Back to Spain

Trip Start Apr 28, 2010
Trip End Jul 08, 2010

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Where I stayed
Camping Boltana

Flag of Spain  , Aragón,
Friday, May 21, 2010

Arette is such a lovely place it was a shame to leave. As it turns out we didn't leave as quickly as we thought we would - we managed to get ourselves hopelessly confused (with some help from our demented GPS's) and several hours later were still pretty close to where we'd set off from.

We stopped for lunch at Oloron Ste-Marie. We wanted a road map of the Pyrenees but the local government office closes at lunch for a very leisurely break, so that gave us an opportunity to look around. We had a feed in a little place whose balcony actually hangs over the river next to the bridge - a pretty cool place to eat. Theres a couple of pictures of the town on this page. Or, there will be later. It's taking us a while to catch up so please keep checking out for progress.

The previous entry for Arette (20/5/2010) has some extra on-bike video now, as of Monday night 24/5 Spanish time (Tuesday morning in Aus). Di has done a rather excellent job of making up an edit of several different parts of the journey, so please go back and have a look. Motorcycle paradise. Serious cyclist's paradise too.

Perfect warm-to-hot weather for motorcycling. We'll be putting up some still photos and some video of the journey from Arette to Boltano. Soon. It's surprising to us that there's no border controls between France and Spain, it must be one of the benefits of the EU. We've noticed in our crossings back and forwards that the villages' architecture changes a lot and the language on the road signs too - apart from that there's no actual information that we've crossed from one country to another until we stop and communicate.

The Pyrenees National Park will be on the video for this page, which we'll load over the next day or so. Back up to the snow line but slightly bizarrely, in very warm weather.

We hit Boltana in Spain hot and tired and checked into the camping ground. It's a real professional operation with free Wi-Fi, a cheap and cheerful cafe/restaurant, and the cabin we booked into was great - everything worked and was sparkly clean. We wanted a tent site to get our new tent experience happening but it was a pretty busy place - we were lucky to get in at all. A gigantic coach full of Swiss high school students and their knackered looking teachers pulled in, and there were campers from Belgium, France, Germany, Spain of course - it's mountainous country and some of the campers looked like they were there for some serious outdoor adventuring. Anyway it turns out we've bought the hottest most efficient sleeping bags in the entire history of seriously efficient sleeping bags - they're mirror images so they zip together for cozy togetherness but you'd want to be camping on a glacier to have them done up.

Boltana's a bit hot and dusty, we thought it might be like the Spanish outback - like the Flinders Ranges maybe. Dave had some real friendly assistance from a lady working in a petrol station deli in Ainsla (next door to Boltana ) - he couldn't find a supermarket so he hit this store and mangled the pround and ancient Spanish language for a minute or so in the hope of buying tea, coffee, milk etc for our night in our cabin. They only had big family bags of sugar so this lady, unasked, opened a bag up and tipped a handful into a cup for us, sealed it with tissue paper and a rubber band so Dave could transport it back on the bike, and didn't charge for it either. So thank you unknown lady with the number 1 buzz-cut, you're very kind.

We can recommend Camping Boltana. And the kindness and good humour we keep encountering from various French and Spanish strangers.

We absolutely must buy new GPs's before our existing units direct us off a cliff in an amusing but fatal manner. They've seriously misdirected us again since leaving Boltana. For all the talk about Spain being financially buggered by the economic downturn, the evidence is they're a happening place with a shitload of shiny new roads in completely different places from their old roads.
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