15th December 2010 – Hendaye Plage (France) to Palencia (Spain)

18 12 2010

We actually managed to get up early and get away from Hendaye Plage before 9.30 which was a bit of a result for us, up, cup of tea, off…..done. Lorna had spent the last two nights worrying about tunnels on our way into Spain, she hates them and gets herself in a right state and had planned a route that involved as few tunnels as possible, until I found another more direct route that invoked a slight detour to avoid a rather long one. Lorna was concerned that if we missed a turning we might have to go through this tunnel, despite my assurances on my navigation!

Route finally decided we set off and headed out of France for a long journey to Palencia, our mid-way stop before hitting Portugal. The sat-nav was telling us 4 hours 16 minutes so we prepared ourselves for the drive. As soon as we got into Spain I filled up, expecting diesel to be slightly cheaper but it wasn’t particularly at €1.16 a litre, then we headed toward Vitoria Gasteiz. It was cold and we actually had a bit of snow as the road snaked it’s way up and up onto the plains of that part of Spain. Some of the views were stunning but as always, nowhere to stop and take photos.

(I’ve been expressly forbidden to write about Lorna taking diazepam and slugging whisky to help with the nerves about tunnels at 11.30 in the morning so I shan’t mention that at all).

We ignored the advice of the sat-nav to get onto the E5/E80 toward Burgos as this was a toll road and we wanted to stop on the N-1. We’d actually set it to avoid toll roads so we reckoned that the E5/E80 must have only recently changed to a toll, especially considering the graffiti in Miranda de Ebro which appeared to be against the toll road quite strongly. We passed through Burgos and were pleased to get on to the smooth and fast, toll free section, of the E5/E80 which took us swiftly into Palencia where we got straight to the aire and parked up alongside three other motorhomes, two of them British. Four and a half hours, not too bad.

After a walk into town to get some provisions (get this, 2 bottles of red wine, 1 carton of red wine, 1 bottle of lemonade, 1 carton of orange juice, 2kg of onions, 2 peppers and 2 large oranges, €6.94!) I spent a while on the roof of our motorhome adjusting the skew on my satellite dish LNB, we’d had difficulty getting certain channels since leaving Mimizan Plage and this was the problem (helpfully pointed out by one of the other motorhomers that I had noticed also had an Oyster system and so asked for help). That done and an evening of The Apprentice guaranteed I failed find a free wi-fi signal whilst Lorna made a curry for our tea.

Portugal tomorrow!

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