The Journey Out

Trip Start Dec 05, 2011
Trip End Feb 23, 2012

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Flag of France  , Aquitaine,
Monday, December 5, 2011

Tuesday 6th December
Day One: Sailing out; the journey begins.
A sign of the times; due to Sea France going into administration we were put on a DFDS ship sailing an hour earlier at 7a.m. but to Dunkirque instead of Calais, making the journey about thirty miles longer; however the sun was shining and the crossing not too rough.
We expected to arrive at our first destination near Nantes around 4p.m; sorry 6p.m. as I forgot about the time change; and the drive was mostly toll roads as we wanted to do as much of the journey as possible before the light failed. We do not intend to do much sight seeing on the journey down to Portugal as we are coming back in June to explore the Atlantic coastline and particularly Nantes; which if Kay remembers correctly from 15 years ago when she came here last; is a fascinating town steeped in history.
It is the furthest south we have travelled before by road so it should be interesting. Second stop will be St. Jean de-Luz close to the Spanish border and the Pyrennes Atlantiques. Then two stops in Spain staying longer in Caceres for two nights as it is appparently an interesting medieval city.
Our luck hasn't held with the weather; after promising blue skies it gradually got darker and darker and then bucketed down and carried on raining till twilight, by then we were still on the road and with our extra journey it was an eight hour drive with hardly any stops, just to fill up and swop drivers. About 400 miles, but we have got the worst of the journey over with and the next legs should be shorter. But on a positive note all journeys have some positives; we saw herons and hawks galore and some unusual roundabouts!! We've seen the concrete cows at Milton Keynes but here they had plastic dappled greys and cows on the islands; quite attractive actually, makes a change from a sea of gaudy multi-coloured begonias. The trees were heavily laden with mistletoe why do they always pick the most spindly trees to be their host?
What with singing our heads off to everything from dated Lionel Richie albums to Christmas Carols we managed the journey without too much stress.

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