Been given a promise, so rode up to Bilbao. Scenic route over the little mountains. Temperature dropped to low twenties, so enjoyable. But in the 30’s at either end of the journey.
Stayed in a nice place next to the church, with motorcycle parking out front. And in the morning a twenty minute ride dropped me off at the Portsmouth ferry.
Parked the bike on-board. Unpacked my gear in the cabin – nice twin-berth with a window. And only twice the price.
Went in search of breakfast. At the hotel, after FirstParade for the bike, I took time for an espresso and agua. But that was three hours earlier. The ship served the worse full-English breakfast ever. Tasteless scrambled eggs, weird tasting sausages, OK bacon, and fluffy-white bread toast. Being hungry did not help with the taste. But I had skipped supper and breakfast at the hotel, due to the restaurant being closed.
Back to the cabin for a nap.
Then do some reading.
Supper was better. Chicken a la Basque (tomato-ee sauce with onions and peppers) plus plain rice and veg.
Then back to the room, finish my reading and to sleep.
The morning broke sunny and calm. We arrived in Portsmouth right on schedule and I rode off to Soothills. Put my Euros away and pulled out some PoundsSterling.
No masks. Felt a bit weird. Have been wearing a mask forever, or so it seems. But the UK is implementing mask-wearing on Friday.
Rode to the Delme Arms. Am staying here for a couple of nights.
Phone friends whilst waiting for Barry to arrive, and the pub to open. Might have had a pasty during the wait.
Meet up with Barry, and sit in the garden, in the sun, with a pint of real beer. Maybe a few more.
Then Barry had to go to do his husband chores.
I went upstairs to prep for some work tomorrow.
Nice pork steak for supper, and an early night.
Thursday was a late rising day, but that was planned.
Barry and Selena swung by, and we all had lunch – nice steak&kidney pie, to go with the nicer chat.
Being young, Selena had to go back to the office.
Barry and I had a second pint. Then Barry had to go to do his husband chores. This husband thing really seems like hard work. But he’s happy. One should always do what one enjoys.
I cracked on with my webwork. And by 3am it was done.
Friday morning was Delme-departure day. A few grey clouds, but another sunny day. Not sure if I actually have left Spain. Where is the rain?
Another stop at Soothills where I have to wear a mask. Didn’t have that rule on Wednesday. The number of deaths peaked early April, and are down to the five year average. So why masks now? All together now, “If it’s logical and sensible, it will never happen.”
Rode over to Barry’s, where he put me to work, trimming hedges. We called the Grapes, to be told by the landlord, he was expecting our call. He’d seen me at work!!! But they are shut until August 24th, or later.
An early evening pint was found in the Barleycorn’s garden. Don’t believe everything you read on TripAdvisor!!!
The beer was followed by a nice vegetable curry with puri.
A perfect English evening. Sunny skies. Real ale. And a decent curry.
Friday was to be an early night. Brian and I have a regular Zoom call at 9pm. He’s got more stories then even me!!! An Eastender, who’s lived in France, Canada and Spain. Served with the RAF, then joined the Royal Signals and we played soldiers together. We can talk for hours!!!
Saturday up early, and the promised rain arrived. Gentle at first. Then varied.
First stop at Toni’s where Barry took care of his husband duties.
Shopping was next. Morrison’s for the basics. Bransbury Park butchers for the abuse. And the Phoenix pub for a pint.
Robert joined us at the Phoenix. More chat.
Then back to Barry’s – housekeeping duties.
Thanks to Matej for confirming that FrancisLovell.net is working correctly. The domain and website transfer from GoDaddy had started on Sunday. Proceeded on plan, though none of it had gone smoothly. Just little niggles. Like working with a Haynes car manual. The last issues from Thursday resolved themselves, with time.
So that’s everybody up-to-date.
Looks like I made the crossing just in time.
The UK is re-instating a 14-day self-isolation period for those arriving from Spain.
I am back in the UK, back in the UK……….