Hidden Gems of Spain

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24th September – 3rd October 2018

I am writing this sitting in the van looking out onto a beautiful estuary in the small town of Foz in Northern Spain. It is a truly amazing view and a pinch yourself moment of the beauty of it. Northern Spain has so far been a real eye opener and although we touched a small part of it when we set of last year we have ventured further west into new territory. It is stunning here and we ask ourselves why the majority of people head to Southern Spain when you have the most amazing beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see and pure white sand that wouldn’t look out of place in the Caribbean. This part of Spain is of course a surfer’s paradise. Our first stopover was the town of Ondarroa. Now here I thought my luck had changed, we stayed at a secluded campsite in the forest and as I went to the reception I was wolf whistled ! Happy days I thought, at my age I felt quite elated until I realised where the whistle was coming from, a parrot ! There he sat on the upstairs balcony and for the next couple of days as I walked passed and to be honest when anyone walked passed they were greeted with a wolf whistle. We walked into the small town with it’s amazing beach, relaxed over a coffee with the locals, but sadly for Chloe no beach, as most of the beaches in towns have a ‘No Dogs’ policy. The climb back up to the campsite took some work, which could only mean one thing to get over it, a siesta ! We meandered further west and stayed at a campsite near Loredo, that we visited last year with the best beach to date. It holds such special memories, just for the shear size of it, the perfect beach for surfers and we broke the rules and got Chloe on the beach, albeit in the evening. Now, heaven know why, and at my age, but seeing all the surfers last year I thought I need to have a go. I thought surfing might be a little too difficult but bodyboarding, I thought may be this is something we could both do. To be honest, I knew the waters were nothing like the warmth of Greece but our lovely friends Gaz & Debs had lent us their wetsuits and bodyboards and so there was no excuse. All fired up, squeezing into our suits we set off looking like we knew what we were doing. We get into the water and realise that we don’t have a clue, can’t stop laughing but had one of the best times ever. Such fun and if we did it often enough, our bodies in our dreams may look like the fit surfers sculptured, no fat on them bodies. The next day took us to Barrio Juncalada and the beach there was another surfer’s paradise. We cycled into the town, bought the largest peaches we have ever seen and a sun hat for me and cycled home. The trouble was, I didn’t get all the way home as I fell off my bike, because I wasn’t looking where I was going and ended up splattered on the road, two grazed hands and a bloody knee. Poor David, I am not the best patient in the world.

After afew days resting, we set off again to Oviedo with it’s beautiful Cathedral of San Salvador and it’s famous Cider. Now the pouring of Cider is also of great importance in Spain. The liquid is poured from a great height allowing lots of bubbles into the drink. Only one or two gulps are poured at once into the glass and then the pouring process begins again, This allows the drinker to enjoy the full flavour of the drink apparently. Gutted I never tried any. The next day and just through recommendation we went to Foz. We had such a great view from the van window, one night turned into two after we met a lovely older Spanish resident out on his daily walk. He stopped to chat, perfect English after living in Balham and still having a house there (rich Spaniard) and challenged David to a game of ping pong, but David wasn’t so keen. Told us all about his Skudo games and left one for David to complete. He also recommended a restaurant to eat lunch, which we did. Three courses, a bottle of wine, beer and coffee all for €12 each and that could only mean one thing after that another siesta. Feeling guilty about all these siestas, we have decided to do Couch to 5K to try and get a little bit fit. So the next morning in all our running gear, yes we have all the gear but never run. We set off on our day 1 of the challenge. Let me tell you I am not a runner, will never be a runner and I don’t like running but I am going to give it a go. Watch this space.

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