In The Beginning There Was France

Who knew France was so big, the French probably and now one man from Yorkshire. It’s almost 3 weeks on the road now and about time I found time to update this thing. It’s taken a while to get into the rhythm of the trip and clear the mind to write, so here goes.

With a mixture of emotions and and a hangover to make Oliver Reed proud departure day finally arrived. Out came the town crier and the fanfare was 5 deep the length of Scalby road, oh wait no it was just how it should be, family and friends to wish me well. To Hull and the ferry to Zeebrugge, the logic being with Hull out the way the first day the trip can only get better. And it has.

Objective one was to cross France and head to Spain and revisit the camp in Oliana where I spent the Summer 11years ago. In my mind this would take 2 days, France can’t be that big, well it is and when your max speed is 60mph on the back roads, 4 was the actuality and that was head down and eat the miles, stopping occasionally to see some sights and rip out another page of the map. Chewing thought the miles wasn’t really what I had in mind, an early lesson to take time. It was a mix of camping and hotels depending on the weather. Mark me down as a fair weather camper.One night was spent camping in what turned out to be more or less a lay bye due to my total ignorance of the French language, but it was free and I rewarded myself with a night in a not too shabby hotel in Foix, and dried out the tent from the impromptu thunder storm the night before.

The next morning with the Pyrenees in sight I headed for Andorra and then onwards to Spain, leg one was nearly done but that wasn’t the last I’d see of France.

After passing through the snowy peaks and what was left of the Ski runs on Andorra I dropped into Spain and the heat, hitting me full in the sweaty face. First junction I took a wrong turn and it was worth it, long winding roads and nothing but the occasional biker. Time to practice my Spanish, or lack of, there’s a theme here.

Back in Oliana after an 11 year absence the old caravan was gone, but Deloris was still there busy in the kitchen knocking out top quality grub. After clearing the snake from the pitch up went the tent and time for a day off.

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