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Just back from a drive down to Gibraltar.

barry

barry

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Intriguing.

A few years ago we went - Glasgow, Portsmouth, Bilbao, Spain north coast, Portugal west coast, Gibralter, Portugal inland, Spain north inland, Bilbao, Portsmouth, Glasgow (about 3.3K miles) in about a month. Unlike you we missed out France but did the Bay of Biscay (on a ferry)!
The most memorable bits were the tiny Portuguese fishing villages with their dirt cheap fish for bbqing and their totally crazy way of launching their fishing boats off the beach into the incoming rollers.
 
66tim99

66tim99

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1,955
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London
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T6.1 Ocean 150
Intriguing.

A few years ago we went - Glasgow, Portsmouth, Bilbao, Spain north coast, Portugal west coast, Gibralter, Portugal inland, Spain north inland, Bilbao, Portsmouth, Glasgow (about 3.3K miles) in about a month. Unlike you we missed out France but did the Bay of Biscay (on a ferry)!
The most memorable bits were the tiny Portuguese fishing villages with their dirt cheap fish for bbqing and their totally crazy way of launching their fishing boats off the beach into the incoming rollers.
Always tempted by that ferry - to have a 'cruise' with a cabin, some 'fine dining' and then land in Bilbao...BUT its a choppy one isn't it?!
 
Anthony1

Anthony1

Too young to be old
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748
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T5 SE 180 4Motion
Intriguing.

A few years ago we went - Glasgow, Portsmouth, Bilbao, Spain north coast, Portugal west coast, Gibralter, Portugal inland, Spain north inland, Bilbao, Portsmouth, Glasgow (about 3.3K miles) in about a month. Unlike you we missed out France but did the Bay of Biscay (on a ferry)!
The most memorable bits were the tiny Portuguese fishing villages with their dirt cheap fish for bbqing and their totally crazy way of launching their fishing boats off the beach into the incoming rollers.
We considered the ferry to Spain but it is so expensive.
 
66tim99

66tim99

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When you total the Dover-Calais crossing, tolls and fuel through France, what is the difference though?
If you want to see Spain/Portugal, I would think saving the slog down the French autoroutes is worth a premium...
We considered the ferry to Spain but it is so expensive.
 
Anthony1

Anthony1

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When you total the Dover-Calais crossing, tolls and fuel through France, what is the difference though?
If you want to see Spain/Portugal, I would think saving the slog down the French autoroutes is worth a premium...
True(ish). We didn't use the auto routes, side roads and free motorways. We were not in a hurry. Not too impressed with Spain so am planning to drive to Greece or Sicily next or back to Norway.
 
GrumpyGranddad

GrumpyGranddad

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Wendover
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T6.1 Ocean 199
True(ish). We didn't use the auto routes, side roads and free motorways. We were not in a hurry. Not too impressed with Spain so am planning to drive to Greece or Sicily next or back to Norway.
Hi @Anthony1
It’s a big country that has many quite different regions so ‘Not too impressed with Spain’ is quite a sweeping statement. Can you elaborate? What didn’t you like?
 
66tim99

66tim99

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True(ish). We didn't use the auto routes, side roads and free motorways. We were not in a hurry. Not too impressed with Spain so am planning to drive to Greece or Sicily next or back to Norway.
These guys are campervanning through Greece now (after crossing from Italy) and might provide some inspiration
 
Anthony1

Anthony1

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Hi @Anthony1
It’s a big country that has many quite different regions so ‘Not too impressed with Spain’ is quite a sweeping statement. Can you elaborate? What didn’t you like?
Again true. We didn't go everywhere and the few places we did go, Ronda, Seville, Marbella and yes even Benidorm and skirting Toledo were very nice ideed, etc. We can't speak any Spanish and I don't like the language. A lot of very dry, deserty regions. Great motorway system though. And currently about 40% of the population wearing masks everywhere, parks, streets, the beach, even when alone. My over riding impressions are, lots of abandoned buildings, graffitti on anything that doesn't move and terrible driving. And of course it was hot, up to 36C.

