Porto to Biarritz
14.12.2012 - 14.12.2012 8 °C
Our stay in Porto comes to an end after a relaxing few days. We are treated by torrential rain and gusty winds. Kim and I divide and conquer the tasks that are ahead which are to pick up the car on the other side of Porto, pack and do one last bakery run ( most important). I venture out in the wet with the umbrella we picked up in Lisbon and get half way across the square when the wind gust blows my umbrella inside out forcing me to nana shuffle across the square to a cafe for shelter against the rain. I order a coffee (in Portuguese :-D) and spend the next 10 minutes trying to salvage my umbrella. I succeed and head out once again to pick up the supplies, not a minute later my umbrella bends inside out and snaps without any possibility of repair. I am now forced to run the last of my errands getting wet in the process making it home for hot shower. Kim has ventured on the bus to the other side of Porto picking up the car, braving the flooded streets and even worse drivers on the road. Making back to the apartment without his trusty navigator!!
We load the car between bursts of down pours and head out of the city towards France!
Once we are settled on the highway we tuck into the Natas(Portuguese tarts), chicken pies and my queque cenoura (carrot cake). I will miss these - adding to my cook book when we arrive home!!
We drive out of Portugal and through the north of Spain through heavy cloud and rain all of the way. We don't see a lot of Spain and the low cloud cover makes the trip feel like it is taking an eternity. We stop in a truck stop around 2 in the afternoon for lunch. Kim does very well deciphering the menu and ordering in Spanish. He will say that he does not do this well, I beg to differ.
Allanah has a burger and Kim and I share a hot chicken sandwich that is the length from elbow to finger-tip (huge). We continue on in the car (Kim is driving) for another 5-6 hours through the Basque region to glimpse through the haze a warren of towns squeezed into the valleys of these huge mountains. It is not until we come back a few days later that we see how big these towns are spotted with old churches and buildings dating back to the 18th century and a few new ones (including a massive Renault factory).
We find the hotel in Biarritz relatively easily and realise that we are an hour behind timezone and dash to the stadium for the last 50 minutes of the Biarritz v Connaught game.
It is and has been raining cats and dogs and the field looks like a pond. It is only that there is 15 players at one end and 15 at the other (as they kicked to each other) that you can tell who is playing for which team. There is a break in play and one of the players dips his hands into the puddle to wash his face that we can see the red on jersey to see he is a Biarritz player we know which team is which.
Half time 10-0 to Biarritz.
We sit amongst a very loud few Irish supporters that seem to have had a few brews and really annoy the Biarritz supporters that are around us. It is really funny to see the French annoyed at the loud cheering at a poor Irish performance. They struggle to hold onto the ball in the slop and right on the buzzer Biarritz score in the corner to win 15-0 (we didn't wait around for the kick). The Irish supporters were yelling all the way to the dying end.
It is now almost 11pm and we leave to find some dinner. Pizzeria around the corner from the stadium (sort of) is still open. We soon find out that Pizza is done well in France. I am still needing Veges so we order a Salad that arrives soaked in a garlic dressing - this I think will help keep the man cold at bay!!
I forgot to mention that we are seated next to the dessert bar - which provides some excitement and does not disappoint when Allanah orders Ice cream sundae (chocolate of course), Kim the Tarte de Tatin and for me the Profiteroles.
Mmmm now all that is left is to lay down and sleep!
We have not seen a lot of Biarritz, what we did during the evening walk/drive is enough to whet the appetite to come back and spend some more time. This is a very popular spot for surfing and swimming at the beach - only 2 hours from Bordeaux with an airport close by.
Another place to add to the next travel list, but will need to save some more money and learn French!