Monday 12 March 2018 - Day 8
Change of plan! The forecast for the north-west of Spain - and San Sebastian in particular - is poor for the next few days. So a Command decision was made to change course and make a fast dash to the Mediterranean coast.
We slept well - even the village dogs had a good night’s sleep and didn’t disturb us. The drive out was delightful, through small Basque villages and we very soon crossed over into the Andorra region of Spain - no border guards, no passports, no hiding the duty free. Given the weather forecast, we decided to crack some mlles today, to get as far south as we could without getting too tired. On the way we stopped at a Spanish Lidl to buy bread and wine (no religious link intended) and top up with diesel at the adjacent Repsol, the van filled up by a most helpful chap who did it all for me. To top it all, the baguettes were half the price of France and the diesel was €1.119 per litre, compared to €1.349 in France - Happy Days!
Our route took us through Pamplona (shut your eyes, hit the horn and drive!) and on past Zaragoza. The landscape was semi-arid desert in some areas, with the odd field of almond (or orange) and olive trees. It was windy (and occasionally rainy) and we whooped with delight at seeing the tumbleweed zipping across the fields and roads (although on a serious note we saw lots of dust storms from the loss of top soil too). At our lunch stop, I dialled in an aire within 2 hours of the Med coast and we arrived at the Valderrobres aire at about 1700 - a long drive. This is a lovely little town. The aire is down by the river and we have a view of the medieval bridge into the town. We loved walking up, down and across the tiny, cobbled streets and up to the church and castle. Back at the van we had some bacon to use up from our local butcher on Anglesey, so enjoyed a good old fry up of bacon, mushrooms and eggs.
Tomorrow we have about a 2 hour run to the coast. We then plan to slow right down, spend a few days in selected stops and only travel a short distance each day as we start our clockwise tour of Spain and Portugal.
PS - the Spanish Lidl ’brick’ of red wine at the princely sum of €0.89 per litre is to be recommended. This vintage surpasses its French equivalent - I can now feel my teeth again at least!
|Across the medieval bridge into the town|
|This bike needs some TLC....and freeing from its chains!|
|View of the bridge and river from the aire|