I was sat on the beach this evening chatting to a French guy, He gave me a cigarette and it was fairly strong 🙂 After he left I sat watching the sunset over North Spain deep in thought. A flashback to a fairly epic adventure a while back. I was flicking through the photos when I got home and thought I would write a post about it.

We landed in Bilbao airport armed with an arsenal of surfboards and camping gear, hired a car a headed for and campsite in Cantabria that my bro had stayed at before and said there was really good waves there. I knew from the surf forecast that handing over a small fortune in oversize baggage fees for the boards at Dublin airport was a bad move but there we were. Minus waves! For the first day or so we did the norm, waited for waves, drank beer, played games and dossed in the sun but it soon became apparent that we were wasting our time waiting.

Arriving and acting up :)

Arriving and acting up 🙂

Now I have been to this part of the world a few times as had my companions, always for surf so none of us had seen anything else apart from the coast. So that was a plan, we pack up and go on a road trip.

The first day we drove deep in to the Asturias countryside, stopping at a couple of beautiful little beaches and bays on the way. Here was old school, we waited for cows on the road that had bells round their necks. We got lost a few times and stopped off in quite a few places to take in the scenery and local life. When you think of the tourist mutating cess pits of the Mediterranean coast of Spain you may as well be on another planet. It’s amazingly scenic and properly Spanish up there.

Somewhere in Cantabria!

Somewhere in Cantabria!

The backdrop to this scene was the Picos de Europa mountains. Sitting at the campsite that evening looking at a map over a beer we found a couple of roads that go right up high in to the mountains so that became the plan for day 2, to seek them out and drive up there.

That is the destination in the background.

That is the destination in the background.

The next morning we were up and out early. The drive up to the mountains was more beautiful scenery amongst a slow pace of life. After a few stops to check the map we were soon climbing in to the mountains. And boy did we climb! What looked like a little road on the map actually turned out to be an epic drive right up in to the peaks. It was the start of summer and there was still snow up there. We passed all sorts of scenery, mountain lakes, goats, and dodgy roads until we got to the end of the road. Where to everyone’s surprise there was a car park and a pub / café.

The climb

The climb

Higher!

Higher!

We parked the car and decided to walk for a while further in to the wilds. We didn’t get far when we were stopped in our tracks by a fairly beefy looking bull. Shitting myself I turned to my friend for comfort. Now this guy has grown up in the wilds of west Ireland, if he does not know what to do when confronted by a bull then we are all in proper trouble!

He didn’t know what to do, we turned and walked slowly, the bull followed. We walked as fast as we could without turning round and then once the pub and car park were within shooting distance we ran like mad. Much to the entertainment of a few old local guys who were actually having a game of piss the other bulls off near the car park.

I am so grown up :)

I am so grown up 🙂

After that ordeal we stopped for a couple of beers before heading back down to level ground and finding some food and fiesta for the evening. It looked like there was going to be a small bit of surf the next day in SW France so we decided to pack up and hit the road early. We cruised the whole north coast of Spain on a nice blue skied day. We got to France greeted by the arrival of a new swell and spent the rest of the trip surfing and doing the norm. I was so glad there was no waves for them few days and we went on the road trip instead.

The views from the motorway.

The views from the motorway.

Looking back over there this evening from the beaches of SW France brought it all back. It is an awesome place over there. One I can’t wait to go back to one day, a road trip idea is brewing 🙂