Our journey along the Basque coast continues and the pattern of yesterday continues – forest indispersed with sea views and the occasional high rise seaside town. Blue gum plantings join the eucalypts, their silvery blue a sharp contrast to the greens they’re surrounded by.
There’s no real plan from here, we’re meandering until something catches our eye. Our views are often spectacular, but they come with a price. Terrifying steep curves and sharp turns. To add to the challenge, an occasional fleet of cyclists or a truck pose logistics issues. The barriers that seperate us from a sheer fall appear miniscule to my eye. Chris, being fearless, sails through, pausing for thought only once in a three point, extreme hairpin turn up a wet, sharp incline. I do my best to be distracted, thus disabling my inclination to chant “we’re all going to die” as I have been known to do in similar situations. Helpful, I know.
The sea, on this overcast day, blends into the sky, offering a surreal, never ending view. We pass an ancient church built in a rocky outcrop atop a cliff – it looks like it’s floating above the ocean. That would have taken dedication to build.
The best sight of the day is a tiny deer, bunny hopping her way over tall grass through a field, startled by a barking dog. She’s very pretty and could only look girlier if she had a pink ribbon tied around her neck. There are deer signs everywhere, but she is the first one we’ve seen.
We also find our first Spanish supermarket, a more sedate affair than the French ones but still interestingly different with whole legs of Iberico jambon on display, average price around €150. Supermarkets seems rare in these parts, with locals relying on the small bodegas for supplies. Even service stations have a fine display of nibbles on offer (below).
We have a few false stops, each with its own challenges and eventually find ourselves much further along than expected – perched high over Bilbao with magnificent views. In the early stages of planning, this might have been our first port of call, with a 29 hour ferry from Portsmouth. It’s late in the day at this stage – we’ll bus in tomorrow to explore.
In the meantime, there are city lights to admire and horses to coax for a pat.