2015/16. ADVENTURE BEFORE DEMENTIA - End August 2015 - travel blog

THURS 23rd

We left Col D via the Urrunge road, getting on to the main route along the north of Spain into France, which we know is always a very busy one. Lots of heavy lorries and lots of heavy industry here from the border to Bilbao. Not a pleasant ride but we got to ZARAUTZ for an early lunch in Eroski car park Aire. Roy shopped while I got lunch ready then we walked down to the seafront where I'd holidayed 50 years ago with mum, dad and friend Carol. Everywhere Roy and I have been, if it's been somewhere either of us has been years ago, has been unrecognizable. Not so at Zarautz, the front is unchanged except all the hotels have been refurbished/modernised, but basically the same.The town has extended behind, but the hotel is still there with bars and restaurants underneath, a wide promenade running the length of the bay, with colourful striped changing tents (instead of beach huts) lining the back of the beach under the wall of the prom. Dogs not allowed so I went to take some photos while Roy stayed with Blue.

Walked back to the Lady, very hot again today, but I had my new hat on, and there was a good breeze, so we were comfy. Off again, along the roads along the coast, very winding, potentially treacherous, as all the lorries seem to think they can go as fast as on a straight road, as far as Deba, then inland towards Vitoria Gasteiz again. This road was a nightmare, heavy traffic, huge lorries, winding single carriageway, poor looking towns in need of coats of paint at the least, at best pulling down, disused factories by the do@zen, heavy industry still the main focus, but obviously struggling. In between the towns were often beautiful glimpses of towering mountains, and high concrete over- passes of the toll roads. As we got closer to Vitoria the countryside opened up, the road became a smooth dual carriageway, thank goodness, it's been a very bumpy day; I was worried the car would come off it's rails again, but Roy was reassuring me it wouldn't happen again. The above-cab bed that we don't use, except for storage of light items, has come down several times this week. Today was the most dangerous yet, we had to stop in a town street, put hazards on, Roy had to extricate himself from the squashed driving position and get out under the bed to be able to push it back up while I held it up with both arms strained above my head...we must take this up with the factory when we go in September, there's obviously something amiss when it happens so often on bumpy roads.

Passed Vitoria and heading south west on the main road to Miranda before turning north to VILLANANE to the campsite, at 6.30pm

After a good 3/4 hour of Roy and the owner discussing how to accommodate us, I'd prepared a meal, fed Blue, sorted a load of washing for tomorrow and caught up with this. Getting onto a pitch was not easy, but Roy worked his usual magic and by 8pm we were sat down to our meal. Then popped down to reception to sample the bar and explore. Had wonderful news that Billie has been accepted straight into the second year of the Uni course she wants, so that was a fabulous way to end the day.


Had a lie in, and a lazy morning really. Did the washing, (really cheap here) and found the lovely swimming pool, heated, indoor, with a garden, lots of sunbeds; there's also plenty for the kids to do here, and dog walks galore. Made a cake with artificial sugar for my birthday, but it was so horrid it went in the bin! If I get up early I'll make another proper one tomorrow, sod the sugar for once!

It seems an excellent site, we'll wait to see what it's like over the weekend, it's a VERY definite Spanish site, notices are in Spanish and Basque, nothing in any other language. The weekenders are starting to trickle in; happy families are great neighbours, excessively noisy happy families at midnight aren't!

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