Monday we wanted to park for the night on Portsmouth docks ready for our 08.45 embarkation the next morning. We were told we couldn’t arrive until the last sailing of the night had gone so we drove a little further on to Hayling Island. We sat right by the beach beside the “Inn on the Beach” and from there we could see the ferries going in and out of Portsmouth harbour. At 23.30 hrs. we drove the short journey to the Ferry Port and were settled in for the night in by midnight. At 6 o/clock in the morning a young lady knocked on the door of our motor home asking me to move up as the booking in was about to commence. Was I pleased that, in anticipation, I was up washed, dressed and shaved ready for that early morning start.
08.45 we were off on our way and Elaine and I were quite pleased with the cabin we were allocated and the sea looked fairly calm so we found a nice, comfortable lounge and entertained ourselves by playing Rummikub, our favourite board game. I am pleased to say that I ended the day ahead in this hard fought battle.
As time went on and after we had been going for quite a while there was no way the journey could be described as calm and both of us have firmly decided that this was the first and last time we will do this particular crossing. How anybody can sleep in a noisy, creaking ferry that is crashing its way through the waves, I will never know and from now on we will drive down through France, leisurely stopping at aires on the way.
As we came closer to the Spanish coast the thick, dark clouds gave way to wispy white occasional clouds and the sea colour changed from an angry, dark hue to a much warmer looking blue as the sun glistened on waves. Already the memory of the dreadful night was fading fast. Around 2 o/clock we finally drove off the ferry and somehow we were one of the first to drive off the boat. I am sure we all know the feeling when we are queuing up at a supermarket till that somehow the awkward customer has already got to the till before you. This was us: we followed a Spanish van up to the police check and there we sat for ages whilst the policeman decided that they could move on. Meanwhile everybody else in the other queues went on their way.
We are now parked at a camper stop that is perched high on the hills above Bilbao and the view over the city with the hills all around is quite stunning and we will stay here for a couple of days so we can take a bus into the city and a visit to the Museo Guggenheim.