Seville day 4

Saturday 13 July 2013 I tend to get up earlier than my travel companions. Maybe my coffee addiction doesn’t like me to sleep in. On Saturday, I used the early hours of the day to cook: I made a mild chickpea curry for lunch. Ruby and I then went out searching for somewhere to print…

Seville day 3

Friday 12 July 2013 A vast cathedral with a lunch to match; a peaceful park and a confected plaza—that was Friday in a nutshell. But we needed to start the day with something to fortify our legs. I learned how to cook Eggs à la Ho Chi Minh from a street-vendor who had a tiny…

Seville day 2

Thursday 11 July: 2013 Today was flamenco day! But before we could climb into that sublime furnace, we had to walk across some ordinary coals… On our first morning in Seville, Ruby and I headed off to a supermarket in Plaza del Duque to stock the fridge. We filled two large shopping bags to the…

Algarve—Seville day 1

Wednesday 10 July 2013 We drove back to Faro in the little Fiat Punto with Susie dozing off in the front seat. The Europcar office provided a free shuttle service to Faro Airport, where we caught a metro bus back to the dismal bus station. Its only saving grace was that the small cafe there…

Santiago—Porto day 1

Wednesday 26 June 2013 Our day began early. At 6 a.m. I bid Ruby farewell as she got into a taxi outside the vast portal of the Hospedaria San Martin de Pinario. She was heading off to begin her adventures in Morocco and, later, Malaga, in Spain. On our way out of the old city,…

Santiago day 3

Tuesday 25 June 2013 On our third day in Santiago de Compostela Ruby slept in, so Susie and I spent a few hours competing for bandwidth with pilgrims in the common room of the hospedaria. When Her Ladyship finally rose to displace the sun, we breakfasted on chocolate-filled crêpes in the plaza Quintana dos Muertos….

Santiago day 2

Monday 24 June 2013 Santiago de Compostela is the final destination on the famous Camino de Santiago which has been traipsed by pilgrims for thousands of years. The old city is yet another example of careful preservation of architectural and cultural heritage. The whole place has a slightly cheesy aspect to it, however. There are…

Cudillero—Santiago de Compostela day 1

Sunday 23 June 2013 Today was the second leg of our road trip across the northern coast of Spain. Our aim was to drive from our base at Castañedo near Cudillero to the airport at Santiago de Compostela near Sigüeiro. So, for the last time, we pulled onto the “skyway” that soared above our valley…

Cudillero day 4

Saturday 22 June 2013 Our accommodation in Cudillero is promoted as an “eco lodge”. It is located in a sturdy colonial building that has been divided into four apartments, two upstairs and two downstairs. We are in one of the downstairs apartments, which have very little light. The renovator’s options were no doubt limited by…

Cudillero day 3

Friday 21 June 2013 After our walk along the coast the previous day, we reserved a morning to explore the town of Cudillero, which is a short drive away from our base in the tiny hamlet of Castañedo. As we drove along a road that snaked down to sea-level and around a charming marina, the…

Cudillero day 2

Thursday 20 June 2013 There is a walk that begins east of Cudillero at La Playa Aguilar. It hugs the coastline of Asturias for five kilometres and terminates at the end of a long breakwater that juts out into the Bay of Biscay at the mouth of the Nalón river, north of San Esteban. The…

Bilbao—Cudillero day 1

Wednesday 19 June 2013 There are some for whom paradise is an endless, flat expanse of white sand by clear, warm, aquamarine waters caressed by overhanging palm trees; there is but a whisper of a breeze, and there are no waves to speak of because the beach lies behind a tropical reef. For Susan and…