Saturday, 14 January 2017

A new year - a new page in the story of life.

This year has started much as the last one ended. . . 

With a virus lurking in the shadows we cancelled New Year plans and stayed by the box of tissues, cough medicine and menthol sugar-free sweets. Hence the delay in blogging.

I was not too poorly to plan travel to warmer lands though and cheered myself up with trawling through for hotel rooms and planning the whole trip and budget on a spreadsheet. Planning another trip across France, Spain, and into Portugal was the best medicine ever. We will come back across the middle of Spain via Madrid and Zaragoza to cross the Midi-Pyrenees into France for a short stay in Lourdes at the foot of the Pyrenees before meandering back home. 

Pushing back your boundaries.

It is always good to 'push back your boundaries', We have crossed the Pyrenees at both ends of the spectrum; Perpignan in the south east of France into the Spanish National Park, Biarritz in the south west of France into the Basque country, and into Andorra where the scenery and sheer height of the mountains is another experience altogether. We have also ridden up to the Spanish Border from Gavarnie where the road seemingly ends and it was the last stop for pilgrims before they trekked on foot over the mountain peaks on their way to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, the far north west of Spain.
We have done this on two, threes, and four wheels; which is our choice? Two wheels of course. And with my husband being a bad traveller as a passenger, it is ferry to France followed by a long drive through France to our destination.

Negotiating tolls on the motorways.

One thing that we found very useful last year was ordering a transponder for both France and Spain for the motorway tolls where our number plate is read and we simply sail through. Formerly, you had to have a French bank account to have one of these but they have now extended this service. We first had one on our hire car last April after the Europcar man advised us that there were no manned tolls in Central Portugal - where we were heading from Lisbon - but simply a camera at the side of the road. After the simplicity of this there was no contest. ( We use motorways when going from A to B to a certain destination.)

How are you aiming to push back your boundaries this year? Follow your dreams?