Agen

Making the most of M fast asleep in the back we had another day of plenty of miles done.

image

The mountains provided an excellent start to the drive.

image

I was a bit concerned at the border when I was pulled over. And embarrassed when I opened my front passenger door only for all my rubbish to fall out! The policeman kindly directed my red face to the nearest bin. Just as he looked like he might start my unpacking early, M woke up and started to cry so he let me go – I’ve got him well-trained!! The drive got somewhat dull after that but a smile was added to my journey in the form of an old lady with a cat in a sling. Yes. Like the one I have for M. For a cat.

After a false start at a camp site that didn’t have camping (don’t ask!) we found a cracker of a place with a pool that M loved (he’s really getting into the water thing now), chickens, goats and rabbits and a fishing lake.

The restaurant didn’t look up to much but as M was asleep in the buggy I thought I’d grab some dinner and ordered beef bourguignon. It was delicious! The tenderest beef I’ve ever had and M, when he woke up, loved it too. We went to bed a very happy pair.

Andorra la Vella

image

It feels wonderful to be back on the road again, but I’m already missing my family. It’s been a rare and fabulous treat to spend time with them this past week, and I’m so grateful for them having organised it. They have been kind and generous to us both in so many ways – it’s been a good opportunity to remember how precious family is.

Andorra is our destination today and it provided another winding, mountainous route to our next stop. M and I love the steep climbs, but Freda struggles sometimes. We both lean forward going up the hills – I think it helps!

image

The view from the camp site is hard to capture; everything is towering around us. There’s even snow on some of the mountain tops. Even better was the chance to enjoy it from the site’s jacuzzi – M’s first time and he LOVED the bubbles! As usual, he was also making friends all over the place. My favourites today were a Spanish girl and boy who wanted to play, and who, when they realised where we were from, just flicked to English. It astounds me how so many European kids can do this, and so few British. I still stumble over ‘bonjour’!

image

In other news… M seems to finally be embracing his buggy. Did the trick nicely when it came to snooze-time!

image

Ullastret – last day!

After that long day yesterday, and it being the last proper day with the family, we had a simple one by the pool and getting Freda, the van, ready.

It felt good to have a good clear out and clean up, and get ready for another week on the road. What felt even better was diving into the pool once I was done and M was fast asleep!

I don’t have any photos today but there was a glorious sunset I WISHED I’d caught for you… Sorry.

Ullastret – Barcelona

What was planned as a half day trip today ended up as a 12 hour jaunt. M mentioned a couple of times that he wasn’t so happy with the outcome!

Kika (aforementioned uber-cool niece) and I went to Barcelona for the day. I’d planned to get the super-fast TGV but somehow buggered up the ticket buying process and we ended up on a slow train that took more than twice as long (1h30). Not ideal. Anyway, we jumped on the tourist bus and had a good look around, stopping on the beach for a breather…

image

(and a sandy snack) before heading to lunch at the fabulous Teresa Carles vegetarian restaurant (www.teresacarlea.com).

image

M happily joined us in tucking into spinach, cheese and mushroom croquettes and my pear and gorgonzola ravioli hearts (with rose petals and walnuts – heaven!).

image

A quick shop for some new smalls followed, then we hopped back on the bus to see the famous cathedral. Having learnt our lesson earlier, when we got back to the station we bought new tickets for the TGV and M did a little crawling practice in the waiting area.

image

I have to say that the extra we spent on the other train was WELL worth it! Chilled, fast and very civilised. Great way to end a great day.

Ullastret – Figueres (again!)

image

Success!! A fabulous couple of hours basking in surreal excellence – just wonderful. We were some of the first in when the doors opened and it was well worth the early start. In fact, the dawn clouds on the hills made the drive quite beautiful in itself, even if I was struggling to get into the day having not yet had my caffeine fix (swiftly solved on arrival in a cool crepery in the square).

image

M and I got a little one-to-one time after the tour and while waiting for the others. He nagged and nagged for a chocolate crepe until I finally gave in and ordered one, giving him a smigden off the edge. He loved it. Bless him. Must remember to make pancakes more often when we get home.

image

The usual, back-at-the-house, pool-cooling and volleyball-playing fun took up the bulk of the afternoon before my eldest, super-cool, Hong-Kongite niece and I spent the evening babysitting the littler ones. It’s all gone rather smoothly… Well, it’s quiet so far,,anyway!