Cruise to Santander, Northern Spain
12/03/02 to 17/03/02

12 March 2002

Set off to pick up Gemma at 08:30 then collected Justin and Nikki.
Joined the M1 at junction 38.  Stopped for lunch at Strensham Services on the M5.
Arrived in Plymouth mid-afternoon but couldn't check-in to the Guest House until after 16:00.
Had a pint (or two) of St Austell Tinners (3.7% abv) and HSD (5% abv) at a nearby pub.

The Four Seasons Guest House

Eventually we checked-in to the Four Seasons Guest House on East Citadel Road
after struggling to find a place to park the car.
Our two rooms were up three flights of stairs on the top floor
but they were spotlessly clean and very cosy.
That evening we went out for a meal at a nearby restaurant called "Revival"
then to a pub next door to the restaurant for some more liquid refreshment.

13 March 2002

After breakfast we packed up and set off to find the local branch of Boots,
as Nikki wasn't feeling too well.  After driving around Plymouth we found it
and Nikki managed to buy the necessary pills and potions she needed.
From here we drove to the ferry port and located the
foot-passengers car park - on the second attempt!
After unloading our luggage from the car we collected our boarding tickets,
walked up the steps, and on to the "Val de Loire" our home for the next 48 hours.

Brittany Ferries - Val de Loire

Our cabin for the journey was 0203 on the second deck, below the water line.
This was an internal cabin without windows but it had a shower and toilet.
Although the toilet was one of the noisiest vacuum toilets I've ever heard, and it was a constant
source of amusement every time it was flushed!

Sailing away from Plymouth

The weather was very windy and the sea very rough which made walking around the ferry quite
difficult.  People were constantly bumping into things and each other!
Later that evening we all had a few drinks in the bar and were entertained by the
resident band called "Rain", then we watched the on-board magician
"Michael White" and his "White Magic" act, before heading off to bed.

14 March 2002

Next morning after a very rough night at sea, we showered, had breakfast and went to explore the
ferry.  Making note of the exit doors and the location of the life boats. (As well as the Sick Bags!)

Location of the life boats.

Later we went to the front of the ferry on the observation deck to watch the Northern
coast of Spain loom into view over the horizon.

Northern Spain on the horizon.

It was very windy on the observation deck as you can see below,
but by huddling very close together we managed to keep warm!

Huddle together to keep warm.

Then we arrived in Spain.......
<click here as the adventure continues>