Week 23: Sussex to Spain

Having had a lovely two weeks at and around our home and families, we decided to head for Spain and the warmer and hopefully a sunnier climate. We said our goodbyes and set off to the tunnel, stopping for the night at the Caravan and Motorhome Club Site – Black Horse Farm at Densole, Kent. We knew there was a pub over the road, and it would save us having to cook and wash up (more importantly) as we were setting out early (for us)! But in true, Three go Travelling fashion, they were cash only and we didn’t have cash. If the truth be told, we should have been aware of this possibility as, the last time we stayed there, their WiFi was dodgy and the card readers intermittent!

Tuesday morning we set off to the tunnel and were waved through, there were no dramas this time and we treated ourselves to a LEON Breakfast Box – yummy! Once through the tunnel, we headed south west and on towards Rouen and on then on to Marcilly-sur-Eure, where we were going to stop for the night. We arrived in France the sun was shinning and as we headed south west the fog rolled in and stayed, getting quite thick in places.

The campsite at Marcilly-sur-Eure, was surrounded by woods and in the fog looked very fairy-tale like. Each area was arranged in a circle with a shower/toilet block in the centre. From here, we set off towards Poitiers and our next stop for the night. The fog did eventually lift as we headed further south but again in places it was very thick. The campsite we chose to stay at was in Saint-Georges-Lés-Baillargeaux overlooking the Futuroscope site. There had been so much rain in this part of France, that we were asked to park on the roadway between the pitches rather than on the pitches – its not just the UK which is wet!

The next morning we headed off to Oradour-sur-Glane. A place we’d wanted to visit for a few years, the last time we were close by, the weather was too hot (and our camper too small) to leave Albi, but this time the weather (and the MoHo) were perfect – its like leaving him at home, he has so much space to roam and all his comforts.

Oradur-sur-Glane was totally destroyed on 10th June 1944, in response to the D-Day Landings, by the Nazis. The inhabitants were rounded up and the men, women and children, were shot and set on fire along with the village. There were six people who survived. President de Gaulle, ordered that the village was to remain as a memorial to those who died. https://www.oradour.info/

We found it a poignant and fitting memorial and although ageing, it is worth a visit. The cars and metal furniture along with the street names and the buildings are identified by profession and owner. It is free to enter, and despite arriving on a National Strike Day, still open.

From here, we found a remarkable little campsite in Exideuil-sur-Vienne Camping de La Rivière http://www.campingdelariviere.com/en/welcome/ . It’s an ideal spot if travelling to or from Spain. Right next to a river and with a restaurant in the summer.

Heading on towards Spain, and with the National Strike on a second day and the Lorry Drivers threatening to blockade the roads on Saturday, we made a dash for the border, heading on the Autoroute – we fully intend to travel the west coast when the weather is warmer and sites are open! We were stuck in traffic at Bordeaux on the Ring Road, but Ditsy Daisy Sat Nav, did us proud (for once) and found us an alternative and quicker route. As we approached Bayonne, the weather got better and better, the sun was shining and the dash thermometer was reading 15°C – positively scorchio!

The stop for the night was at Camping Larrouleta, in Urrugne, France. It is a large site with a lake and great facilities, including an open, indoor swimming pool. We felt so good, being able to open the windows and doors and feel the warmth of the sun, giving the lovely Nortia a great airing, too. Being in the foothills of the Pyrenees, however, when the sun disappeared behind the mountain it did get cooler, but still not as low as we had the previous week at the Gatwick Club Site, where it had been -2°C! There were a few Spanish people here for a long weekend. We later found out Friday was Constitution Day in Spain, marking it’s Referendum to becoming a Constitutional Monarchy and Democracy and Monday being the Immaculate Conception Day Holiday. Spain has a lot of Public Holidays – national and/or Regional! Another Note to self moment!

We went over the Spanish Border (only realised by the change in Police Name and uniform) in the middle of the river according to Ditsy Daisy Sat Nav, and headed to Pamplona, over the mountains and into the historic town. We were still enjoying the sun, so headed back to the coast and Zarauz, and Gran Camping Zarautz, with spectacular view of the Atlantic and the longest beach in Spanish Basque Country. As the sun set the lights came on in the village below, and the boats in the bay and beyond in the Bay of Biscay, along with the three visible lighthouses from our camping pitch, were lovely.

Heading off on Sunday, we picked up the Camina de Santiago route (a popular Pilgrimage Trail, from Donostia-San Sebastiàn to Santiago de Campostela). It started to rain as we set off, a bit of a shock, after the sun, but we’re on the north coast, along the Bay of Biscay! We travelled along through Bilbao and Loredo, along the Costa Verde. Despite the rain, the sea was full of surfers, the wind and the waves looked spectacular (and cold). We stopped for the night at a campsite, but were thankful for our on-board facilities as those on offer, weren’t up to much! That night, the wind picked up off the sea and pummelled us all night, I might have slept more if I hadn’t convinced myself we were going to blow over. (Luckily, I didn’t see a picture posted online about some Motorhomes in Croatia, which had done just that)!

We’re heading off again in the morning, just not quite decided whereto! As always thank you for reading our post. We’re going to try to be more on time on this part of our trip, so fingers crossed you get to read a regular post! We’ll be back next week with an update….

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