After leaving St Jean de Luz we headed down to Spain. Elaine was poised with the camera in hand to take that all important border crossing photo. What a disappointment, no welcome to Spain, no nothing! Suddenly we knew we were in Spain as the traffic grew massively and everything looked dingy and run down and the road signs changed. We motored on until we got to Sans Sabastian. This was totally different to the industrial areas we had driven through and the high rise flats of the towns we went through. What a busy, beautiful, up market sea side place. We located ourselves on a free Aire site and headed into town to see what we could see. The town is located on a huge bay with small mountains either end and an island in the middle of the bay. After passing large university buildings we reached the bay and we were so impressed with the whole lay out and we walked all around the bay to the harbour area and the old town area with the narrow fascinating streets. By absolute chance we met up with our new found friends Tom and Jo in the town and that made a good day even better as we didn’t know they were coming as far as this as Tom is paddle boarder and they had passed a few bays to get there. The next day we went back to the bay. First we went up the mountain (Monte Igueldo) on a funicular railway straight up the side and it was a white knuckle ride for Elaine but the views from the top were spectacular. After we left T and J to check out the surf while Elaine and I walked all round the bay again and walked up the smaller mountain to the very impressive fort there and to the huge statue of Our Lord which can be seen dominating the whole area.
Time to move on so the four of us moved on in convoy to another free Aire 9k. from Santander right by a wildlife park. Amazing, we were parked by a huge lake and as the day went on thousands of egrets flew in and the trees on one side of the lake were full of them. Just behind us was the entrance to the park and over the fence in a large valley were about 20 elephants, wildebeastsand a large heard of Antelope which I think were Okape. My poor camera is going to be worn out with all the pictures I keep taking
The next day we left Tom and Jo and who were heading off along the coast to Portugal whilst we travelled south on roads that were over 1000 meters above sea level, across countless viaducts and through lots of tunnels through mountains until we reached Palencia. What impressive road building skills.
Another free night on an Aire there and we wandered around the town and came across the cathedral and on top were huge nests with storks as their residents. Wow! They are quite a sight when they are in the air.
So Friday saw us doing another 200k ending up just outside Salamanca and are now parked on a campsite so we can charge everything up and so we can use the site’s washing machine. The city is very large and the centre is full of very old churches and a beautiful cathedral. A lot of these old churches have amazing carvings and towers and it appears to us that there is a distinct catholic style unlike the ancient Moorish influance in the decorations on on the churches in Palencia
Although it was a quite warm sunny day there is a nip in the air at night as all this central area is around 800 meters above ssea level so our plan is to follow the birds migratory path and to head south until we get down to the south coat.
A few facts. We have been out 41 nights and are averaging £7.90 per night with all the free stops and we have done 1238 miles since we left home.