It’s a strange thing having a few unexpected extra days away as a result of those Brittany Ferries problems. We’re a little directionless and kind of kicking our heels at the moment; having covered lots of miles to get nearer to the ferry terminal we’re reluctant to spend yet more hours on the road.
We’ve had one lazy night over in a Zarautz campsite where we got our laundry and a big shop done, as well as enjoying the cliff-top walk down to the beach. Down was fine but we hadn’t reckoned on the exhausting set of 400 steps back up!
Unfortunately we sailed off to the campsite without realising that we were getting low on LPG. Zarautz is in a black hole for gas supplies so we’re now back at our favourite spot in San Sebastián with a newly-filled tank. This one should last all the way back to Scotland.
With so little to do, on your behalf I’ve been making a series of scientific observations in the crowded motorhome parking area, to offer you this handy impartial guide to the many nationalities of motorhomer we encounter on our travels…
The French – usually arrive arguing, argue whilst giving parking directions, bump lamp-posts, kerbs or nearby trees, usually leave arguing. If they arrive before you do – will spread chairs, tables, scooters or bicycles around to secure the spaces either side. If they arrive after you – in an otherwise empty car park will park three feet from your side-door.
The Germans – upon parking will set up a Jodrell Bank size satellite dish in the next parking space. They will use a measuring tape to park precisely in the centre of the bay. Will tut loudly at Spanish parking (see below). On a campsite they will invade the laundry, laying bags of dirty washing in strategic places to prevent allied incursions (click here for evidence). They will barbecue half a cow nightly beside their van regardless of weather.
The Danes – they will creep in unnoticed at 11.30pm, and will mysteriously disappear before dawn. Nobody ever sees them on the road.
The Swedes – will wish you a steely-eyed ‘Good Morning’ in perfect English. They will then make you feel extraordinarily unhealthy and out of condition by striding off for the day with rucksacks, walking poles and bright yellow cagoules on standby.
The Spanish – They will reverse their tatty old camper into any old space at 90mph & park diagonally across it. Nine children and four barking dogs will spill out of the doors before it has stopped. They will talk at the top of their voices at all times and smile indulgently as the kids scream and the dogs bark 24/7. In minutes the site will look like a scrapyard with chairs, balls, bikes, dog bowls, loungers and groups of smoking youths appearing from nowhere.
The Portuguese – see Spanish but add more dogs.
The Belgians – difficult to categorise; can be extremely inconsiderate by blocking mountain views (click here for evidence) but also extremely charming and kindly shuffling their vehicles along to make space for arriving Brits (see here). More data required.
The British – Will reverse slowly and carefully into their space then make a cup of tea. They will then spend an hour with a spirit level and chocks carefully getting the van level. Will make more tea. They will close all windows and blinds – even in searing heat – before putting the TV on in case it disturbs any nearby campers. Will wait until all other campers are up and about before starting engine for departure in case anyone is still asleep. Will wave at every motorhome passing in the opposite direction, but would rather pull teeth than actually speak to anyone once parked. Will make more tea. Will respond “Good Lord, no – didn’t hear a thing…” When asked by Spaniards if their kids screaming until 1am and their dogs barking until 5am kept them awake at all.
So there we have it, your own cut-out-and-keep guide in case you decide to follow in our footsteps. You can tell we don’t have enough to do, can’t you? 😀
I’m sure we’ll find something to chat about next time, as our unexpected extra days continue and we head for Bilbao and the ferry home.
Hang on…. Was that my phone….?