I prefer France, Italy, Scandinavia.
 
barry

barry

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Glasgow
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T5 SE 174
The Portsmouth- Bilbao ferry trip: choppy? expensive?

choppy?
the out and back trip were both pretty smooth and although I've been used to racing 24' Piper OD keel boats in the Clyde estuary, I've no sailor's stomach in big waves.

expensive?
first, the out trip was convenient because we got onto the boat early evening (easy day's drive from Glasgow) got into cabin, then into excellent restaurant for dinner, then a day on the boat, then dinner again, then cabin, then disembark early morning (6ish), then drive for a couple of hours and pop in somewhere for breakfast to orient to mainland Europe (which meant a few espressos and any pastries going).
second, i was really surprised at the quality of the food and wine and the service in the restaurant and two nights in a cabin was good preparation for 4 weeks on the hoof in a tin can.
finally, we've done a fair bit of driving through France down to the southwest (both blasting down the motorways and wriggling down the coast - both cooking in the van, and finding good restaurants) and the overall prices sailing/driving are not dissimilar.

btw on the first night of the out trip the boat pulls into France to change crew and stock up at about 1 am which we thought would wake us up but it didn't ...
 
Anthony1

Anthony1

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748
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T5 SE 180 4Motion
The Portsmouth- Bilbao ferry trip: choppy? expensive?

choppy?
the out and back trip were both pretty smooth and although I've been used to racing 24' Piper OD keel boats in the Clyde estuary, I've no sailor's stomach in big waves.

expensive?
first, the out trip was convenient because we got onto the boat early evening (easy day's drive from Glasgow) got into cabin, then into excellent restaurant for dinner, then a day on the boat, then dinner again, then cabin, then disembark early morning (6ish), then drive for a couple of hours and pop in somewhere for breakfast to orient to mainland Europe (which meant a few espressos and any pastries going).
second, i was really surprised at the quality of the food and wine and the service in the restaurant and two nights in a cabin was good preparation for 4 weeks on the hoof in a tin can.
finally, we've done a fair bit of driving through France down to the southwest (both blasting down the motorways and wriggling down the coast - both cooking in the van, and finding good restaurants) and the overall prices sailing/driving are not dissimilar.

btw on the first night of the out trip the boat pulls into France to change crew and stock up at about 1 am which we thought would wake us up but it didn't ...
Thank you for that.

Now, if only they would reinstate the ferry to Sweden I would be very happy.
 
Paulro

Paulro

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305
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Bristol
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T5 SE 140
Always tempted by that ferry - to have a 'cruise' with a cabin, some 'fine dining' and then land in Bilbao...BUT its a choppy one isn't it?!
It can be but I’ve experienced it flat calm.
 
Kenb17

Kenb17

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Basingstoke
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T5 SE 180
I am interested in your trip, we have a family wedding in the Algarve to attend next September and planning something similar. We will use the tunnel and want to enjoy France as well as Spain and Portugal, we will also swing by Luxembourg on the way back to catch the end of the wine festivals.

btw: best colour Cali
 
V

Vagophile

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871
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Market Deeping
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T5 SE 180
These guys are campervanning through Greece now (after crossing from Italy) and might provide some inspiration
Good call. One of the last remote areas in Europe, a million miles away from the Greek beach resorts and well worth a visit.
 
bob_summers

bob_summers

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509
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Donosti
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T6 Cali On Order
I don't like the language

bit harsh!
IME of the 40% wearing masks in the street, half of those have just walked out of a shop and forgotten they're wearing it! Mandatory anywhere indoors.
 
Nick Stubbs

Nick Stubbs

The Rodent.
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418
Location
Derbyshire
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T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Always tempted by that ferry - to have a 'cruise' with a cabin, some 'fine dining' and then land in Bilbao...BUT its a choppy one isn't it?!
Did that ferry one Easter, trip was ok but forget the fine dinning unless things have changed. The crossing weather wise was good both ways. Hoping to go that way to Portugal in the near future but planning on driving back through France.
 
barry

barry

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562
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Glasgow
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T5 SE 174
Did that ferry one Easter, trip was ok but forget the fine dinning unless things have changed. The crossing weather wise was good both ways. Hoping to go that way to Portugal in the near future but planning on driving back through France.
Disappointing to hear re the fine dining. A few years ago it was the biscuits. If things have indeed changed it would be enough to put me off. Thanks for the heads up!
 
Barbara

Barbara

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317
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T5 Beach
bit harsh!
IME of the 40% wearing masks in the street, half of those have just walked out of a shop and forgotten they're wearing it! Mandatory anywhere indoors.
Me too, have just walked from a wine shop to my apartment I left my mask on and I was by myself. Why take it off to just put it back on a few mins later. It is great here that people are wearing masks and the covid rate is lower than at home.
 

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