Friday, 9 August 2019

Into the wild grey yonder.

Now it came to pass that, undaunted by last years mis adventure we set off on another one....

So Newton the transporter was all prepped up and away we went. Sensibly, I had up graded by fitting cruise control which made it far easier not to annoy the speed camera sorts and had a massive effect on fuel economy. For the first part of the trip we were averaging 41 mpg which is frankly ridiculous in something with the aerodynamics of a block of flats!

But anyway we flopped ashore in Roscoff, drove down to Guemene and did nothing for a couple of days. The onward trip was a real education. There is so much industry in France and so active after Doldrum Britain.   Convoys of trucks on the motorway as goods move through France to Spain and then back again.

We are seaside people so we moved along the coast, stopping a few nights in small coastal hamlets in Aires. The first of which had a broken pay meter, so we got the hell out of there before any council workers turned up at 9 am, as did everyone  else.

There are people out there who love the Vendee, we are not among them,  finding its flat interminable plain just boring.

We drove on South eventually reaching the spectacular medieval town of Pons with it's truly spectacular donjon. I thought €20 for a steak a bit steep till I saw the portion, half a cow on a plate. I would not need to eat again for several days!!

Lets remember now this was October. So it was onwards and Southwards one night in a closed community by the sea. Then Spain.

Ah yes Spain, and an exciting driving style, that's a polite description. Motorways sort of perched on the side of a hill with real drops offs snaking corners and long tunels. Really, whoever set the speed limit on these roads at 130km was being very optimistic, Spain is full of optimistic people, insanely optimistic people. The management made herself comfortable, curled up in a comfortable ball in the footwell from whence came an occasional distressed whimper.

Santander is a simply fabulous city to spend a night in a 4 star hotel.

Santander is a lovely sea side city, the management had spent a night here before with a friend and therfore knew her way round. Well no, she thought she knew her way round. She did find the natural history museum she had desperately wanted to visit last time but sadly her little mate had declined to enter prefering to head off in search of bars and booze. Being a different person I readily agreed to go and visit. Unbenknown to us, the museum had closed some years back and the building was now given over to, errr bars and booze actually.

More hopeless wandering round town and we eventually made it back to the hotel. Management took a long bath and I devoted my self to my kindle and catching up on a few weeks interweb.

Soo anyway next morning it was historic, or Altameira stone caves to be more exact. To save the original caves, the whole edifice has been rebuilt above ground. This does not massively detract from the experience which is quite an interesting foray into not so primitive art.

In the afternoon, following another suicidal adventure on the motorways we rolled into Bilbao and very much more modern art. If you have not done the Guggenheim then you really should. Such a selection of art from the classical to the downright wacky. It made an amazing contrast, between images made on stone with whatever was about to highly sophisticated images made with materials developed over centuries. There was also a deep similarity between the two, both represented the work of highly skilled individuals.

It was a fitting thing to do on  what would have been my fathers 92nd birthday. He would have loved the idea of distant travel.

It was now time to head north and north we went.

We had originally planned a day in the Loire  but sadly our luck gave out, the couple of camp sites we found we closed as was the only aire we could see. It's just a few hours blast back to the house so thats what we chose - headed the VW up the peyage and landed in Guemene late evening.

So came to an end a magical holiday - almost a year ago now.

Little did we know as we made our way back to Wales that events were unfolding that would change our lives forever. When things seem  to be going well Fate has a nasty habit of biteing you in the bum.


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