Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

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Pyrenees Day 1 - 2: Arriba!

I'd never been to Spain before, but the trip was shaping up nicely before we even left the UK. No four A.M. ferry departure from Portsmouth to emerge on French shores bleary and stiff a few hours later; instead, a leisurely ride down to Plymouth on which I introduced myself to those of the party I hadn't met before by missing a junction and going on a ten-minute side trip before managing to turn round in a farm track and locate the meeting point at Exeter services with the help of some friendly Devon bikers.

It was nice to settle down on the boat, leave bulky biker gear in the cabins, have a drink over dinner and enjoy the floor show before turning in. Ferry cabins are small, windowless and in a state of constant vibration; I wasn't expecting to sleep much, but in fact managed quite nicely until my bunkmate decided to switch to Continental time at what I still considered to be very much a quarter to seven in the morning.

Having rolled off the ferry we found our way to the motorway. And what a motorway it was - stunning views of mountains, rolling countryside, the sea and several enormous birds of prey I optimistically identified as condors. The service station provided a late lunch of tortilla - a thick Spanish omelette with potato, cheese and ham, certainly a cut above yer Little Chef.

We spent some time rattling around Pamplona looking for the hotel, our slow convoy of twelve getting in the way of the local bikers zapping about. But the chap who stopped next to me at the lights and pointed questioningly at the GB plates exchanged a cheery thumbs-up as we pulled away.

After arriving, unloading and showering we set out to find some dinner. I struggled to think what one could drink in Spain if one didn't like beer, and found the answer in my phrasebook: sangria, of course! The waiter informed me it only came in pitchers, but I soon found enough volunteers to share one.

This was Basque country, and the bizarre words spotted on signs were a delight to the linguist's heart. After dinner I insisted on a visit to nearby Bar Txoca on the grounds that I might never again drink at a place whose name began in TX. They were playing the Doors' greatest hits and didn't stop pouring neat spirits into your glass until you specifically asked them to stop.

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Tags: bikes, hols, scooters

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