Here we are once again, sitting in a line of motorhomes at the Port of Bilbao. There are lovely smells of cooking wafting about as evening meals get going; we aren’t the only ones who checked in for the ferry the night before. It’s a good way to save us the stress of rushing here in the early morning traffic – and let’s face it, if anyone’s going to miss the ferry due to traffic problems, it would be us.
It’s been a strange few end-of-the-trip days. The weather has closed in a bit with clouds and drizzle here in the north of Spain so we haven’t been able to sit out much or do a lot of exploring by bike or on foot. We’ve made small hops along the coast to Bilbao, stopping in quiet seaside towns.
Lekeitio was probably the most interesting place we’ve seen in the last day or two – it’s a harbour town with a marina surrounded by colourful tenement buildings with washing or Spanish flags hanging out of the windows and fluttering in the sea-breeze. They had the world’s tiniest zoo, and a loud rock band belting out tunes for late night revellers most of Saturday night in the town square. A fairly typical heavy-rock band with vocals, drums, lead & rhythm guitars, bass and accordion. Hang on – accordion?? They were pretty good to be fair.
On Sunday morning we strolled into town for a jackets-and-jumpers-on warming coffee, and all the previous night’s detritus had already been cleaned up. In fact the square was buzzing again with the sound of children. Many, many children. A running track had been made up with cones for the local school’s sports day! It was a delight to see the enthusiasm of the kids as they threw themselves into the races.
So at the end of another long trip, what have we learned?
A new, modern leisure battery fitted before we left was a great call. We really haven’t had to find an electric hook-up the whole time we’ve been away; Vince’s old battery must have been very tired. This one rarely drops below 95% despite our fixation with our Game of Thrones box set!
One of us – ahem – has learned that tender feet need factor 50 sunscreen if you’re on the beach all afternoon…
We’ve learned not to over-plan, so we don’t get stressed if we’re not in a particular place on a particular day, and that if we like somewhere – well why not stay a day or two longer?
This trip we’ve enjoyed lots of podcasts – they’re so easy to download and play back through Vince’s speakers on the more boring drives. But we’re so middle-class I’d be embarrassed to say which ones. Let’s just say there’s lots of Radio 4 stuff in there.
We’ve met some lovely travellers on the way round – you know who you are – and on this trip our relatively new Instagram account has made us many new friends. Follow us on @vincentvan_gone for up-to-the minute malarkey.
We’ve learned that we’re not always wanted in the busy coastal resorts, but as a result we found that the inland towns and villages make wandering Vinces very welcome with free services and lots to see and do.
Where next? And when? We don’t know, and we don’t know! We have our first grandchild on the way – (our older daughter is relieved it’s a girl or she’d definitely have had to name him Vince) and our youngest has a wedding to plan for 2020. Gill has offers of supply teaching, and I’ll be weeding and strimming the summer away at Mossyard Caravan Park. Please come and see us any time by the way, at mossyard.co.uk
We’re lucky enough to have moved to a beautiful part of Scotland so we hope there’ll be frequent short breaks with the big fella and (don’t tell Gill) but I suspect we might get away for a three or four weeker in October or November.
Meantime, as always – thank you for coming along with us for the last 4500 miles. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it wouldn’t be the same without you. In the unlikely event that you find yourself missing our updates, just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org – I love to chat 😉 No, really!