France

Off-loading at Sant Malo 08:31. Nice and early

The rough crossing finally settled down and we did get some sleep before our 08:15 AM arrival at Saint Malo. We were rolling off the boat 15 minutes later and on our way shortly after that. Very slick.

We had decided to head for Bayonne. About 450 miles and 7 hours along the Peage. It started dry but turned very wet at times. It was a decent journey with only one stop for fuel, “facilities” and a coffee.

A brief stop between Saint Malo and Bayonne for fuel and a coffee then the Pyrenees were in sight 7 hours later

As we approached Bayonne the weather cleared. The Western edges of the Pyrenees popped their heads up. The scenery all of a sudden became more interesting and the weather clear and bright.

Gaining an hour by entering France meant we had an hour’s more daylight in the evening.

Our hotel. Superb value and smart too.

Our hotel was fab!. Only €35 for the night. It was just across the river from the old town and in a really attractive old building. The stairwell was “rustic” but the rooms were large, modern and comfortable with great views. The kinda quirky, relaxed place we like 🙂

The Christmas fair was in full swing. The Reception gave us vouchers for the big wheel and fireworks were scheduled for 20:00. It was very nice of them to lay on the celebrations for our arrival 🙂

Bayonne reflections. This river very high too

Bayonne is a pretty old-town sitting on two rivers. Very much Basque in culture. The rivers were very high and certainly showed the amount of rain there must have been in recent times.

Bayonne reflections. This river very high too

We explored the lanes and were very taken by Bayonne. We watched the fireworks before settling down outside for a refreshment and some Bayonne ham and local cheese. Delicious!

Christmas fireworks in Bayonne

We tried another place outside the food market for local vitals as a lot of natives were eating there. It was OK but not spectacular.

Survived the wheel!

We went for our free ride on the big-wheel. It was good fun :-). The Christmas Market was busy with people eating and drinking and having chilled sociable fun. The reflections on the swollen river were stunning.

Reflections

Before we retired we went to see bikers and the car club who had assembled in their Santa outfits and Christmas-decorated and fairy-lit vehicles. You got a real feeling of community.

Santa classic cars and bikes

We slept well and were pleased with our “slog” through France we hadn’t planned to do. The fact it hadn’t felt like a “slog” probably had a lot to do with that!. The forecast was good for tomorrow

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