We have spent the last couple of nights staying with our dear friends in Cranleigh.
After some last minute packing and unpacking of the van, and with some help photocopying and scanning some vital documents, we deposited the last of our dirty washing with our friends, and set off on our adventure.
We stopped at the Devil’s Punchbowl near Hindhead, to stretch our legs and grab a coffee, a popular walking spot that both of us remembered from our childhoods. We took a walk around the rim of the ‘bowl’ like valley formed by soil erosion, and now maintained by the National Trust.
Then it was on to Portsmouth, to catch the Brittany Ferry to Santander. Ferries seem to have changed an awful lot since I was last on one. We were shown to our rather nice double room and asked if we wanted to make a reservation for dinner that evening. Rather excited at the start of our journey, we booked at table, and later sat down for a rather splendid meal, accompanied by a bottle of Viognier. What had slipped my mind, was that sitting in the queue to embark on the ferry, I had taken two Stugeron tablets, to counter any sea-sickness whilst crossing the Bay of Biscay.
Needless to say, Stugeron and half a bottle of wine are not advised, and Howard recalls that I fell unconscious for nearly ten hours, whilst the sea rock and rolled below us! Actually, rather an effective way of crossing the Bay of Biscay in late January!
The next morning I felt remarkably refreshed. We toured around the vessel, which is extensive with it’s own swimming pool and dog exercising area, and then joined in a quiz in the lounge. Although we didn’t win, we gained an acceptable score, and wandered off to plan the next few days of travelling once we arrive in Spain. One of the joys of travelling in this way is that we don’t have a schedule to adhere to. However, the downside of this is the uncertainty of where we will be the day after next – something which Howard seems quite happy with, and something which I feel quite uncomfortable with. I am used to going on trips that are, by and large, planned for each day. Although the thought of just going to places that take your fancy may sound very appealing, in reality, the need to have a rough idea of your destination each night is probable my barest minimum. So I guess we will just have to get into some sort of a rhythm as far as planning is concerned.
The rest of the day passed uneventfully. Howard dissuaded me from joining in the wine tasting on deck 7, after last night’s episode, and we had a pleasant lunch in a very nice restaurant with white tablecloths and a rather suave French waiter. As I type, Howard is frantically pacing the decks in an attempt to complete his daily step count! So far, so good.