Thursday 16th January 2014 – Cabarceno to Bilbao (64 Miles)
It’s good to see that some things don’t change, not being able to sleep because it’s ‘moving on’ day, or was it a sense of excitement at returning to the UK !! Shazza had even decided to set the Alarm clock, could it be that she didn’t want to miss the boat ? Your having a laugh if you believe that ! No, Shazza wanted to do some last-minute shopping at ‘Lidl’ en-route to Bilbao, apparently she was already menu planning for the first few days we would be back in the UK and she had taken a liking to the fresh meat in Lidl ? Or perhaps, nearer the truth was that ‘one’ of the boxes she stored the ‘Vino Tinto’ supplies in still had room for another six bottles !! I kid you not, that was exactly what she had said to me !!
It was still dark when I crawled out from under my nice warm duvet, Shazza was already up, washed, dressed and in the process of getting ‘Big Momma’ ready for ‘On the Road’, I better not dawdle she has already glanced at her watch a few times and has checked to see if my coffee mug is empty so that she can get it washed up and stowed away !!
So, van prepped externally and internally, a short stop at the services to empty the necessary on-board tanks and then we were nearly ready to go, but before moving off I had to do a search for ‘Grocery Shops’ on ‘Snoopy’, a number of choices came up but the one that she wanted was the one that said ‘Lidl‘, just 38 miles away and literally just off the A8 Motorway to Bilbao, we pulled away from ‘Cabarceno’ which had been ‘home’ for the last four nights in Spain, a short drive on the A634 and then Motorway all the way to Bilbao.
Although we were on Motorway the scenery was still pretty stunning, to the left the Coast, to the front and right mountains and forest and what’s more, and in the words of ‘Cat Stevens -Morning has Broken’, yes we have both daylight and lovely sunshine !!.
The Lidl store was easy enough to find, basically straight off the Motorway, a couple of roundabouts and we were there, I stayed with the van whilst Shazza did the shopping, I thought it best to let her do her own thing !! She didn’t take as long as I thought she may have done and I could hear her ‘clanking’ back to the van well before I could see her !! Back on the road again and straight back onto the A8 for the final fourteen miles ‘or so’ to the Ferry Port, boy were we going to be early or what ? No matter, there is plenty of room to park and as this is the only sailing we won’t be in the way of any other vehicles. Just a few miles out and I took the opportunity to top up with ‘cheap’ Spanish diesel, just a pity there was no GPL otherwise I would have topped up the gas as well ! Back on the road again and it was just a case of following the ‘Yellow Puerta’ signs clearly marked on and off the Motorway. Just a point for anyone not having travelled to Bilbao to catch the ferry, unless your Sat Nav mapping has been recently updated, DO NOT ! follow your Sat Nav directions as this will send you through the town, just follow the clearly marked signs on the Motorway and again once off it, and they will take you straight to the ‘Brittany Ferries’ terminal.
So, that is that, bar the final boarding onto the ferry, ‘Our Initial Retirement Trip‘ is at an end and what a truly memorable experience it has been. For those of you who have been on this journey with us (Virtually) I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed it too !
BUT ! for Shazza and myself, in reality the journey is just beginning for we are ‘Retired’, we are ‘Fulltimers’ and we are now looking forward to experiencing even more travels on ‘Big Mommas Great Adventure’…………………………
So, Shazza, ‘Big Momma, Snoopy, Kevin, and yes even the ‘Damn Duck’…………………………. What’s next ???????????????