Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Viva Espagne!!

We crossed the border near Ainhoa where a couple of Guardia asked to see our passports and waved us on (after telling Peter to put his seat belt on!)

The scenery is quite spectacular, with passes and tunnels through some very high jaggy mountains!

And like on the French side, little towns nestled between high mountains.

We headed for Haro the main town of the Rioja area famous for Rioja wines.

The view from the road approaching Haro.

We found this campsite through the Camperstop book. Spain doesn’t have any recognised camperstops and wild camping is not recommended. The municipal campsite here is very good and reasonably cheap - 31 Euros for 2 nights. About a tenner a night.

We took the dogs for a walk into the town of Haro the next day, Saturday 21 April and had a good walk round the town. We stopped at a cafĂ© in the main plaza that had seats outside and had a beer and some tapas, small colourful cold or hot hors d’oeuvres or appetisers made from a combination of meat, cheese and vegetables.

We also managed to find a bookshop that was open and bought a Spanish – English dictionary! We found a little shop selling bread and bought some beer (San Miguel-what else!) and a bottle of Rioja. The woman in the shop offered me two types one costing 1 euro and one at 5euros. The cheap one was a ‘normale’ everyday wine and the 5Euro one she said was much better. We took the 5 euro one- still only about £3.00. This turned out to be an award winning 2001 Rioja, which was absolutely gorgeous with vanilla fruity loveliness!!! We now wish we’d bought a lot more. And this from a man who ‘doesn’t like Spanish plonk!’

We ventured up to the old church with its sculpted spire complete with saints and gargoyle spouts. Peter especially liked the storks with their huge nests on the tops of buildings.

And spotted this carving of the cowardly lion from the Wizard of Oz on an old building ;o)

We had a lovely sunset that night accompanied by the singing of frogs from the swimming pool!

In the morning we heard a roaring noise overhead which turned out to be hot air balloons!

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