Travelling in the time of Coronavirus-the last ferry from Santander

Travelling in the time of Coronavirus-the last ferry from Santander

It was the last passenger ferry from Spain to the UK steaming into Santander

A small group of motorbikes

And lines of cars and campervans waiting for the exodus.

Like a mini Dunkirk escaping an invisable enemy

It was a different crossing to the previous I have had

No promenading the decks as all passengers were confined to their cabins

Running on the spot to exercise on the 24 hour crossing

Back in England

A walk along the beach in Rye Harbour

Through the marsh to gather my thoughts.

Tonight the UK has gone into lockdown.

Things change quickly in a pandemic.

Travelling in the time of Coronavirus-the Spanish lockdown

Travelling in the time of Coronavirus-the Spanish lockdown

I arrived in Jerez de la Frontera the day the Moroccan Govt closed the border with Spain

That was the end of the Morocco trip

I had booked into the alburgue in Jerez. I extended my booking a couple of days so I could think of the next move

In Jerez some sherry tasting a must

No tasting for this adventurer

I guess it was a sign of what was to come.

So I had to console myself with some garlic prawns and red wine

The was hardly any activity in the Square. Some locals and a few tourists, from the USA and UK by the accent

The cafe owners strangely subdued. Maybe they new something was about to happen

Maybe the lost income from the covid19 pandemic was weighing heavily on them

That Saturday night the lockdown was proclaimed for 15 days

Everything to shut except food stores, pharmacies and petrol station.

Stay indoors

The streets of Jerez totally deserted on Sunday mid day

Initally I had thought Id sit out the lockdown in Jerez.

Sunday all seemed OK. A long term rate could be negotiated. Fix it up Monday morning

It was warm in Jerez, the alburgue was modern big grounds to exercise in and a pool. Perfect place to sit out the lockdown

Monday morning all had changed. Tuesday I had to be out.

Thinks change quickly during a pandemic!

Sunday France had declared a lockdown so travelling back through France was off the cards

Frantic work on the phone.

Booked a ferry spot from Santander to Portsmouth the next Saturday.

All the hotels were shut. Where to stay.

Thank you to the good hearted souls who have given me shelter via airbnb

It was a cold ride from Jerez to Valladolid where Im currently staying locked down

It had snowed the night before on the skifields south of Salamanca. But the sun was out

I pulled into a parking bay. Pulled out my little burner and made a coffee and had a snack of cheese, olives and manderine

And though Spain is beautiful even in the time of a lockdown

At 10pm at night in Jerez, in Valladolid and across Spain. People clap and cheer in appreciation of the health workers.

Cause they are on the front line of the pandemic

The Spanish are beautiful people

Praia de Augas Santas, Galicia, Spain

Praia de Augas Santas, Galicia, Spain

As I plan the next adventure

My head fills with images

Thoughts of last year

Special places

Unique in nature

That have left a lasting impression on me

One of nature’s sculptures

Carved by the wind and waves of the Bay of Biscay

The Praia de Augas Santas

The Bay of Cathedrals

Is certainly a natural masterpiece

A place of spiritual beauty and wonder.

Overwhelming beauty of nature

Overwhelming beauty of nature

Did you go to the Guggenheim in Bilbao?

And I had

The huge construction of of shiny titanium with its labyrinthine galleries

The best of humanities construction

And the oohing and aahing ensued

But only 80km away was the Picos de Europa

Vast canyons of granite

Ribbons of gorges

Crystalline glaciers

Shaped by the earth itself by nature the great creator.

I saw the Cathedral in Santiago de Compestella

With its imposing edifice

Its halls and alters adorned with gold and silver

The faithfuls tribute to God above

To his heavenly powers

But north of Santiago de Compestella

On the coast is the Praia das Catedrais

The marble buttresses carved by the sea and the wind

The halls and caves rich in the colors of nature, the sheen of the rock the soft green of the moss

Natures gift to us to treasure and enjoy

I find I have my faith now in nature

In the earth

Not in a belief, a god, a spirit, an omnipotent by non existent creation of a prophets mind

But in the earth and the land that we too often take for granted

The earth and the land that gives life

I met an Aboriginal Elder in Cape York – Willie Gordon

From the Guugu Yimithirr tribe

His descriptions of the relationship between the Aboriginal Australians and the land shifted my understanding of the land and nature

The life giving force of nature and the land

For we are of the land and at its end we return to the land

Impressions of North West Spain – part 4, the culture.

Impressions of North West Spain – part 4, the culture.

Pouring sidr in Cangas de Onis

Friendly

Diverse

Lively

Passionate

Yes the culture of Spain but the north west is a little different

Maybe it’s the Comino de Santiago

Or the hydrangeas that are every where

The pipes being played at the cathedral in Santiago de Compestela

Or could it be the thermal pools in Ourense, free for the public to use

But I think it’s the vast greenness and amazing Lakes and rivers.

Impressions of the north west of Spain – part 2,the mountains

Impressions of the north west of Spain – part 2,the mountains

Looking to the Picos de Europa from Potes

The Picos epitomise the mountains of North West Spain.

High

Views of the Picos de Europa

And for the bike rider. The toads to get there.

And camping camping in the lush green of North West Spain

Impressions of North West Spain – Bilbao

Impressions of North West Spain – Bilbao

It’s late June 2018

World cup fever grips Europe

Do you follow football? I ask my Spanish companion.

Si, was his reply.

I started to commiserate about Spain’s poor performance.

Quickly he responsponed. I don’t support Spain. I’m Basque.

In time I learn how different north west Spain is.

Ready to alight the ferry in Bilbao

Bilbao of course is a little different

There is the Guggenheim

With its amazing installations

To add to the old city

The beaches and harbours

But then there is the green.

The thing that is different about north west Spain is its the green Spain.