Bay of Biscay : Our Journey Begins

This is the begining of our 6 week trip to the North West tip of Spain, Galicia, and back around the entire coast of the Bay of Biscay ending up in Brittany, to be precise Douarnenez-Treboul where we used to have a house. We will travel down through France and across Northern Spain and then back with the Atlantic on our left and Spain / France on our right – if it happens the other way around then we are going the wrong way. Don’t expect daily posts rather I will group together bits of interest and photos.

We had originally planned to go at the end of May and return in the middle of July so the weather would have got warmer as we came North but a family bereavement caused us to postpone so now we will be heading North and it will be getting cooler with shorter evenings but hey ho. As we cross the Channel to France the school holidays are about to finish so at least everywhere will be quieter and we get home the weekend before the clocks change. So we are hope desperately for a long Indian Summer.

The way we have got Van Blanc fitted out with the cupboard space and sliding seat is proving to be better than we had hoped.  The cupboards below the worktop take all of the cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery with room to spare. The fridge has room for plenty of essentials including the odd bottle of vin blanc. The tall cupboard soaks up tins and bottles, medicines, cleaning things and more. We also carry a 12V cool box mainly for bottled water, cold drinks and of course more vin blanc. In the base of the sliding seat are our hold all, wash kits and sleeping bags. So with the seat in its travelling position that leaves amasses of space for camping equipment, decck chairs, canopy, Fred’s  food and paraphernalia, outdoor shoes and so on.

We had the van loaded by midday the day before so we were scratching around for something to do for an afternoon. An early night was followed by a walk with Fred before breakfast and we joined the 07:00 rush hour traffic along the A27 to Newhaven for the 09:00 sailing to Dieppe. The ferry was fairly busy and the crossing much like a mill pond so Fred had a comfy ride in the van. Having booked as a campervan and paid for Fred we did think the yellow card they gave us to dangle from the mirror would have afforded us at least the opportunity for an early disembarkation but not so. The yellow card really meant diddly squat and we were on the mid deck in amongst all the other traffic so poor Fred had to cross his legs even longer before he got off.

We shot into Intermarche for some bread and bits and headed a few miles South to Deux Riviers municipal camp site at Martigny. We have stayed here before on the way to and fro and can’t recommend it enough. Pitched up next to one of the rivers with the facilities even at this end of the season are spot on. There are many walks from the site around the lakes, mostly old gravel works but now very picturesque, and of course the rivers. There is also the Avenue Vert following the path of an old railway toward Paris so very much like our own Cuckoo trail. Indeed it has been created in partnership with East Sussex County Council all of which might explain all the French tourists on push bikes we and Fred see when we are walking at home.

I hit the shower while Sue rustled upper signature pasta for supper. As soon as her back was turned Fred decided that he was in France and going to get into it properly so he started byfeasting on the end of our French stick. Clearly he is going to make the most of his first trip to France!

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