A VERY short detour into France


We are packed and loaded for the off by a very civilized hour…9.30am. We seem to be getting more proficient doing all the little chores needed before moving on, but 9.30am seems to be our best effort so far. No real plan on where we are headed except to see some of the North Coast of Spain along the Bay of Biscay and believe the scenery is supposedly wonderful. So off we go and somewhere along the 4 hour journey, I thought it would be nice to duck into France for a couple of days first. So full of enthusiasm I cross the border and suggest to Amanda St Jean de Luz looks pretty cool on the old internet. We arrived early afternoon to find ALL camping stops are closed until Easter so hastily revise our plans but not before spending a few hours snooping around the town and having a coffee each. Wow 7 Euros, we’d forgotten how cheap Spain is. Our friends from Orkneys suggested we meet up for a night at a site they had chosen on their route back to U.K. So we quickly reevaluated and headed for the suggested spot, which once we arrived, we realized it was in the Mountains of Errenteria and we had very little supplies on board, so asked them to pick us up some wine. The site was in a beautiful setting with 2 Restaurants within walking distance and some great hikes.

Long story short, their plans changed and they had to shoot straight toward UK. So we enjoyed the spot (only 1 other van and us). We’d been into San Sebastián for the day(more on that shortly) and on our return, Pat and John had detoured to the pre arranged meet and left 2 CASKS of vino at the front door Bless ! Thanks guys and I’m not a wine snob and don’t drink cask wine but it wasn’t a bad drop. We now have 4 spares on board for emergencies 😉

The ride into San Sebastián on Grigio was fine, but Amanda did get a bit nervy doing 90kms and getting passed on the freeway by bloody big trucks…..it’s only a wee scooter!

Quick stop in France

San Sebastian really is a very civilized City, some nice Architecture, a couple of lovely bays and some fabulous restaurants…….although the site of half a dozen bare breasted 80 year olds sitting yacking together and enjoying the sun on the beach was something I could have done without. Lost my appetite for a while there.FullSizeRender

Beautiful San Sebastian

We found some caves about half an hours walk from our little camping spot. No signs of any note to alert you to them and certainly no lights or raze dazzle, but once we (I mean I) went inside,with a head torch, they were fabulous. Pitch black inside and they went on for 1,700 meters. Amanda passed on the little wander and waited patiently at the opening. Truth be known, it was a bit freaky once you got well inside and turned the torch off with only the bats to keep you company. 

Too many Bats in here for Amanda 

Our own little garden, surrounded by sheep …

Our next stop was supposed to be Deba in the Basque region, but again it was closed for the Winter and not due to open for a few more days. We did stop and had a bloody steep walk down to the bottom and took some great snaps. This coastline is proving to be spectacular and as usual the photo’s don’t do it justice. Found a spot for a couple of nights in Mutrika, very quiet little place and we discovered some great walks…..bit too great for my liking. Amanda is the walker in this outfit and just keeps going. 24 k’s later I followed her back into camp, gagging for a beer (I mean water). I asked her if she’d like me to buy her some new undies ( sorry I mean lingerie) as a small thank you To ME for enduring such a bloody torturous little walk. Sadly she declined. See below!  Doesn’t matter, I don’t really have a sweet tooth anyway.SSSo another day another place to explore and now we are rested up in Islares. It’s a sleepy little village about 50k from Bilbao and what a stunning place to camp. We arrived at 3.00pm in the afternoon and the Lady said sorry we aren’t open for the season until tomorrow…….Amanda did her best little POOR ME face and bingo, the owner came out and said go ahead, in you go. When we went to settle the bill he said no charge for the first night  What a champ,he really is a lovely fella and couldn’t be more helpful.  2 minute walk from the site and you have this fantastic rugged coastline , but still a tad too cold for a dip. I’d sprained my ankle and couldn’t do much in the way of big walks (honest) I had swelling and bruising to prove it. Nice chance not to walk for a while. Sorry Amanda but you should have got the new undies!

Anyway it was a good opportunity to catch the bus into Bilbao to go to the Guggenheim museum. Bilbao…not great and sadly the museum was closed (what a shame) think I’d rather go for another big walk lol. But we did enjoy the building it’s very impressive. All coated in Titanium and the building is special. Amanda was genuinely disappointed it was closed, so we just had an Almond Magnum and admired the building ha ha.

Castro Urdalles is a. Short 7k’s away from camp and again it’s a lovely place, vibrant, authentic with few tourists, at least at this time of year and has some history going back to Roman times. Still nursing a sore ankle and only doing smaller walks. Probably could manage more if we’d got the Reg Grundies but we didn’t. Spent quite a few days here and enjoyed every minute just eating, drinking, enjoying the pace and walking a little….SLOWLYes but

Guggenheim closed, but very interesting from the outside too.

Food and wine in this region is excellent and the bars in the old town are lively with locals during their afternoon siesta. They all made us feel very welcome, so a lovely place worth spending more time in, but alas we must move on.

Castro Urdiales

You really can’t get seafood any fresher unless you catch it yourself.

Be kind to each other.

Love Allen and Amanda

 


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