Monday, 19 April 2010

19th April 2010

We leave to head for Pamplona, it is not very far to drive, but we do remember that last time we came this way, the road was very poor.

We head south on the N10, the Tomtom, then takes us onto small road, presumably to bypass San Sebastian, but it is a bit scary, eventually we emerge onto a decent dual carriageway which whisks us toward Pamplona, the road has been dramatically improved since we last came this way about four years ago.

Eusa/Oricain/Pamplona - Camping Ezcaba - ACSI2010-1599

We had been remarking as we travelled, there was no indication we had left France and entered Spain, other than the road signs being in Spanish rather than French. But on arrival at the campsite, you immediately know you are in Spain. The facilities are clean and work fine, but everywhere you look, there are half finished things. On Kathleen's first trip to the loo, she noticed that the bolt to lock the door had been put on the wrong way around, so it slid away from the door frame instead of towards it. Another bolt had been added (right way round) a little higher up the door, rather than correct the original mistake.

The reception is closed (presumably because it is early in the season), the chap who books us in is the chef in the restaurant, so he really is the chief cook and bottle washer.

The ACSI book says there is a cycle track to Pamplona which about 9km away, so after a quick lunch and a brief chat with another English couple who are here, we set off on the bicycles for Pamplona.

Sure enough there is an excellent cycle track, following a river to Pamplona, so we have an explore. The bull run is not in progress, so we do a cycle run instead through the streets of old Pamplona. They have novel traffic lights here. When you press the button to cross the road, the sign shows a little red man standing still, and a count down of numbers from one minute (ie 59, 58.. and so on), then the grenn man comes on (a picture of a little green man running), and the numbers start to count up (to 30 seconds). The waiting bit is not appreciated by both of us.

Eventually we settle in a pavement cafe. The place is quite busy, after waiting for about 30 seconds, the McCaffery patience begins to slip. I go into the bar to try and buy our beers, but, I am told if you are sitting outside you have to get your drinks from the waiter. Eventually we get our much needed drink. It was bright and sunny when we left, but as we sit (under an awning fortunately) having our drink, there is a sudden thunderstorm.

This causes Kathleen enormous amusement. I have left my waterproof back at the van, and she has her "emergency" poncho style waterproof from the St Claire's walk in her handbag (explains why women's handbags are always so full). Fortunately the rain stops, and the sun comes out again.

We eventually head back to the van, but about two miles from the site, the thunderstorm returns, so Kathleen is able to use her "emergency poncho", which justifies having carried it all this way, I just get wet.

When we get back, we find there has been an influx of vans, there are now two Dutch caravans, a German Campervan and three English campervans, in addition to us. There are also a couple of sets of campers with tents, and a number of what look like static Spanish caravans. The Spaniards are just as noisy as we remember from previous trips, even the children conduct their conversations at a shout.

Fortunately, all the rain is torrential, it does not last for long, and we have done 16 miles in total.

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