Travel Topics

Although I’m not a great fan of listing details of road journeys -  to me they are usually sooooo boring - there are some routes from A to B that are better or more interesting than others and at our age we tend to forget which is which so this page will, hopefully, act as a gouide to the good and the best avoided.

3 - Estramoz to Castro Verde

Total distance 156 km (97 miles)

This short journey is all on narrow single carriage country roads, however they are wide enough and quiet enough to make for a stress free pleasant trip.

2 - Bilbao to Estramoz

Total distance 808 km (502 ml)

This journey from the Bilbao ferry port to Camping Alentejo, a little beyond of Estramoz was done in three stages the first from Bilbao to Burgos (Camping Fuentes Blancas), the second from Camping Fuentes Burgos to Plasencia (Camping Monfrague) and the third from Plasencia to Estramos (Camping Alentego).

A to B - Bilbao to Burgos (Camping Fuentes Blancas). Distance 174 km (108 ml).

This is a reasonable site to head for after getting off the early afternoon docking ferries, the route is almost all motorway so a good speed can be maintained, although the toll fee is €21 but can be easily avoided if time is not an issue. In our case not only was time a particular issue the rain was “persisting” down and after taking an hour and a half to disembark a boat that was already over an hour late any toll costs would have been deemed well worth it.

B to C - Burgos to Plasencia (Camping Monfrague). Distance 391 km (243 ml)

This is, for us, quite a distance, but practically all of it is on toll free motorway and for the latter part passes through attractive countryside.

C to D - Plasencia to Estramoz (Camping Alentejo). Distance 243 km (151 ml)

In the past the sat-nav has taken us all the way on the motorway, however on this occasion it suggested we turn off the motorway at Caćeres and cut across country on a good quality secondary road to Badajoz. What a pleasant road it turned out to be. Little traffic, superb countryside views most definitely a far better, and shorter journey than on the motorway and as a bonus it was also quicker by a considerable margin.

1 - Thoughts on ferries.

We have traveled on many ferries our the years of our caravan adventures, all of which have been easy to embark/disembark and the public areas including cabins comfortable and pleasant.

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All that is except the MF Cap Finistére. The standard cabins we have used are comfortable, light and airy but many of the internal deck areas are cramped and claustrophobic, for instance one of the corridors meanders through the centre of the main restaurant but my main moan is reserved for the garage decks.

On the two occasions we have used this ferry we have on driving onboard been directed up a steep slope then turned 180º back past the slope we had just come up and out on an open deck then another 180º turn to fetch up behind four rows of previously loaded cars and above them a movable deck also loaded with cars, behind us is loaded caravans, motorhomes trucks, all manner of vehicles including an arctic backed up onto the slope which is then raised on hydraulics so that the lower deck can be loaded.

The main problem comes when disembarking. The lower deck has to be unloaded, the slope lowered, the arctic driven of and the packed vehicles at the top of the slope shuffled to allow them to defend. Then the cars are unloaded, after which a slope is lowered from the removable deck and those cars offloaded after which the moveable deck is moved up out of the way. The higher vehicles can now move forward and disembark which for us was just shy of an hour and a half after the ship docked.

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Waiting to get off.

© S W Ghost 2018