We have now crossed the “border” into Spain, and tonight parked up just outside the town of Vitoria-Gastiez.
While looking for a suitable spot to spend the night, we made the crazy error of driving right through the city Centre, and its a much bigger and busier place than it looked on the map! Traffic lights every 100metres, and pedestrian crossings that always seemed to have someone waiting to cross. Oh, and of course a 6 tonne weight restriction (but we’ve learned to largely ignore these now, I think they are only advisory anyway, ha).
The pin in the map above is where we stayed with friends, Jamie and Emma, and their 2 delightful children (monster) Jack, aged 4, and Jess, aged 9 months. They have a luxury camping (glamping) set up, just outside the village of Escanecrabe, about an hour from Toulouse. Whilst it was out of season while we were there, and so no tents were put up, they have done an amazing job, with the camping and also their house. The views of the snow covered Pyrenees in the distance across the green fields is stunning.
We stayed in the Colonel for 3 nights at Jamie’s, and they fed and watered us every night, we are very grateful for the hospitality shown. No wonder their customers love it there in the summer! They also gave us the kindly opportunity to wash 2 weeks worth of stinky clothes & towels.
On the first day (as the weather was a bit damp) we decided to go off for a walk from their house, we were out for about three and half hours and had a great variety of views and terrain. The next day we dropped the bikes off the back of the truck and cycled to the nearby town of Aurignac (about 25km round trip). Obviously the area is quite hilly and there are a couple of long drags up to the town, but it is a stunning place and well worth a visit if you are in that area.
There are many buildings that date from the 13th and 15th Centuries, including the stunning gate tower that protects the entrance to the old city
As you can see the weather was at last kind to us, with clear blue skies, and lovely and warm. We had a light lunch and a cheeky beer, sat outside a small bar watching the rest of France have its usual 2 hour lunch break. By the time we got back to Jamie and Emma’s, it was 6.30 in the evening and little Jack was looking for me!
There was nothing for it, but to start playing Football, table tennis, and of course, sword fighting pirates, and SMASH! We are missing Monster Jack already!
Our immediate “plan” is to travel West across Spain and into Portugal, then spend a few days chilling (hopefully a crap turn of phase), around a couple of the coastal areas. Then head to the South of Spain to the Port of Algeciras and get that ferry to North Africa.
Total mileage 1270
V & J x