Well, I was planning to tell the story of the first few days, as normal, with words and pictures. However, the connection we are on at the moment is too slow to upload photos so I’m afraid words will have to do.
Sorry in advance, dear readers, if this surfeit of scribble becomes boring before the end,but here goes.
So, the big day has finally arrived and at 6.30am, Jayney and I set off for Plymouth ferryport for the crossing over to Northern France. An hour and a half later, we were warming our seats in the onboard café awaiting the 6hour crossing to Roscoff. As we left Plymouth Sound, Jayney had a text to say that her parents were waiting on Plymouth Hoe to see us off. We waved, of course, but it was difficult to see features from a mile away.
The ferry was very quiet, one of the advantages of off-season travel, so queues at the checkouts were non-existent. Plenty of room on the sun-decks too.
On leaving the ferry at Roscoff, a border guard asked where we were going.’ No idea’ would have seemed like an overly glib answer so I mumbled something about Spain and Portugal and we were on our way. We took the road south from Roscoff through Morlaix and then on down to L’Orient, on the south coast of Brittany. After our disgustingly early start to the day , we were both feeling enough was enough, so around 6ish we pitched up at Port Louis, just across the estuary from L’Orient. We were right by the waters edge, but the biting north wind kept us huddled in the warm and off the streets.
Next morning, the sun rose and swept away the overnight chill. After breakfast, and before setting off again, we took a walk around Port Louis and found a lovely old, very French, seaside town. We bought a Baguette just like one of the locals. If it had been warmer we would have stayed longer but with the weather forecast for the north quite bad, we wanted to get further south before settling into a more relaxed way of living. So once more we were heading South, firstly on some small ‘D’ roads, then a blast down the motorway to Nantes. We then cut across to the coast and stopped at La Plaine sur Mer. After hitting the supermarket, and feasting on Brie and Olives, we decided to hit the town. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find it, and after an hour of walking through parks and backstreets, we gave it up as the night once more turned unseasonably cold.
That night, the rain started and just didn’t stop. We travelled all the next day through a continuous downpour and by days end, had reached the small town of Pons. It was too wet and miserable to venture out so we ate,slept and felt much better the next day. Our mood may have improved by the next morning, but the weather certainly hadn’t, and the heavy showers which greeted the dawn, soon joined hands to form one, long torrent. Again it seemed pointless doing anything but travel, so onward we went, ever south, in the vain search for some sun. The night saw us set up in Laruns, in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Lovely little town, with spectacular mountain scenery all around. A window in the weather allowed us a brief walk and a visit to a local bar before bed.
By the morning, it was raining again and we set off to cross the Pyrenees through the Col de Pourtalet and cross into Spain. The rain stopped, but only because it turned to driving snow. By the time we reached the border there was several centimetres all around but the road was mercifully clear. However, on dropping down on the Spanish side, the weather cleared and we headed for Barcelona in warm sunshine….Yippee!!!