Posted by: martinworster | September 8, 2003

4. PORTSMOUTH TO BILBAO ON A BOOZE CRUISE

Camera stolen, sisters purse nicked…welcome to Spain. Guggenheim museum, no waves in Basque country, driving through the Spanish interior in an overheating car, all good fun.

 It’s quite hard actually as I’m writing this posthumously ie from memory. I had my camera stolen so I lost the incentive as it would mean text with no pictures. But now I have decided to write. And I have also bought a new camera. Interesting stuff, huh?

I came here via Portsmouth to Bilbao on a ferry with my car and my sister Camilla for company. The journey was fun. Two days on a ferry with hen and stag parties, old couples there for the cruise and people like me sailing into the horizon for new adventures. On the journey we saw dolphins and pilot whales, as well as lots of white beached whales on deck trying to catch the rays. There was a cinema, pool, discos, gyms, bars, restaurants which we savoured although it got tiring explaining to people that Camilla was my sister and not my girlfriend!

So we landed at Bilbao and spent three days in Basque country in North West Spain. It’s really beatiful here and reminded me of Cornwall with the green scenery, estuaries, tin mining, fishing, local language and independent spirit. I loved it. Guggenheim museum’s great too.

I think it’s part of the Buddhist ethos that it’s not the destination that counts but the journey which is important. Whoever said this never travelled in an overheating Mercedes G Wagon through Espana. We had to have the heat on to stop the engine overheating most of the way. This was in mid-July travelling through Spanish interior which looked like cowboy land replete with the tumbleweed. My poor sister Camilla had to sit in the front passenger seat (with, painfully a window that didn’t work either) so you could say it was hot and uncomfortable.

I was thinking about this the other day. Sayings that are incorrect. Johnson said that if you are tired of London then you are tired of life. Wrong Dr Johnson. I’m having a hiatus from London as I’m tired of pollution, overcrowding, over priced everything, traffic jams, early closing bars, bad weather and the Northern European Protestant ethic. However I am not tired of life. There’s also the saying ‘there’s plenty of fish in the sea’. Well actually, clearly, due to overfishing, there is not. This saying is now factually incorrect and therefore useless. Not that it was ever useful before as if anyone said it to my they’re likely to be thumped. The saying needs to be updated. Don’t worry about splitting up with ________ there’s plenty of ants in the world.

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