Day 3 Bilbao – Biarritz

04/08/10 (171 miles)

“…the heavens opened….and we got drowned, and it’s not fun riding along at 40mph with HGV’s roaring by. We stopped off at a garage to fill up, put my waterproofs on, when H points out the sleeping bags aren’t covered….as are the roll mats…”

We docked in Bilbao under grey gloomy skies, not the wrm and welcoming scenery we had hoped for.

I set the route on my phone/satnav and we set off hopeing to avoid the main roads through Bilbao. However after four roundabouts and some large lorries up our backsides, we ended up back at the port! The ‘helpful’ satnav was taking us back to the beginning of my pre-planned route first…100 yards back from where we started. This needless to say didn’t put H in good condition for the ride. Eventually we got under way again although it took us over an hour to get out of the city!

Once out we followed the A634 out to the coast and made it to the small town of Deba for a quick rest by the sea with some coffee and pastry. All going well so far…

After our break, we soon discover H’s battery is flat, nothing at all. Luckily the Serow is dual start, so we use the kick start from now on. Not ideal. Next point is San Sebastian, where we encounter roadworks to confuse the satnav and we get lost. I use the map to get us out of there and head off….in the wrong direction. Off the main road, u-turn and set off again towards Irun. Decide to stick to the busy A road to put some miles in, but ten minutes later the heavens opened….and we got drowned, and it’s not fun riding along at 40mph with HGV’s roaring by. We stopped off at a garage to fill up, put my waterproofs on, when H points out the sleeping bags aren’t covered….as are the roll mats! So far so good then!?

Out of Irun we’re at least heading in the right direction towards St. Jean de Luz, France and the rain has stopped. Approaching St. J we hit traffic…and lots of it. We make 10km in 1 hour. H’s little air cooled bike is heating up nicely giving her hot pants!! Eventually we reach the campsite at Biarritz, where the sign says full. Nearing the point of crying, the attendant senses our pain and calls us in to make space for us. H is totally knackered, but we get the tent up in between rain showers and go get a well deserved beer. What we’re not impressed by however, is H’s brand new Akito Desert “100% Waterproof guaranteed” pants have leaked after a couple of hours riding! A long stroll along the beach later, we watch the surfer dudes and dudettes doing their thing, but the surf isn’t up to much. (Hence why we didn’t want to go out and show the amateurs up!) We discovered a lovely beach bar at the top overlooking the beach, serving Tapas, which we washed down with more beer while the sun went to bed. This soon put a smile back on our faces.

Back to campsite and had the best pizza in years, before heading back to tent with bottle of wine to plot the route for tomorrow hiding from the returning rain.

Wine in hand, rain outside...again

We couldn’t help but notice the quiet, sociable get together’s the French students have around their tents while having their very well prepared meals, in contrast to our style of chips, pizza, lots of beer and get raucous (not us of course!) However, their quiet reserved approach did change as the wine quickly disappeared…

Day 4: Biarritz – Luchon

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