Day 0 - 06/06/15 - York to Portsmouth and sailing out with Brittany Ferries

My 2015 Portugal adventure has begun!

I left York at 01:00 am Saturday and drove down to Portsmouth arriving at 06:30 having stopped half an hour for breakfast and to fill up with petrol. We sailed with Brittany Ferries at 08:15 am and should arrive in Santander, Northern Spain at 10:15 am Sunday, although it will be 11:15 because their clocks are 1 hour ahead of ours.

Then the plan is to drive some 500 miles down through Northern Spain to Northern Portugal on Sunday and Monday, overnight camping around half way. I will then take around seventeen days at a leisurely pace to drive around 900 miles down to Central Portugal. During this part of the trip I've planned to stop at around seven campsites and have arranged with seven people ranging from registered estate agents, 'property finders' and owners' to view seven properties. This is quite a tight schedule but it should still leave reasonable time for touring, walking and chilling out. I expect to see some beautiful and breath-taking scenery.

So it's just me, my Ford Focus, my sat-nav. and my tent. I'm very excited and hope to keep you posted as the adventure unfolds.

This is a link to a really good website where I found the campsites that I will be using on the trip: Campsites

Map - York to Portsmouth

I hope to post a map each day to show where I have driven from and to that day, and unless otherwise stated I have used a link to Google Maps for this purpose. This will enable you to use Google Maps to cast around and further explore the area if you so wish.

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Due to road closures and road works I had to reschedule my route twice on the way down. The A1 was closed and the M1 was like a building site! It took ˝ hour longer than planned but TomTom handled it well.

The good news was that by traveling at night, the traffic was light. The dawn gave way to a magnificent sunrise, cloudless blue sky, rolling lush green countryside and the road embankments awash with white dog-daises and yellow buttercups. The ‘icing on the cake’ was a full English breakfast at 6am at a service station about 38 miles before reaching Portsmouth.

The port looked beautiful in the morning sunshine as we sailed out.

This time I used a Brittany Ferries economy vessel and it was very much smaller than the Brittany Ferries cruise liners that I’ve used previously. I like it better and can walk around without getting lost! It appears to be far from fully booked, making it a very pleasant trip.

The pilot vessel guides us out.

Unlike my previous crossings, the cars are parked on the open deck and not in the hold. You are still not allowed to visit them during the trip but you can keep an eye on them from the upper deck.

Can you spot mine? Middle row, third from the far end.

In the late afternoon the Northern coast of France appears off the port bow, but we still have a very long way to go before we reach Spain.

The sun sets as we approach the end of day 0.

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