The Journey Part 2 - Portsmouth to Bilbao
Last minute ‘stuff’ thrown in the van, we were ready to go. I saw ‘thrown’ in; I did actually try to pack the van very carefully to spread the load and avoid movement of any items as we had some fragile paintings and tech equipment to transport and really didn’t fancy getting to the Spanish end to find a pile of unidentifiable fragments.
Of the 3-4 day journey, the worst part was the drive through South London. No matter what time of the day, getting through Clapham, Battersea and out to the A3 is just the most tedious stretch of road. It took us over an hour to crawl through the suburbs, and the traffic as heavy all the way down to Portsmouth. However, the weather was glorious for late September, and we had allowed plenty of time to get down and checked in. Seeing the Spinnaker landmark on Portsmouth’s waterfront brought home the reality of this journey, and seeing the ferry was even more exciting. The process of getting us on board was seamless, and we found our cabin easily and got ready for the 24 hour sea crossing ahead of us. It was around this time that I admitted to Andrew that I hadn’t really had a long sea crossing before, so had no idea if I would suffer from seasickness. I had considered investing in some anti-nausea pills, but in the run up to our departure this did’t seem like a priority. In the preceding few days, it had been mentioned by a few people that the Bay of Biscay was notoriously rough, and a friend texted with the message that the first person to be seasick had to buy the gin. Psychologically, this may all have lodged in my head….
Te sea was not rough, but as the cruise progressed, there was a degree of swell. I should have eaten more and I think that the lack of food, and the tiredness all contributed to a growing queasiness and by dinner time, even though I had ordered food, I couldn’t eat it! Very rare for me; I had to abandon starters and retire to the cabin to lie down and abandon poor Andrew in the restaurant. I was fine, and managed to sleep, waking in the morning with no ill effects. The Bay of Biscay was like a millpond and the sun rose into a clear blue sky as we sailed towards Bilbao.