Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Begin the Journey, slowly, home

Tuesday, 18th April 2017

The forecast for Benicassim today is 22C and sunny. Although we leave just after 8:00, before the sun is fully above the hills, no reason to suppose it will be wrong.


But, we are heading slowly home, starting today. 

North along the coast, towards Peniscola, the only problem is that Spanish road building is ahead of our Sat-Nav map updates, and, the N340 is no longer as our SatNav thinks it is, roundabouts have disappeared, to be replaced by fly-overs and new exits.

We therefore have to guess the point at which we turn off to head inland toward Leida.

But, just as with our experience on our way here, the traffic is generally light, and, the roads excellent.

The plan is to stop just short of the Bielsa Tunnel, at Bielsa Town, but, we are there way ahead of schedule, and decide to keep going, through the tunnel, to our alternative stopping off point, St Lary Soulan, in France.




The approach to the tunnel is mostly good quality road, although some sections are a bit uneven, presumably due to wear and tear from the heavy wagons.

The scenery is quite stunning.



















The tunnel itself is an anti-climax, contrary to what I had read on the internet, from various sources, the road surface is good, the tunnel well lit, if a bit narrow.

There were no signs to explain why, but, for some reason, they were only allowing the traffic through in short bursts, and, one way at a time.













The descent on the French side, is, either scenic, or scary, depending on your point of view.

I have video, but, not enough data band width to upload it at present, a snapshot, showing one of the many hairpin bends, will have to do for now.

I have to admit, drops of several hundred feet, with no safety barrier, and, a distinct smell of hot brake pads, is shall we say, exciting.

We eventually arrive, after 290 miles, at the Aire at St Lary Soulan (N42 49.348' E0 19.397'), our stopping place for the night.

Compared to the temperatures we have been used to for the past few weeks, it is distinctly cool, at only 14C.

We even have to have the heating on in the morning. 







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