Our loyalty to Eurotunnel swiftly waned when they charged us a hugely inflated price for our return trip from Calais to Folkestone in August 2021 just as the COVID travel restrictions eased. We reckoned that, for not too much more, we could treat ourselves to the delights of Brittany Ferries’ Portsmouth to Bilbao ferry.
We embarked late one September evening and spent the next two nights in a clean and comfortable cabin. Masks had to be worn at all times on board unless sitting down eating or drinking. As the ship slowly made its way out of Portsmouth Harbour we sipped our nightcaps at the bar overlooking the ship’s stern, watching the lights of that city slowly disappearing as we made our way across the Solent to the English Channel. The next day was an “at sea” day and we had breakfast and dinner in the restaurant, skilfully avoiding an afternoon bingo session. The following morning we disembarked in northern Spain, thoroughly refreshed and with the truck’s fuel tanks still full of diesel.
Our plan was to head to Morocco but a dispute between Spain and Morocco meant the ferry service from Algeciras to Tanger Med had been suspended. We planned to wait around in Spain for a few weeks to see if the service would be reinstated. If not we would have to go to either Sete in France or Genoa in Italy where ferries to Morocco were still running.
We spent a couple of nights near Burgos before driving up into the nearby hills where we had a lung busting walk up to the reservoir before a late Sunday lunch of lamb cutlets. Next stop would be the Rioja wine region.
Greetings to Andrew Sankey-Smith