Sunday is one of the best days to drive in France because lorries are banned from being on the road from 10pm on Saturday to 10pm on Sunday. Unless they are less than 7.5t, or refrigerated, or ignoring the rules. The flip side of having the road to yourself is that it is near impossible to find a parking spot at motorway services – everyone just pulls in and parks up for 24 hours. They are like a mini-UN – I saw trucks from Spain, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Estonia, Lithuania, the Netherlands. Oh, and the odd one from France. There were little picnic tables set up between trucks with men having lunch and playing cards – I suspect most of the world’s problems were being solved at the same time.
This is the main route south towards Bayonne and the Spanish border – where is everybody???
Here they are!
If you have been following this blog for a while, you may have realised that we are a bit tight, so again, we avoided the toll road. This did mean that we got to drive through Bayonne. We haven’t seen all of France yet, so I’ll reserve judgement, but I believe this could be the arse-end. Not the prettiest area we’ve been to so far and, although we had glimpses of the Pyrenees to the left and the Atlantic to the right, the drive to the border was incredibly built up.
I was confused by signposts to places that didn’t appear on my map, until I realised that the signposts were in both French and Basque. So, San Sebastian is also Donestia. At some point, we crossed the border into Spain. Well, we assume we did – the signposts are now in Spanish and Basque, usually with the Spanish crossed out.
Spain has a few aires too and we decided to head to one that the guide book particularly raved about. It is at a beautiful picnic spot in the national park south of Donestia, high in the hills. There are lots of municipal BBQs and picnic benches and we were surprised to find lots of people here finishing picnics, despite it only being around 14C in the late afternoon. Of course, everyone has gone home now and it is just us.
This trip is turning into a map perv’s dream – we are only into our third country (unless you count Wales separately, which I don’t) and we already have quite a collection of maps & campsite guides. Not a problem if you have a house, but in a motorhome with limited storage…..
Oh, and we found a petrol station that could lend us an adaptor for our LPG, so we have a full tank and can run the heating with gay abandon!
AUSSIE DAD AND JAN
Ah hello, hadn’t heard for a few days and wondered if the Basques had got you. My favourite Granny Huffam joke was about Basques; the punchline being “don’t put all your Basques in one exit” You can add whatever text you like to precede that; the longer the better. As to maps, there is no such thing as too many maps. Just make room in the loft. The Bayonne freeway photo reminds me of the Hume Highway south of the border which, as you would all know, is the only good thing that ever came out of Melbourne.