With one day and hundreds of kilometers done Bob Flavin continues on towards France in the plucky little Skoda Fabia
I awoke in a castle, I’d hardly noticed it the day before because I was so focused on getting real food and sleep. By real food I mean not something that came out of a petrol station. The Landa Hotel was positioned on the side of the road, you’d pass it on the motorway and notice nothing. From the inside there was a real sense of grandeur with huge columns and massive oak door.
Breakfast was the usual continental affair of bread and unrecognisable sausage so I had eggs. I needed something to keep me going because this was going to be another eight or so hour drive to get to the border and La Rochelle some 630kms.
I packed up my stuff into the boot, which is a decent size and set the navigation. Driving out the gate things got confusing, there’s often lots of junctions in Spain, loads of roads going every which way and if you take the wrong one you could be hours trying to get back.
I drove slowly, carefully navigating the twists and roundabouts to get me on the right road. Coming out of Burgos you take the E5 towards San Sebastian and the Northern most coastline of Spain.
It wasn’t long before I left the somewhat flat area of Burgos and entered into the more mountainous region of Miranda de Ebro, I’d already clocked up over 100kms thanks to my egg and coffee fuelled drive.
The wet conditions and narrow roads around the entry point to France made driving very difficult
The little Fabia had become home, I had maps, cameras, wrappers and water bottles all over the place. It was a mess but I know where everything was and what it was for. I had brought a back up sat nav which is my 10 year old Garmin 265w which never missed a turn and cost me nothing on data.
It didn’t take long to clock up some more toll bridges with a rather grumpy man who told me that I needed a ticket to get though, when I told him that I couldn’t find it I was charged €30.30 for the privilege of passing though. A costly mistake that I wouldn’t repeat or I’d be broke before reaching France.
There comes the point which I think is a bit like a runners wall, you hit it and the car becomes like a fish tank and you have to get out. I pulled into the next service station which turned out to be decent with clean toilets and coffee on tap.
It’s times like these where you need to sit down and take a break, lots of people get the coffee and head back to the car but I just sat inside and rested. I was nearly 200kms in from the day and the last thing I wanted was to get back into the car, but I did.
I didn’t stop again until San Sebastian which is a lovely coastal town that’s really worth a visit, things aren’t all that expensive there despite being so close to the French border. I didn’t want to hang around because there was a lot of traffic on the roads and to make matters worse it was lashing down with rain.
I had passed a passenger bus on fire along with three collisions so it was time for some steady driving so I took an extra break.
Pulling into a service stop I bought a slice of fresh Pizza for €1.50 and a litre of water for 0.48c and that was lunch for under two quid!
Back in the car I set off for the border crossing.
Tomorrow find out why Bob was stopped by the French Police