Friday 16th November 2018
It feels a bit odd. This holding pattern. As we move closer and closer to our final point of departure. An end to our Adventure.
It isn’t an end though.
Four and a bit months of utter freedom doesn’t just stop. We may have no jobs to go back to, we may have bills and a mortgage to pay and our savings won’t last forever but, the adventure will continue. It always does.
Besides, we still have a day and a bit before we get on the boat.
For our final full day in Spain we find ourselves on a small campsite 35 minutes east of Santander, on the coast, near to a place called Ajo.
It’s a funny place. Not really a town, just a campsite filled with semi-permanent, static caravans with a smattering of full time residents in evidence. The few houses butting up to the site are all holiday homes. Mostly shuttered up for the winter. The rest is rolling farmland. If it weren’t for the barking dogs (a peculiarity of Spain that we shall miss in a perverse sort of way) we could be on the coast of sunny Cornwall or Southern Ireland.
After lunch we hie ourselves off for our daily constitutional and head for the coast where we have heard about some caves (La Ojerada). Mrs P is overjoyed, as we see lots of farm animals on this walk. Young cows (calfs or calves? hang on, I’ll look it up… ‘Calves.’ Looks wrong but who am I to argue with the Oxford English Dictionary?), a dozen or more piglets suckling from their enormous mother, a smattering mules, chickens and multitudinous cats, kittens, dogs and puppies. Occasionally we even spot a person, but only in the distance.
We walk down the centre of the road. No need to look over our shoulder. It is very unlikely we will see or even hear a car. We will miss the peace. The natural silence, (apart from the dogs. I mentioned the dogs right?).
It’s a beautiful coastline. Azure waves crash against the limestone rock with its karst topography (it took ages to find that out!) gradually undercutting the land and creating magnificent caves.
We’ve seen some strange things on our journey so are not even remotely surprised, on our arrival at the coast, to find a couple, she in a flowing cocktail dress, he in some kind of robe, performing interpretive dance moves to camera at the edge of the cliffs.
The caves are an opportunity for our own version of interpretive dance (read: gurning) for the benefit of the camera, with the resultant photos of dubious artistic value.
At high tide, the water forced under the rock by the cave causes a characteristic sound called a ‘snort‘. We had no idea it would happen so, when there was a sudden, very loud and somewhat alarming rushing noise we christened it a WTF!?
Our walk ends on a beautiful beach with the sun low in the sky.
Back at the campsite we shower, cook and toast Spain, which we have declared to be the friendliest of the countries we have travelled through. The people are universally lovely. No grumpy waiters, no sullen campsite staff, a smiling ‘holla’ from everyone we meet, young and old and a willingness to help, to inform and to make one feel welcome. Thank you Spain.
ASIDE: A couple of spooky non-events today have underlined that these are the final hours of our trip;
Spooky incident No. 1. Towards the end of today’s walk I was taking one of my last photos when I got the following error message…
6 GB of memory on camera 1 of 3 all used up.
Don’t worry though, I deleted a couple of the terrible videos I shot and freed up a bit of space. (For those of a nervous disposition, I have also, long ago, uploaded 90% of the images to both my laptop and the cloud.)
Spooky incident No. 2. Mrs P’s biro that she has been using to write her diary all trip, ran out of ink.