Had a nice drive to the ferry, which was delayed and so we sat in the car for 3 hours waiting to board. We are always so early for everything! We were sailing from Plymouth to Santander on the Brittany Ferries flagship, Port Aven. 20 hours on the sea ahead of us.
In another 5 cars we would have been last to board the ferry. We were rushed up in the lift to the deck with the dogs so that they could shut the doors to the garage.
When we saw the dog kennels I was really unhappy. There were cages in a tiny area stacked from floor to ceiling. Large dogs at the bottom, small dogs at the top. They were cold steel cages with bars at the front. Jasmine, my female labrador looked horrified probably because I didn’t have their beds!
We did not have enough arms to carry everything up from the garage. They were going to have to spent the night on the cold steel floor of their cages. Couldn’t have that, so after a debacle at reception, someone took me to the car deck and let me get the beds. Some people didn’t even have all of their luggage, so we were very lucky.
You could take the dogs out on deck for exercise and there were a few seats. Even though our fingers and toes went numb we spent as much time up on deck with the dogs as we could to stop them having to be in the cages.
Our cabin was comfortable, even if the beds were a bit hard. We stole away for a canteen supper for an hour before going back to ‘dog deck 9’. If that sounds a bit like ‘cell block H’ it is supposed to!
Worst nights sleep ever, waking up every time the boat changed movement on the sea and worrying that my male labrador, Raffy, had chewed his own leg off in the trauma.
Breakfast on the ferry was very good, made sure I had plenty of croissant and jam – well I was abroad nearly, calories don’t count abroad!
Soon we arrived in Santander in the grey pouring rain. We were so tired but excited to start our search for the ideal place to set up home. The sign posting to get out of Santander was excellent, it was stress free getting onto the motorway and beginning our journey south.
The journey through the basque country to our first stay looked as if it was absolutely stunning but we couldn’t really see because it was raining so hard!