Along the coast of Spain
12.10.2012 - 13.10.2012 26 °C
Strange as it may seem I didn't want to leave the hotel room this morning. Maybe it was because it was so nice, maybe because I had gotten used to sitting in them whilst ill, or maybe because I knew it would be our last day in Europe on the bike.
As I swung open the curtains we were greeted with yet another gorgeous sunny day outside. It was around 25 degrees, bright sunshine and blue skies. We had been so lucky on the trip so far for this time of the year. I remember looking at the weather forecast about a week before we left and the whole of western Europe showed nothing but rain. We had a 'do we or don't we' conversation and inevitably the explorer in us said sod it lets go anyway. Yet more proof that you should always do the crazy things in life because ultimately you will be rewarded in some way.
Being the last day we opted for a buffet breakfast in the restaurant and it was lovely. Lot's of fresh fruit including figs and giant grapes, freshly squeezed juice and fabulous coffee and croissants. A great start to the day!
The bike was packed for its last day in Spain and we rode off out of town and towards the coast. We had decided as we were not a million miles from Bilbao (and the ferry port) that today we would meander around the coastal roads taking in as much of the scenery as we could and maybe sit on a beach for a bit.
The roads were windy and tree lined with forest's of green pine trees rising up on either side of us, it was more like riding in the Rocky Mountains than a coastal road in Spain!
We rolled through a few different lovely little villages and quaint little fishing ports
before finding a sign that led us to a busy looking beach. The bike was parked up and as we watched a man and his dog performing synchronised swimming in the water just off of the quayside Jayne swore she had heard a loud buzzer and lots of cheering. It seemed to be coming from over the rocks and on the other side of the beach so we found a way round and as more people came into view we realised it was a surfing contest!
The waves were pretty massive and the contestants were of a good standard as they paddled like mad to catch a biggy and then quickly jumped up and carved their way along the edge of the wave, twisting and turning before either it ran out of steam or rolled over them like a giant hand clawing them into the sea.
There was also a boat of sorts, well more like a giant float actually with 7 guys in wetsuits knelt on board who would also paddle out as far as they dare to try and catch a big wave. Then clinging on for dear life while the sea hurried them back towards land before tossing them aside like a giant wafer biscuit that it had decided wasn't very tasty!
It was fun to sit in the sun for an hour or so, listening to the sound of a pumping house track from the DJ stand while seeing the small black specs getting tossed this way and that.
Time to move on though and another rocky mountain style road took us eventually past a roadhouse eatery that looked busy.
Inside the guy hustled us into the restaurant as the kitchen was about to close and tempted us with the 'local dish'. I should know better than taking waiters recommendations as it is usually either the most expensive on the menu or the stuff that's left over in the kitchen that needs gotten rid of, but we threw caution to the wind and ordered the 'bean dish' as it had been explained.
It was indeed a beany dish as he dropped a large bowl of a mixed bean substance into the centre of the table and then returned with a plate of beef, black pudding and cabbage.
The bean concoction (although looking like cans of re-fried beans emptied into a bowl) was actually quite tasty so we mopped it up with bread and shovelled it in until we were stuffed.
A quick look at our watches and a glance at the map revealed that it was about time to head to the port as we were unsure where the ferry was leaving from and wanted plenty of time to find it.
We jumped on the nearest motorway and followed the signs to the port. It seemed to take us forever and it was further than expected but we arrived in plenty of time and there were already about 30 bikers in the queue in front of us.
It was the strangest gaggle of bikers I had ever seen! There was a complete mixture from young guys on race bikes wrapped up in skin tight leathers all the colours of the rainbow to fat balding old men straddled across their Harley's glistening with chrome and adorned with leather and studs.
A ferry has some sort of strange magic that brings them all together, wondering up and down the rows of bikes giving complimentary glances and nods and stopping to chat as if they were old friends.
We waited for about an hour while they loaded up the lorries and a few section of cars before they eventually let us on. Our precession of wild colours and sounds made it's way down the ramp, onto the boat and then down another ramp into a small holding area where orange boiler suited men pointed out where to park up. They packed us in pretty tight with barely enough room to dismount either side of the bike without putting your foot on another persons bike. A very different story to the lone bike in a huge bay on the ferry out a few weeks ago!
We took as much as we needed off the bike and headed up the stairs to the rooms. Room no. 8104 was easy to find and opening the door it was again a very reasonable room.
It didn't have the giant 'lie in' port hole or double bed of the previous one, but was around the same size and the bathroom seemed bigger. No TV though so it was going to be a loooong trip.
The ferry started moving and once out of the port it was fairly rough sea's. You couldn't walk straight, in fact trying just to stand sometimes was amusing. Jayne even decided to play the 'Balance on one leg and see how long before you fall over' game for a while, but it got boring pretty quick.
Jayne begged some glasses of ice from the bar and we popped open a bottle of the Rose wine she had won in an attempt to perhaps balance out the swaying of the boat.
It didn't work and slightly hungry and dizzy we went for an explore around the boat. Top deck we had a splendid view of the land disappearing from view and found the kennels and strangely a fast food type bar next to them. I ordered a burger, Jayne some pasta and we wobbled our way back to the room.
I popped the top off my meal to reveal a nice looking burger with hash browns as a bun, but what was that on the salad. I saw movement I swear!
Two tiny eyes on sticks stuck up from the the salad and a snail started to make it's way over the leaves! GROSS!!
Jayne took it back and they appeared as shocked as we had been. They explained all the leafs come from bagged pre-packaged salads and demonstrated opening a new bag and putting fresh leafs onto another burger plate. Oh well, I guess it can happen!?
The food was a bit bland and I think I was put off by the movement in the last one but we both left quite a lot of our respective meals and laid down to play iphone games.
The sea got silly rough and laying in bed it reminded me of being in a Vietnames railway carriage, with the familiar shunting backwards and forwards and trying not to fall off of a shelf while sleeping!
Eventually I got to sleep, Jayne was awake longer, chuckling to herself as she was tossed from one side of the bed to the other.