The scenery in the foothills of the Pyres as we left Spain, turning North at Pamplona was just lovely, very green and pastoral, with views of higher peaks in the distance. We arrived in St Jean de Luz, a lovely seaside resort in a protected cove on the Bay of Biscay, between San Sebastian and Biarritz, in heavy rain with some thunder for good measure. Fortunately, the skies cleared enough for an enjoyable early evening ride along the promenade and through the narrow streets. Our pitch at the camp-site looked right out over the sea; the breaking waves proved not to be the most soothing lullaby though!
On Sunday we managed our longest bike ride of the trip, at just over 50 miles. The route took us up the coast and through the large, well to do, resort of Biarritz then along the banks of the river Adour to the pleasant town of Bayonne. Turning inland, things got quite hilly through the most stunning countryside, filled with buttercup strewn meadows and wooded hills resplendent in every shade of green in the palette. New life abounded with gambolling lambs and goat kids, sturdy little calves, several foals and even a tiny baby donkey, all knock-kneed and wobbly aiming for its first feed from Mum. The scenery was very reminiscent of the Lake District fells – just lovely.
With just the length of France to drive, a little under 600 miles, a two stage strategy was employed. Leaving early this morning, we arrived a few miles east of Nantes, to spend our last night of the trip a stone’s throw from the Loire River on a campsite next to a lake in the heart of yet another region famous for its wine. Unlike the in the Rioja region of Spain, the vines here are definitely sprouting leaves. We arrived in time for an early evening 26 mile ride to the river, along its North bank and then back through lanes and a series of pretty little villages. We are well placed to complete the circa 200 miles to Roscoff in time to catch the 3pm sailing to Plymouth tomorrow.
So all in, once back in Kingskerswell on Tuesday evening we will have driven 3,200 miles, with the van a joy to drive and well up to the job; and after spending 41 nights in her confines we are still speaking to one another! In addition we will have cycled over 930 miles so have had an opportunity to explore as we went. All in all it has been a thoroughly successful and enjoyable trip, with so much of Spain as yet unseen, we will definitely be back.