All good things have to come to an end and after having spent 5 lovely weeks in Spain it was time to say goodbye to the sunshine and head for the cold at home.
We planned our route home so that we could pop in and visit Jane’s cousins Janice and William, and Williams wife Selina, who have all recently moved to the Spanish town of Pego, which is not far from Valencia. It was great to catch up with them all and to see their lovely new home. It was also great to have local guides who could show us around the area and take us to the best restaurants!
After a great family catch-up it was time for us to head up north to Santander so that we could catch the ferry home. It took me by surprise how quickly the weather changed as we turned inland and it wasn’t long before we found ourselves surrounded by snow as we were climbing to Teruel, the high spot of our journey back. I found this slightly disconcerting as I had never towed in the snow before, but thank goodness the roads were kept clear and there were plenty of snow ploughs on hand. We managed to get to our overnight stop in Zaragoza without too much trouble!
When we arrived in Zaragoza the skies were clear but it was bloody cold. We stopped in the middle of the city in a municipal campsite, I think we need to return here and explore a bit further……but when it’s warmer!
After a long 12 hour journey we eventually made it to Santander. It shouldn’t have taken us that long but we had a few problems finding a campsite, the one we had originally planned to stay at turned out to be too high in the hills and with snow forecast we both thought it better that we miss this one out and get closer to the city. Our next choice turned out to have closed several years earlier…..which we only found out when we got there! Our next option was a grass pitch on an exposed headland which we had visited previously, and as by this time the wind was getting up to gale force so we thought this wouldn’t be a good idea. We were beginning to worry that we might not be able to find a safe place with power to spend our last night in Spain………but Jane turned up trumps after a furious bit of Googling….. and we got the last space (in the car park) on a site just out of town. We both slept well that night!
The next morning we could see from our window that the see was looking a bit rough which didn’t bode well for our 30 hour crossing to Portsmouth that afternoon, the vast majority of the journey being across the Bay of Biscay…………
We arrived at the port early at midday for our 3.30pm sailing. Normally arriving that early means that you can get on board pretty quickly and are you able to enjoy a meal before the ship sets sail………. on this occasion that didn’t happen. I think with all the extra checks that COVID has brought to us the check-in took us much longer, with many vehicle being turned away. It also didn’t help that we had bikes on our roof making us just that fraction too tall to get on the higher decks so we were one of the last cars to be boarded as we had to go on the bottom deck…………We had been sat in the car in the cold for nearly 3 hours by now, only moving a couple of car lengths at a time, stop start, stop start, so when we finally got the signal for us to get on board…….disaster….. we had a flat battery……..panic…….we were now the last car on the dock……what to do? Luckily we managed to get a jump start from a P&O van………Thank god!!!!!
As for the crossing, it was a bit rough but after a good meal of Beef Bourgignon and chips, accompanied with a few G&Ts, we managed to ride out the storm…….In fact the only problem we had was the mayonnaise incident……but that’s another story!