So at long last the Friday came and whilst Teresa went into work for a couple of hours in the morning, I spent the morning loading the car with all the comforts of home that we thought we would need, Airbed, sheets, pillows etc etc. We were all ready for the off around lunchtime so a quick brew of, yes you remember coffee and off we go.
We had already had an email from Brittany Ferries warning us that the ferry was going to be an hour late, but on arrival at Portsmouth Port we were advised of yet a further delay, so what should have been a 5:00pm sailing was now 7:30pm. Oh! Well never mind eh! There’s a Costa in the terminal building, so coffee time!
It was a tad boring, to say the least, waiting around for the ferry, but eventually we were loaded and found our way to our cabin, which was more than adequate for the crossing. So bags unloaded, it’s off to the bar! After several glasses of wine and a very late dinner, with yes more wine it was time for bed and yes we did sleep well. The next day we had a substantial breakfast and watched a film in the ferries video room. Eventually around 8:00pm we arrived in Santander, as we docked we could see the hotel we have booked in for, for the night, but actually getting to it proved to be a bit of a challenge.
The exit from the docks took us right out of Santander to the edge of the Motorway south, great that we knew where to head for in the morning, but didn’t help us finding our way to the hotel. So after heading out of town for 10 minutes we headed on a different road back into town for 10 minutes. Then because they have changed the road layouts in town, which the SatNav did not know about and the hotel, we later found was in an pedestrian area and there seemed to be some fiesta in progress with numerous lorry cabs and vans all lit up and sounding their horns, getting to the actual hotel proved to be a real challenge. Eventually we saw signs to a public car park very near the hotel, and after an aborted attempt to enter via the exit we managed to park and find out way to the hotel entrance.
The actual hotel, Hotel Bahía was very nice, and after a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast we set off south towards Portugal early the next morning, finding the way out was easy as after the previous nights exploits we knew the way!
The drive down was easy and in just over 6 hours we arrived in Covilhã, Portugal, where we had already arranged a night at the TRYP Covilha Dona Maria Hotel before we head to the house in the morning to meet with Paulo and Marco to get the keys and be introduced to our new house.
All in the entire route is a good one, very relaxing, as long as you forget the Santander Hotel episode. For the future its a good route as now we have the house we would head straight south on disembarking the ferry and head to the house, probably arriving in the early hours but would be fine after a relaxing crossing and no hotels as long as the sea is kind to us. So yes we will be going this way again.