Day 15 Oyambre – Santander

16/08/10 (949 miles)

“admiring the historic Spanish architecture and antiques on display, we read through the Fresh seafood menu’s, the Menu del Dia’s in the cafe’s basking in the morning sun. We finally spotted what we were after….pizza”

The last day of our trip is upon us and typically there is a crystal clear blue sky above. We’re both upset now the weather is good, to be on our way home to reality.

We have a lush breakfast of croissants, coffee and donut (I had the donut. 🙂 pack up and say our goodbyes to the neighbours and make our way back along the CA131 towards Santander, deciding to visit Santallina del Mar en route and see if it really is the “prettiest village in Spain”.

I think I can back up that statement then, as it’s a medieval cobbled village with traffic restrictions through the main streets, lined with ye olde cider houses, cafe’s and a multitude of tourist trap shops as they all lead up to the church (surprisingly closed, as all historic sites appeared to have been this holiday)

So while in Spain and hungry, we considered how best we should round off our trip. As we strolled along the picture postcard streets admiring the historic Spanish architecture and antiques on display, we read through the Fresh seafood menu’s, the Menu del Dia’s in the cafe’s basking in the morning sun. We finally spotted what we were after….pizza….and it was gorgeous. 🙂 Checking our time we realised we wouldn’t now make it to the Cave’s of Altimera, to view the prehistoric cave paintings. However this wasn’t too big a loss as it transpires the cave that is open to the public, is in fact a copy of the original due to the effects of countless visitors to the historical site.

Ferry bound…

The last leg of the journey had us taking the N611, running parallel to the busier main artery into Santander A67. The ferry was de to leave at 5.15, meaning we needed to be there by 4pm at the latest…it was now 2.30pm. Nevertheless it took us about an hour to pootle along the side roads and into town reaching the traffic jam into the port on time. It was now incredibly hot under the sun, so as we sat in the queue moving slowly forward, the jackets got unbuttoned, gloves came off, followed by the helmets and then the jackets were removed before we reached the ticket booth. All clear and we rode up to the front of the lines of waiting cars, trailers, vans and caravans galore, before told to wait 5 minutes. It seemed strange to not see any other bikes waiting in line too?

Eventually we were allowed to board and make our way to the lower level, where all the other bikes are already safely tied down and ready for sailing. Once we grabbed what we needed for the overnight stay, Helen realised her gloves were missing. The last time they were spotted was sitting on her petrol tank as we waited in the line of traffic entering the port, brilliant. (I’ll also point out that they were in fact MY racing gloves, and not Helen’s at all, who was merely borrowing them!!) So looks like I’ll have cold hands for the remaining leg from Portsmouth to S.Warnborough tomorrow then, aye?!

Setting sail…

Once on board, we demob from our riding gear and get some slightly smelly shorts & t-shirts on for watching the departure. Once we make it all the way up the 9 floors to the top, it’s obvious people have done this trip before by the way ALL seats on deck have been commandeered by families, children, handbags and feet of those already toasting themselves in the last sun they’ll see this summer. I go to the bar and buy the statutory wine and beer, then we find ourselves a spot on the floor of the top deck as we set sail. For some reason it seems strange to me, observe such huge beaches along either side of Santander with people sunbathing as huge cruise liners drift by on their way.

We relax and raise a toast to us and to Helen in particular for surviving the journey.

Day 16 The Final Leg

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