The old Hymer that Aussie Dad & Jan are hiring has sprung one too many plumbing leaks – within a couple of hours of reporting it, the guy they hired it from had found a motorhome dealer who could look at it on Saturday morning in France – a whole new country, but only 2 hours from where we were in Donostia. The journey did remind us why we didn’t use toll roads in France – that short distance cost us €18!
It turned out that the van would need to be at the dealer for a few days while parts and repairs were organised. The hire guy offered to pay for a hotel, but we wanted to be able to continue exploring – fortunately the dealer had a motorhome for hire so a deal was done and it was agreed that AD&J would take that motorhome while theirs was being fixed.
The young couple running the dealership had already stayed open longer than usual and had their young children to feed, so they left us in the yard while they headed off for lunch. We had less than an hour to transfer belongings from old van to new so AD was in the old van emptying cupboards, D & I were ferrying stuff to the new van and throwing it in and J had the unenviable job of trying to find somewhere to put it all. When the owners got back paperwork was sorted, they finally got to go home and we retired to the glamourous surroundings of a supermarket carpark to eat a very late lunch, drink coffee and catch our breath. The replacement motorhome is much newer and a very different layout from the Hymer, so will be a useful comparison for AD&J if they are in the market for a motorhome in the future.
So we have a few days to explore this area of the far south-west corner of France. We are still in Basque country, so yesterday we went to Bayonne to visit their museum of Basque culture, which was excellent. There was a section about the family home, which was traditionally inherited by the first-born son or daughter – how every equal opportunities. If you weren’t first-born, your choices were pretty much get married and move into someone else’s home, join a religious order or emigrate. As all of us were first-born, we thought that sounded like a pretty good deal.
D is very proud to have learned the Basque for thank you (eskerrik asko, if you were wondering) – it has certainly delighted everyone he has said it too in Donostia and Bayonne. I can’t imagine they have too many tourists speaking to them in their own language.
Today we are making the most of finding wifi – it is pouring with rain and we are battening down the hatches in preparation for the 45mph winds that are expected this evening. We are walking distance from the coast, but whether we make the effort will rather depend on the weather and if we can find a route that avoids the pack of very aggressive dogs that showed an unhealthy interest in D & AD when they went for a walk yesterday. Apparently they are a known problem (the dogs, not D & AD) and the local police are ‘mounting an operation’ on Wednesday. Ooh err!