Despite a late night, thanks to my neighbours blaring TV until midnight, am up reasonably early. Of course I have plenty of time with only 170 miles to go so check out the Bilbao Harley detour.. mmm this will add another 100 miles to the journey and it’s raining already; guess that’ll be a no then.
Take my time over breakfast and leave around 11am. It has stopped raining but still pretty grey. After 20 miles I stop to put on my wet gear, not because it’s raining, but because I’m very cold!
Back on the road and head straight for Santander. It has brightened up a bit in places, but I can see a wall of grey ahead, which, I can only assume, is pouring rain.
As I get higher up into the mountains it gets colder and then the grey wall is upon me and I decide it’s time for Clarice, (Silence of the Lambs)!
Just in time as it is now hammering down… Fabulous.
Arrive at the ferry port at about 2.30, way too early as the boat doesn’t leave until 9.15 tonight. Decide to visit Santander Harley, even though I have been there before. I get there at 3.05 and of course it is shut…what’s new? Opens at 3.30 but as it’s still peeing down I pootle off to find a cafe. I find a small cafe and order a coffee and a hamburguesa con bacon y queso. As I am chomping my burger I remember I have run out of euros… Oops!! Quick recce of the wallet and I have €4.60 to my name. I guess I’ll have to wash up… but, lucky me it only comes to €3.10 whew!
Back on the bike and over to the Harley shop. Browsing the clothing department when I am accosted by a young chap who looks vaguely familiar, I think I spoke to him last time I was here. Anyway, he asks me if my bike is the one that was featured in Harley Days, (a section of the HOG Europe magazine – Harley Owners Group), I don’t know, perhaps it’s related to my win at the HOG rally last year!! He isn’t sure but he says he recognises the paint work as it is very distinctive… I’ll have to check, but in the meantime I am well flattered of course.
After handing a small mortgage over the counter, it’s back on the bike and into Santander to find somewhere to plot up until I can get aboard the ship.
At about 6.30 I ride over to the ferry port and check in. The woman in the kiosk tells me we should be boarding around 7.30 so I park behind all the other bikes in row 1 and make my way to the cafe, I can’t face another coffee so just find a seat and rest for a while. At around 7.20 people start moving out of the cafe so I wander back to my bike. That’s odd, the number plate is at the wrong angle… I check and it is loose. The axle nut has worked its way loose.. how odd.. I will have to try and tighten it up, but it is raining and I don’t know how long I have before we are called aboard so I think I will have to wait until we are on board to get my tools out.
We are eventually called forward in small groups from about 7.45 onwards and when it is my turn we pass through passport control and then are grouped again under some shelter. We then have to wait again to be called forward to actually board the ship so I do not park up on the boat until 9pm! I do not have a chance to sort out the axle so it will have to wait until I disembark tomorrow.
It is only when I get up to the cabin deck that I learn the boat is working on UK time so we won’t be sailing until 10.15pm. I make my way to my cabin, which is as expected from my previous trips, small but great for the crossing. I then get something to eat, which is not really very nice unfortunately.. boo Brittany Ferries, then off to bed.