We’ve travelled through most of France in the last couple of years, spending 5 months exploring different areas. It’s extremely motorhome friendly but now it’s time to try another country.
We’ve spent many family holidays in Spain but never been in the motorhome. We took the Eurotunnel from Folkestone and got off in Calais 35 mins later. We didn’t intend to spend much time in France, so quickly skirted through most of it in a couple of days. We had a rough idea of where we were heading but we don’t tend to plan things to military precision. Kev had found an aire to sleep in for our first night but when we got there it was full! A quick drive around and we found an industrial estate with a little side road off it, that lead to a dead end.. perfect! This meant no traffic passing us and keeping us awake.
After 2 long days driving we found an aire in Hendaye, near the Spanish border. It was €10 a night, including water. It was a quiet aire not far from the beach. I’ve been on a healthy eating regime lately and trying to do a minimum of 10k steps a day, whilst counting calories. After Kev calling me a fat sod for so long, I thought it’s time to take action haha. A 10 minute walk took us to the sea front. We walked around for a few hours getting our steps in and exploring the harbour and watching the surfers in the sea, just waiting for the right wave.
Kev took in a game of football, over the boarder in San Sebastian and was going to be back late so we ended up staying 2 nights in Hendaye. Before we left we decided not to fill up with water as the next aire, in Spain, advertised €5 a night which included water, electric, showers and waste disposal. What a bargain! We crossed the border, but the only way you’d know you’d crossed into Spain, was the writing on the road signs, oh and the price of fuel! The garages in France averaged between €1.39 and €1.55 a litre. The first garage in Spain was €1.16 for a litre of diesel 😮. I’d got a good euro rate on my Revolut card of 1.155 so it made it approximately £1 a litre 😁.
Anyway, I digress. We drove through the mountains until we reached the aire in Uharte-Arakil, which is in the Basque part of Spain.
The notice said the aire was only payable until 30th September, after this it was free. Now this sounded perfect and too good to be true. Yep it was. The services were locked up for the winter, no water, no showers, no electric. Great! On the plus side we have a solar panel and 2 leisure batteries, so don’t need electricity. What we didn’t have was a lot of water. I’m sure we could cope for one night until we got to our next aire though.
The surrounding area was gorgeous. We were at the foot of a mountain and there was no other motorhomes around. It was walkable into the little village but there wasn’t much there.
I had a bad headache in the evening which I told Kev about, in passing conversation. He took little interest…as usual. We spent the evening watching Game of Thrones on DVD. We don’t have a satellite dish so unable to get tv programmes in Europe. It doesn’t bother us though. I’ve never seen GOT so borrowed the box set to see what all the fuss is about.
The following morning I woke up with the same banging headache. I, yet again, told Kev. He didn’t speak a word he just pointed to his face then held his hand up 💁♂️. He then laughed. “Did you understand that?” He asks. “Yep, face? Bothered?” I replied. He cracked up laughing. He loves his own little jokes 😂. I said that he really didn’t care that I was suffering and he disagreed. “Of course I’m bothered, who’s gonna cook for me if you’re ill? I’d have to take you to the hospital, but I wouldn’t stay with you cos the weather is going to get better in the next few days, so I’d have to leave you and come back for you!” He’s such a cheeky sod 🤣.
We went to wash up after breakfast only to find the water had totally run out. I had to fill a bottle up from the stream and use it to flush the loo. We had a small amount of drinking water in a bottle so had to use this to clean our teeth with. I was creased up laughing cos we had to put our toothbrushes together so we could use the same water as he poured it from the bottle. It was that bad 😂.
We needed to get to the next aire so we could fill up and get a shower.
Our next point of call was Pamplona. This is renowned for where they run through the streets with the bulls, in July every year. We reached the aire and went to fill up our water tank. I couldn’t believe it…It was under construction and all fenced off. No water..again! The aire is just at the side of some allotments and there was a Spanish man working on his. Could we be cheeky and ask for some water? Anyone who knows me well, knows I’m cheeky. Haha. The worst thing he could say was “no”.
Now I’d learnt a lot of Spanish when we travelled through Argentina and Chile last year, but after being in France for so long the Spanish langauge had gone out of my head. A quick check on Google translate and I managed to tell him, I only spoke a little spanish but needed water for our motorhome. The service point was broken could we use his tap? And gave him my best smile 😀. No problem he said and gave us his hose pipe haha. Told us we could fill our water container (10 litre capacity) as many times as we liked. After 3 trips we had enough water to last us a couple of days, so off we went to get the bus into town. See a bit of cheek can you get you everywhere 😉.
Pamplona is a maze of streets with cafes and shops dotted around. One of them was full of different types of meats, hams and sausages. I love these kind of shops. The place itself is surrounded by old walls that look out onto the city and mountains. It’s very autumnal with the reds and golds of the trees. By lunch time it was starting to rain to so we grabbed a sandwich in a small cafe then headed back.
The weather at the moment isn’t very good and it’s not forecast to brighten up until the weekend. Looks like we’ll be grounded for a few days.