The Basque Country - the coast.
It eventually happened. We set off on the 8th, Saturday, very early in the morning - around 4 am, to get on the ferry in Newhaven's port at 9am. From there we go straight to Dieppe in France.
First day went pretty smooth although we found out that highways in France are horrendously expensive, even for the motorbikes. We got near Le Mans, known for its car races:
First night and tent's set up:
Sunday (9/07) morning we met an English girl with her friend and a dog, called Aritz, who was heading the same direction as us so, luckily, he agreed to take the backpack I was having on me to her van. We worked out the place of our destination to pick it up and spend the night and set off for...the worst day until the very end of our journey (the latter I'll keep it secret for now). We could check off everything worst that could have happened, almost, except from having an accident. Luckily after all. We were soaked wet after heavy rains somewhere in the central France, we lost the number-plate in the middle of the highway (managed to notice it and pick it up), lost the way because the map was utterly shit (we bought it on the petrol station and decided to venture out the un-paid roads, but eventually had to get back to the highway again). After probably 12 hours of hectic ride we got to the destination place, had a walk with Natalie's (that's the English girl's name) friends and had some food in the town called Biscarrosse. We camped illegally there, on the same camping spot as them but in a tent. To conclude that day, in the middle of the night the motorbike...fell on the tent, almost crashing my head - I just felt the poke, woke up and starred terrified on the bulge in our tent being kind of unable to determine what have just happened. I woke Jay up and we were to soon find out that the bike dropped deeper into the ground, where it was supported, after a portion of heavy rain during the night and tipped over on our tent. Somehow it didn't smash my head, after having stopped and leaning against the very tensed wall of the tent. Phew!
|Natalie and Sam, English folks we met on the way|
|and Natalie's lovely Labrador - Aritz :)|
|that's how loaded we were if no-one was|
carrying our backpack...:O ;)
That night we slept somewhere on the hills, near M. Jaizkibel:
Stunning views from up there:
|drying off the tent from the previous night's dew ;)|
|I loved the scenery.|
The same evening we went to walk along the Flysch (near Zumaia) - a local name for the geological structure, a continuous rock strata which is among the longest sets in the world! It's been forming for the time period of over 100 million years.
Although the bottom layers were covered with water, as it was a high tide, we could still see the rest of it which alone was breath-taking:
That's were we thereafter spent the night, in a village called Asterrika :) (having already discussed it with the locals whether we can set a tent there)
|ocean views from a terrace ^^|
|phone quality, but still :)|
...and further up to Guernica (Gernika), which may sound familiar to some of you - particularly to the Picasso's fans ;) who painted his famous Guernica painting to commemorate the horrors of the bombing in this very town during the Spanish Civil War. More interesting info here.
|Lucky enough to see the original, it became my favorite Picasso's painting|
(originally in Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid)
From there we headed towards Bermeo (a fishermen's little town):
and Gaztelugatxe (where is a well known, pilgrims' spot). Gaztelugatxe is an islet with a hand made footpath that leads to it. It is an extraordinary footpath as it consists of over 200 steps and looks like this:
|the hermitage pilgrims head to|
A the next beautiful spot to sleep at and wake up in the morning...
To wrap up, the Basque coast was stunning, the roads beautifully winding all along the way through hills and cliffs and camping for free all the time in most surprising and bizarre places. Afterwards we headed off the coast, inland, to see the natural parks and more hilly, but also even greener and lush areas.
The following part of our moto-trip I will update as soon as possible. Doing my best at least! ;)