build them.  You may have noticed that wind turbines are built in windy places.  That's no coincidence -- they are, after all, called WIND turbines for a reason.  Water turbines are usually in wet places (how many of those have you see?), head turbines on heads, oh, sorry, that's turbans, not the same thing, although usually round.  Likewise, solar panel arrays are put up in sunny places because that's where the energy is.  For best results, the turbines and solar panels should be pointed toward the energy source.  They make a lot more power that way.

When it's windy, a typical wind turbine can generate enough power to serve 1000 US households -- or twice that number in other countries (not because the turbines are larger or it's windier, but because the houses use less power).  A typical 60- by 40-inch solar panel generates about 250 watts of power, but this varies greatly with time-of-day, latitude, and atmospheric conditions.

They'll never earn back their investment because the power companies still have to be ready to provide the total power demand when there's no wind or sun.  Through smoke and mirrors, the gov't makes it look good, and before you know it the research department has 26 solar panels on its roof.

Research Engineer
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mike on

I loved the story of the hams n pigs! a real porker!

Virginia on

Your pictures are great, I have recently come from a visit to uncle Jorge, he is not having a good time so I went to visit him. I am really tired. I want to be calm and relax to read peacefully your blogs and this weekend that we stay in Lima, I will do it.
Receive lots of regards,

Helen on

The research department forgot to mention that the 26 solar panels were a gift. Research assistant number 3 asked for emeralds and got solar panels.

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