The last of the UK the first of Spain

After three nights in Tregoad near Looe we were on our way to the ferry.  Not this one – This is the Torpoint Ferry and we only just got on as you can see.

torpoint-ferry

Here is Sheila on the real ferry as we say goodbye to England making our way from Plymouth to Santander in Spain.  We were  (Well….. I was but I lied to Sheila.) expecting a rather rough crossing of the Bay of Biscay but it was nearly as smooth and as calm as a millpond.

goodbye-plymouth

Our cabin was quiet and comfy with a shower and toilet ensuite.  We started the crossing with a “Champagne 75” cocktail from the bar and settled in for a quiet crossing.  Guess who got up  in the middle of the night to do a little birdwatching in the Bay of Biscay.

ferry-night-shot

Well I did see this little chap bang slap in the middle of the Bay of Biscay.  No bigger than a robin and too small to be a wandering seabird like the Northern Gannets I saw but seemed quite at home on board.  Flying off occasionally and returning to the upper decks.  I think its a Chiffchaff and perhaps he “migrates” between England and Spain twice a week.

chiffchaff-on-ferry

Our first planned campsite turned out to be closed but we did get a good view of the Cabo Mayor lighthouse in the pouring rain before checking in to a flooded and all but closed Virgen Del Mar campsite for an extortionate 22 euros to park up in their car park.

santander-lighthouse

The redeeming factor of the expensive campsite was the view in the morning.  The sun had come out and showed off the tiny bay to perfection.

virgen-del-mar-sandanter

We traveled back in to Santander over the next couple of days to see our friend Sara Passmore who acted as an excellent guide and translator as we got our bearings in Spain.  Sara showed us some of the highlights of the city like these boys who used to dive for coins thrown into the harbour.

penny-diving-boys

Our guide and Sheila.

sheila-and-sarah

Next stop is the Park National De Cabarceno not northern India and the Himalayas but you might think so.  There were about 15 elephants and many other animals in a huge national park.  30 Euros to get in but just peek over the fence by the motorhome stopover and there they all are.

elephant-and-mountains

elephant

Next stop a campsite to recharge batteries, computers and ourselves before on to Valladolid.

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Well! This is IT.

Not with a bang neither with a whimper but we are off on our travels.  We spent six nights in the Lady’s Mile site near Dawlish whilst we ccleaned, ccleared, ppainted, ssccrubbed and photographed our house to get it ready for our tenants.

house-to-let

Of course we spent some time visiting and being visited by family and friends.  We had a particularly early and a particularly good Christmas party at Holsworthy Golf Club.

holsworthy-golf-club

Then a couple of nights at Barbies house to photograph some new babies.  I would love to sat that the babies were pleased to see us but:

babywiggsbarbs-gdaughter

Perhaps not!

Off to sell the car (for euros of course) via a trip to see the Severn Bore.  Predicted to be a pretty goodun but turned out to be a little less than spectacular.  Nevertheless, a new experience for Sheila and I. An early start and just timed for moonset and sunrise.

bore-moon

bore-sunrise

Many surfers and canoeists tried their luck on this one wave but few succeeded.

bore-canoeist

The early start gave me the opportunity to take some interestingly lit shots like this church with apple tree and autumn colours.

bore-church

Stayed with Dave and Jacks for a night – our last chance to reduce weight in the motorhome without actually throwing something away.  Some great food and hugs. Then down to Looe in Cornwall via a night in a car park in (believe it or not) Dawlish.

Sheila has a weekend booked in a cottage with her chums and I have the dubious pleasure of having the motorhome to myself.  Despite the poor weather I walked int looe.

looe-stormclouds

The walk took me along the East Looe River.

east-looe-river

Then down in to Looe harbour.

 

looe-harbourAnd right out the harbour entrance to watch my boat come home.

bringing-home-the-fish