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Euro Road-trip 2014

We did another long (2,250 miles) road-trip this year after Clare’s 40th – Portsmouth (via the Shaves just before they moved back to Munich) to Bilbao on the two-night car-ferry, then a drive over to Barcelona for a few nights camping and seeing some friends who moved there last year, followed by four nights camping by some great beaches on the Costa Brava. We drove through France, staying with some friends for a few nights in the Dordogne, before finally turning up in London in time for the RideLondon 100-miler on the Sunday.
The ferry wasn’t quite as much fun as the train to Italy last year, but I’d do it again. We got on in Portsmouth late on the Sunday night, and disembarked in Bilbao early on Tuesday morning. We watched dolphins jumping as the sunset, although the kids were more interested in watching How to Train Your Dragon 2 in the cinema. The open-air seawater pool on the top deck was fun as the boat rolled on the waves.

French PlaitCabinBilbao Sunrise

We camped for the first two nights at Castelldefels just south of Barcelona. From there we met up in Sitges with some neighbours, Carlos & Carina, who moved to Barcelona last year. After a hard day’s pedalloing, Laurie went back to their flat for a sleepover with their daughter Emilia and we took Indie back to the campsite where the kid’s party (from four-years old) started at 10pm.
The next day we met Carlos & Carina, Emilia, and Laurie at the mountain-top abbey of Montserrat for some hiking and ice-creams.
The GirlsIndie in MontserratLaurie Summits MontserratCarlos, Emilia, Indie, Pip, Barn, Carina

Next stop was a four-night stop camping by a chain of gorgeous little beaches further up the Costa Brava, by Sa Riera. We kayaked (once – I burst it the second time!), swam, ate more ice-cream, and did proper beach holiday stuff.
Platje de Tamariu 1Platje de Tamariu 2Platje de Tamariu - LauriePlatje de Tamariu 3Cliff JumpingDadReluctant to leavePlatja de Sa Riera

After that we said goodbye to the Mediterranean, and started the long drive north. We spent the afternoon at the ruined mountain-ridge Cathar castle of Peyrepertuse, then camped just outside the beautiful medieval town of Carcassonne.
Indie in PeyrepertusePip, Laurie, IndieCarcassonne ArchCarcassonne Walls 2

After a day looking round, and more ice-cream, we drove up to the Dordogne for a few nights with V and her extended family – and one night in a bed, the first since the ferry.
V's Extended FamilyPip, Indie, SunflowersPip, Laurie, SunflowersBrown Cows

The last night was a brief stopover at Le Chartre-sur-le-Loir, where the girls found (not the real) Madeline’s House, which delighted them.
Le PĂȘcheur De La Chartre-sur-le-LoirMadeleine

Finally we got the Eurotunnel back to Folkestone, spent the night with Sally & David in Deal, and back to London on the Saturday afternoon. A great trip.
As usual the photos are on Flickr.

Created with flickr slideshow.

A couple of videos I found on the waterproof camera as well!

Pip not sliding off a pedalo in Sitges.

One of several octopuses I found while snorkeling at Tamuriu.

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