Monday, 30 December 2013

Day 4 – 29th December 2013 – Our wedding anniversary - we're in Spain

My mood had changed to one of optimism.  The weather had not!!! It was winter when we left Campagnac and we were driving in the clouds.

My worry was that maybe it had been cold enough to be icy on the roads but my fears were unnecessary and apart from the rain the conditions were ok.  Of course we had been up and now we had to go down – there were some steep descents– a longer one was 6% drop for over 6km.  Iain was keen to put the van into 3rd gear but 4k revs at 45 mph seemed a bit of a struggle so I used the brakes a lot and just gave them a lot of rest.  Then came the viaduct.  The cost was 22 euros just to go over, but it was a lot easier than the bridge over the Seine at Le Havre, at least it was fairly flat and you couldn’t see over the sides.

Then we had a really exciting DOWN.  Over 7% descent and a speed limit for big bu**ers like me of only 30mph.  It went on and on and my ears popped several times.  We must have dropped over 500 metres in a couple of miles. That was it not only had I survived the Peripherique but now the Massif Central range.
Now we had descended the mountains the weather improved and we could see the sunshine ahead of us.  Things were looking up. We were nearly in Spain and the sun was shining.

We've got to Spain

In our decision to have a couple of nights stop over we chose to go to Platja d’aro in northern Spain.  I chose this as we had come here as children in the mid 1960’s. I really don’t remember much about it but I did learn to swim here.  My mum did not want to fly and I suppose this was the nearest Spanish resort to the UK.  We used to drive here, in the Vauxhall Viva or whatever else we had at the time.  Which way did we come, how long did we take to get here, what car was it, how did we manage with two young children, were we taken out of school?  All those questions remain unanswered.  My parents had a guest house in Broadstairs in Kent and at the end of the season it seems that the hoteliers charged off to Platja d’Aro for a couple of weeks in the sun.  So for some reason I just wanted to come and see what it looks like now.
Platja d’aro was only 20 miles from the motorway so we found the one ACSI campsite that was open all year round and stayed there.

This was actually a lovely site, heavily terraced so it was a bit challenging just getting on a pitch but worth it.  Not only was there plenty of space but there is a very good restaurant on site, so being our wedding anniversary we decided to make use of the facilities.  A cracking bottle of Rioja and a large dish of Paella later, all the trials and tribulations of the night before were forgotten, we were moving on together to things new and exciting and WARM.

This is where we are now Campsite Platja d'aro

Digressing slightly, my advice to anyone is don’t get married at Christmas – it’s lovely that year but you will regret it always after that.  Normally we had Christmas at home and invited all the family to us, then we would be a bit fed up of eating by our wedding anniversary and then it would be new year to celebrate, followed by Iain’s birthday only 5 days later.  But this year was different – because we didn’t do the big Christmas at home thing this year we weren’t all turkeyed out by our anniversary and were looking forward to actually doing something for a change – like go out for a meal, just the two of us and somewhere different.

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