Week 14 & 15. On into Spain.

We were quite sad to leave Le Cormier and had the weather been better would probably have stayed another few days at least but as it was all we were getting was not suntanned but rusty.

Leaving Le Cormier we followed Mikes instructions carefully, there were two villages that were a little narrow but then the road was good all the way to Pons and our next site. The first “narrow” village we were through almost before we noticed. The second? Well now that was a different story.

Approaching the village of Preuilly sur Claise we started through a single track bit of road that swings right and then to the left going into the village I spied an arctic coming the other way so stopped and waited till the traffic cleared. Proceeding on we got ourselves into the single track bit and almost round the bend when I saw that at least three more arctics were committed to the one way bit from the other direction. They unfortunately weren’t in a position to back out but with nothing behind me I was: and did. We then employed our secret weapon - a pair of two way radios - and Sue walked round the bend and radioed me when there was a sufficient lull in the oncoming traffic for me to get through. Turning left in the village centre we started down a hill past a line of cars parked on the right. I was using all the remainder of the narrow road when one of the parked cars pulled out and started to drive towards me (I suppose technically she did have priority but where was I and the two or three vehicles behind me supposed to go). She finished up on the pavement and we all went past. Unfortunately more heavy lorries had arrived in front of us and although they stopped to allow us to turn right at the bottom of the hill we could not get through the narrow section of road at the exit of the village and managed to gridlock the whole shooting match. Fortunately one or two cars at the main pinch point managed to move enough for me to get by while removing only the dust on the sides of the van. Great fun.

The remainder of the journey was incident free and we arrived at our next site Moulins de la Vergne mid afternoon. Having no food we were pleased to find the site restaurant open and booked a table for later that evening. Arriving at the appointed time we were met by a lonely barman (hugging an electric radiator) and shown to our table. There was a good choice as only one other table was occupied (by the only pig ignorant Dutch couple I have ever met). The menu choices were a little limited as the restaurant was closing for the winter in a couple of days and as items were going out of stock were not being replaced. I had an almost vegetarian meal, starter Carpaccio (raw beef) main confit of duck and pudding creme brûlée. It was all delicious.

With just one full day here we decided to visit Ile d’Oleron, the second biggest island in France, the biggest being Corsica.

The island is accessed by a long, long bridge and although it has but one road running from bridge to island tip we still managed to get lost and unfortunately saw little of the island in the time we had available. The drive back to the site was however very picturesque and to top it all of we found a supermarket that was selling diesel at €1.257 (£1.08) a litre.

Up bright and early today to complete the last section of our journey through France and enter Spain. We had elected to go on the motorways and pay the tolls as keeping to the toll free routes would have almost doubled our five hour journey time and cost more in diesel than the €26.50 toll costs. The roads were all good with just the last few miles as we reached the extremities of the Pyrenees mountains becoming a bit hilly (that's good old fashioned British understatement) we were beginning to wonder about the statement in the ACSI book that our next site was “. . . high in the hills . . . many opportunities for mountain biking . . .”

As it turned out the site is just under 150m (500 feet) above sea level but it climbs in a very short distance. It is very steep. However the road is very good and to our well match car and caravan it presented no problems,  when we arrived at the site we found that the views are stunning.

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Having no provisions the sat-nav located a supermarket for us and off we went. Eroski are a large chain of supermarket, not quite on the scale of Tesco, but still big and on a Friday afternoon they were closed. “ . . . they will be open tomorrow but are closed today for a holiday . . . “ we drove around but did not find another so bought basic provisions in the site shop - thats when we found out how expensive it is.

The following day dawned bright and sunny so before shopping we had a wander along the cliffs - it is beautiful. The style of building puts us in mind of Switzerland on Sea, very strange.

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Eroskie is open today and the inside is huge, selling every thing from food to clothes to televisions but no fresh milk.

Having bought our supplies we went looking for a parking space to look around this fascinating place - Zaraultz. The whole place is packed with Spanish weekenders, there is not a parking space to be found anywhere we continue through the town and along the sea front towards the next town. The promenade continued right to the next town - quite a way, and with waves crashing over the sea wall it was wet on the road never mind the pavement.

We have been here a week now but don’t seem to have done anything or been anywhere. Sue has had an horrendous cold and spent a couple of days in bed and this morning, the day we had chosen to move on we overslept not waking up till just before 10:00am. If we had packed up and gone then it would have been too late when we arrived at the new site. Still never mind we will go tomorrow, or the next day, or even the one after that.

We popped out to the shop today and as we left the site, still on private land, two policemen were entering they looked as if they were going to stop me but lunch must have beckoned as they did not. I assumed it was that I had not put a seat belt on. On the way back from the shops we passed them going the other way, by their reaction at seeing me it was obvious they wanted a chat and I saw them turning round in my mirror. They stopped me near the top of the hill and one jabbered quick and long in totally unintelligible Basque the only thing I could understand was the seat belt clunk click action he was doing so smiling I did lots of nodding and “Si Señor” ing and after a few minutes he gave me a thumbs up and said the only thing of the encounter I understood “Adios Señor”. I “adios”ed him and fled.

Moving day today we have had enough of the rain and yesterdays bright and warm sunshine reminded us of what we are missing. We are not going far some 200 km south west to Burgos where we are told that there is a magnificent cathedral (third biggest in Spain).

We were quite excited until we arrived at the site. Hated it. Why? Don’t actually know, just hated it.

I will try to be a bit more objective in my site report.

Last Updated - Sunday 27th April 2014.             © Seve  Ghost 2014