4th February 2010 Hendaye Plage (France) to Cabarceno (Spain)

4 02 2010

Up at 9.30am the excitement was building as our next stop would be in Spain. We left at about 11.30am having planned our route, deciding to rely more on road maps than the sat-nav.

The transition from France to Spain was barely noticed as slowly all of the signs were in Spanish, no ‘Welcome to Spain’ signs and no passport control at all, just another road. We took the A8 toll motorway until we passed Bilbao. On the way there we went through a number of tunnels and those that know Lorna will know of her phobia of them but all went well and we travelled through tunnels up to over a kilometre and a half long without an issue, no screaming, no shakes and no attempt to traverse around them. We then decided to get off the busy motorway as we felt we were missing so much of the smaller places, not that there were many unfortunately, the areas surrounding both Bilbao and Santander were busy bustling towns. We took the N634 which took us up hill and down dale, all with views of the peaks of the Pyrenees and it’s snow capped mountains.

We wanted to have a look at Laredo (something to do with it being mentioned in a Johnny Cash song though I presume there is also one in America). This was another large town so we simply drove through and headed toward Cabarceno, an aire mentioned in the ‘All the Aires in Spain and Portugal’ book that we have. In total we drove for nearly four hours and eventually arrived at out destination, I was tired, the concentration of driving both on the busy motorway and the smaller, tight and twisty roads taking it’s toll. However, we still had enough energy to go to a local bar to have a drink, my first pint (yes a full pint!) of beer since we left the UK on Christmas Eve, Amstel.

The language barrier got the best of me I’m afraid as I had to show Jack to the bar owner and make insane waving motions indicating that I was asking if it was ok to bring him in. It must have been quite funny for the people in there plaing dominos to watch. After the drinks we settled up and went to the local supermarket, it looked like someones front room but Lorna managed to buy a baguette and a bottle of unlabelled local rose wine which was suprisingly strong.

I think that Spain is going to be a bit more of an adventure, the problem of us not speaking the language and the lack of ‘official’ parking spaces means that we are going to have to chance our arms a bit as to where we stay and if someone wants us to move on, we won’t understand them, there is also the issue of the availability of water which really was no problem in France but in Spain it could be more difficult, certainly LPG will be a problem but we are now on rations. It does feel good to have moved on to a different country, new challenges and new experiences await us at every turn.

Madness really, but happy days indeed.




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