So well done all (any?) of you still reading our blog! If you’re wondering what happened to Amsterdam, we gave up as the weather was awful. A trip for another time. When we returned to the UK, we were busy catching up with family and friends, interspersed with house sits in Ipswich, Devon, London and Norwich! In amongst this we had the General Election and the emotional fall out from that. Personally I don’t know where the country will be heading, but we may decide not to take that journey with it. Our focus now is to revisit Galicia to see if we can make it – and Europe – our home.
So at 08:45am on Saturday the 4th January, we set sail with our motorhome and car, from Portsmouth to Santander with a plan to do a couple of short stops in Cantabria and Asturias before crossing into Galicia. Our first real stop will be a campsite near the Portuguese border at A Guarda where we can use our van as a base and the car which will give us more flexibility to search the area.
The ferry took 28 hours and luckily the crossing was relatively smooth. But not smooth enough for me it seemed as I felt decidedly queazy most of the time whereas Eric was bright eyed and bushy tailed the whole time! Still we made it intact arriving at Santander at 2:15pm on the 5th January.
With Eric driving the van and me following in our car, we made the 40 minute journey to our first camping site in Cóbreces.
The weather was mild and sunny and a very welcome relief. What we hadn’t realised though, is the following day, 6th January is a big holiday in Spain with everything closed. Luckily we found out about this just after we arrived at the campsite so were able to get to a supermarket to do a fresh food shop. If we hadn’t, we would have only had our emergency supply of tinned soup to eat…
A short word about the Spanish holiday – Epiphany. It is virtually Spain’s second Christmas and where gifts are exchanged just as the three Wise Men brought gifts to the baby Jesus. The celebration is therefore more commonly called ‘The festival of the Three Royal Magi’. The nearest sized village Santillana del Mar had a big parade judging by the number of precariously parked cars along the road, and a big firework display which was, thankfully, over by 10pm.
We must remember this for next year so we can join the celebrations….
Our next stop was an overnight camper stop in a town called Navia. Basically a designated area in a car park with fresh water and grey water facilities. We had a couple of hours before it got dark so we wandered around a little. It seemed a nice enough little town…..
So on our third day, Wednesday, we set off for our longer term stop in A Guarda on the southern Galician border to Portugal. It was an interesting journey mainly because we hadn’t planned to go to A Guarda quite yet. We had planned to stop a while near Ferrol and explore a little there. Unfortunately the wonderful mild sunny weather couldn’t cope with the crossing of the Sierra de Faladoira mountain range near As Pontes, so it left us behind whilst we entered its replacement – thick fog. Which continued until we arrived at Ferrol to the camping area that was closed because of roadworks – they were digging up the road outside the entrance gate. So it was at this point we decided to continue our journey to A Guarda.
The journey having already started to go downhill, continued its decline. We ended up on the toll road which was stop/start through A Coruña down past Pontevedra. An unexpected expense which thankfully, only cost up £42 in total for both vehicles. By then we were both rather frazzled but nonetheless made it to our destination in a rather exhausted state. We’d been on the road for 7 hours, pretty much non stop. The upside was that by the time we reached Pontevedra the fog had cleared and the sun rejoined us on our journey south.
The campsite is in a lovely location next to the river Miño which forms the border to Portugal. At night we can see the twinkling lights of Vilar de Mouros just opposite us across the river. This is a picture of it, I know it could be anywhere, but it is actually a view of Portugal, really it is!!
We are planning to take things easy here as we explore the local area and will post an update soon.