Solsona and Cardona

We left our camp site and continued east spending a night near La Seu d'urgell and then down to Solsona and camping El Solsones.
Out came the scooter and off to Cardona to have a look at the 13th century castle and the views of the salt mountain from the18th century military walls. The castle is now a Parador.

We backtracked to Solsona and took a stroll through the old centre with its grand houses, towers and squares. This place had a lovely atmosphere and at the end of the day we managed to get inside the old Cathedral.

Benasque and Ainsa

We took the scooter on a scenic drive through the Congosto de Ventamillo gorge to visit the old village of Benasque. The old centre has many old mansions and the drive was very picturesque.

From our camp site we took a walk into Ainsa with a couple of pals we met on the site. Ainsa has a Medieval square with a belfry tower of Santa Maria consecrated in 1181 and on the other side is a castle from the walls of which you get good panoramic views. After enjoying Tapas and wine for lunch with Roger and Julia we chose to return on the other side of the river to our camp site and ended up wading across.
Good fun.


Valle de Pineta

Our last walk in the Ordesa National Park was to the Pineta Valley.  We took the scooter along the valley floor until the road ended at a bowl.  From the centre we walked around the base of the bowl and then ascended up past the waterfalls to a high level pasture spotting our first ever marmot.  A fabulous walk with views of the glacier and the mountain of Perdido.

Canyon de Anisclo

Another day, another canyon this time Anisclo, much closer to the campsite. The road becomes a one way route halfway up and goes through a very deep and narrow canyon.
 We were held up for a while by road workers filling in the potholes but eventually arrived at the car park.
We walked in the opposite direction from most of the crowd and had a delightful walk up the lower gorge as a result. The butterfly population was remarkable and I finally got one to settle on my hand for a change, Sarah is usually luckier than me.
The descent from the car park is over the tops of the mountains with wonderful views all along. This ride is a must for scenery lovers.

Back then for a dip in the pool.

Ordesa National park

We sadly left our pals behind and carried on into Spain and in to the Ordesa National park. The campsite at Pena Montenesa is situated just outside the park and has beautiful views of the mountains.  It has an indoor and outdoor pool, restaurant and bar all of which were open.
We started our tour by visiting the Valle de Ordesa which was 35 miles from the site but a beautiful journey on the scooter in magnificent scenery. During the high season all traffic stops at the visitor centre and people have to take the coach into the valley, but at this time of year you can drive  the final 5 miles to the upper carpark.
We walked to the first three cascades by which time my legs had gone and Sarah gave up trying to persuade me onwards. It is another fabulous gorge and well worth exploring further, possible in the spring on our way back north.



Kakuetta Gorge and camping du Pont d'Abense

We are staying at Camping Abense at the moment, near Tardetts. Another ACSI site and right in the middle of some beautiful scenery on the edge of the Pyrenees. This a nice quiet site on the edge of the village and within easy walking distance from Tardetts centre.

We took in another Gorge today, this time walking down in the gorge by the river. There is a charge for this visit of five Euros which in our opinion is very reasonable, considering the upkeep of the board walks and bridges.
The walk ends in a large cave or Grotto and you return by the same route. It takes about an hour each way depending how many times you stop to take pictures.
 All of these walks, including our last one, are within ten miles of the campsite and parking is available. This one had overnight places for campervans.


Salies de Bearn and Camping Domain d'Esperbasque

Well here we are back in France having taken the ferry from Poole to Cherbourg on 2nd September. We stopped at couple of nice Aires on route and arrived at our first campsite on Wednesday at Salies de Bearn.
Our pals we met in Portugal last year were already on site at Camping Domaine d'Esperbasque and we soon met for a catch up and a welcome meal with them.
Peter and Shirley had picked this site as it is near to some other pals we met Portugal who have now purchased a house in Barcus.  We all wanted to visit them to see how they were getting on with their project of setting up a B&B.  More on this later !
Our campsite was run and owned by a Dutch family, Marianne Hessels and her son Rene and his girlfriend Eline. They were very welcoming and on the second night they hosted a communal meal for the campers. An excellent time was had by all with wonderful food and drink and great company.
The site is very well set up with nice facilities and great views. A lovely swimming pool adds to the attraction. Horse riding is a bonus for our pal Shirley who loves riding.

We took a walk round "Snake island" in Sauveterre de Bearn with Peter and the dogs, Scruffy and Bandit whilst Shirley was out on the horse. The dogs loved the water as you can see by the picture. The town is very beautiful with many old buildings. A longer stay is definitely on the cards.
Thanks to all of you for making our stay memorable, it was like we were old friends after only three days.