STRANDED: A Night in a SMART Car

STRANDED: A Night in a SMART Car

It’s 11.55am and we’re madly putting our clothes on, shoving the rest into our backpacks and stuffing the toiletry bag alongside them. Check out is at 12 but don’t think that this chaos is because we’ve had a sleep in, it’s because we made a royal cock up. The type that most savvy travellers (like we assume we are) should not be making. We only checked into our accommodation three hours ago. The reality is that we have tried to spend the night in a smart car, and how did we get to that, let me explain.



Smart Car Road Trip


We arrived at Morella during the midnight hours and thought a hotel booking slip, an address and a blip of fuel left would be enough to get us tucked into bed at a reasonable hour. How wrong we were.  You see firstly, Morella is no small place; a corkscrew of streets towering upon one another until they reach the base of an insurmountable castle. Secondly, Morella is split into two towns; 1 Morella de Xiva and Morella de Castello  separated by a 13km dirt road which proved disastrous to our fuel gauge and thirdly, it’s two o’clock in the morning, everything is shut (it’s late even for the Spanish) and the streets are deserted. There is not even the possibility to check into another hostel nor use our tourist phrase book to ask for directions. . .


Cranky, tired and having now driven our fuel down to it’s last 10km, we admit defeat and park up beneath the looming castle in preparation for the night in the Smart car… It begins to rain.  Forty five minutes pass and our restlessness, back ache and inability to get comfortable drive us to make a new plan… New Plan: Find a fuel station for first thing in the morning. Rain coats on we wander the desolate, wet streets of Morella de Castello constantly refreshing the wifi availability. BooYAH! Thank you tourist information free wifi! It’s not all celebrations yet, we lose it a little bit at this point. Five minutes later you would see us cramped underneath a patisserie shop front staring from the blue blip on our google map indicating a service station to the a vacant wall and nothingness is front of us. Back to the Smart car we go to wait it out.


As the sun begins to rise, a few cars begin to move and a few people begin to emerge from their houses. Alert, ready to pounce at anyone…. we ask a cornered lady for directions; No clue what she said. The next person we ask has more time for the two crazy girls with bulging eyes and desperate faces, he indicated that there is a service station 8km from here but doesn’t open for a few more hours. That will do. Thank YOU SIR!



How we rectify the cock-up:

  1. Drive/make it to petrol station
  2. Wait outside petrol station for a few hours until it opens
  3. Pounce on poor petrol station attendant who is still half asleep.
  4. Paper/siscors/rock whether we drive onto the Pyranees (7hrs) on no sleep OR find our hotel and sleep for the remaining 3 hours of our booking
  5. Paper beats Rock… We find our accommodation in Morella de Xiva (not far from where we were looking for it earlier this morning!)



That brings us to now 11:55am rushing out the door. We have just woken up having managed to shower and grab a 2 hour kip in the remaining hours before check out. . .



Back to the SMART car, back on the trail to the Pyrenees!









Return to our destination guide: Travel Spain







Written by

Prue Sinclair is a twenty-eight year old Aussie who for the past seven years has been exploring the furthermost reaches of the World. Living anywhere but her homeland, she now resides somewhere in the UK where she writes about the adventures of her Ultimate British Road Trip. Her message is simple: You can get anywhere on any budget, you just need to think outside the box. You can trust she’s finding her way to somewhere lesser-known and writing a ‘How To’ guide.

1 Comment

We Would Love to Hear From You...

Hi we're Prue and Becks, travel writers and photographers who have been travelling the world together since 2012. Without taking ourselves too seriously, we divulge the lesser known, out of the way places and give you the tools to replicate it. Want to know more? Click on our pic.