The initial plan was to split the journey from Suffolk to Portsmouth in two, but leaving late Sunday 19th February, we found the traffic to be minimal and the van was running well so we carried on the whole way to the south coast. With our ferry still three days away, we found a quiet place by the beach to camp out for free. Whilst in Portsmouth we visited the Historic Dockyard where H.M.S Victory is moored in addition to having a walk along Southsea Beach and visiting the Marina. Having an early ferry crossing on Wednesday 22nd February allowed us to park in the check-in lanes after midnight. Woken at 06:30am by a bang on the window to let us know that the lanes were open and cars were already passing through! Past the check-in gate was the furthest we got for a while due to a delay caused by an old unexploded bomb being washed into the harbour! After a few hours waiting and a couple of free snack boxes, we boarded the ferry and parked the van up for his trip across the sea.
Even before the infamous Bay of Biscay the sea became rough (unbeknown to us this may have been due to ‘Hurricane Doris’). We stood on the deck and got to know some of the other passengers; Dave springs to mind- a chap who offered to give us a hand if we needed it in Spain. Had a good chat before heading down to our surprisingly roomy cabin. After taking a much needed shower, we made our way down to the bar where pints had begun to slide off the tables. Feeling fairly unsettled and not being able to finish a pint(!) we went back to the cabin were some of us slept for a good 12 hours. Woke up in the morning to find the sea had calmed and we were able to stomach a cheeky Full-English fry-up. Went back up to the top deck and had a chat with an Australian fella who was on his way down to Morocco with his rafting holiday work-crew (who you may have seen on ITV2 with Jack Osbourne). Shortly after we pulled into Santander, where the air was already warmer!