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Adventure before dementia

Navarra Pyreenes

SPAIN | Wednesday, 19 September 2018 | Views [129]

First stop in the Pyrenees was a pretty stone village called Echo. We camped for 3 nights in the village and explored the valle of Echo on foot and by bike. One day we cycled up the valle along the spectacular gorge and into the Pyrenees. This was stunningly beautiful and very quiet. The small villages in this area are really pretty and an unusual design for Spain. The buildings are stone with large circular chimneys and the street are cobbled. This area is a popular bird watching location in particular for seeing the magnificent Bearded Vulture. With a wingspan of up to 1.8 metre (9 ft) it is a huge bird. We saw them circling on the thermals every the morning but we also got a sighting close up when one landed on a rock quite close to us. It was massive, it looked as big as us! The other unusual creature we saw were praying mantis, I didn't know we had them in Europe.

We left Echo to visit other valles in the Pyrenees which invariably means travelling over mountain passes! This can be daunting in a motorhome and also a bit embarrassing when you end up travelling alongside a cycling race!! We reached the peak of one of the hills and were stopped by officials who explained about the bike race. For a moment we thought we had ended up in amongst the Vuelta and were expecting all the TV cameras around the corner!! Fortunately it was a local race and we could slowly make our way down the hill and not get in the way of the cyclist! We were the only vehicle driving along the road and it felt a bit like the film National Lampoons European vacation!!

We continued our journey through the picturesque villages in the valley and finally stopped at Ochagavia. We spent a few nights here exploring the area on foot and by bike. The mountain bike routes are absolute killers! If you ever want to feel like an unfit amateur come cycling in the Basque region! The uphills are gruelling and the downhills steeper than anything we have ever completed at home. All good fun though in amazing scenery. 

The end of our trip is now in sight so we are making our way to San Sebastian for a few nights to eat, eat, eat…..it is the food capital of the world!!

See you soon, love Dawn & Mark xx

 

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