On the road again and heading to Bilbao my mood wasn’t the best. The damn fridge was still broken and the weather had turned to rain spots unlike the never before known in history glorious UK summertime. I guess I was just frustrated things weren’t as easy as I expected. Parking in cities is hard and rarely glamorous. My phone had ran out of data – I know first world problems I shouldn’t complain but it is our guide. The maps, the parking, where to eat and what to do all comes from this little device and now it is basically a Nokia 3310 I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself. I think it put a taint on the viewpoint of the city which is a massive shame and looking back I just needed a kick up the arse but in the moment you never realise do you? We arrived late afternoon/early evening and after a grumpy start I was adamant I would try and enjoy myself. We cycled along the river into the centre passing the impressive architecture of the Guggenheim, before locking up on the outskirts of the old town. We were famished, I know my life does revolve around food I fully see this and so we wandered in to find the place we’d found online looked permanently shut – why I always trust trip advisor I will never know! So instead we walked around tossed a few grumbled arguments about where to go or you find somewhere before walking past a bar. Seeming lively enough we decided a stiff drink was necessary and anyway the football was on and there was wifi so we were both appeased. We looked up more places to eat and tried to order a second round of drinks before being told they were closing. It was around 9pm it seemed so odd but around us they upturned the stool to pack up, so off we scooted into the streets on the hunt for some food. I was hangry and I cracked. We’d been looking for places nearby, all were shut! Was this place a joke? Did anyone bother to update opening times online for gods sake! We walked back to the front about to admit defeat and have a KFC which we’d spotted on the way in before Joshua suggested looking at the riverfront. There were small white tents lined up with huge speakers booming out the local talent and crowds were cheering for more. We saw there were food stalls so we made a deal. If they were closed or closing then f*ck it were eating the fast food we told ourselves we wouldn’t unless in an completely necessary (the mood Ellie was in meant it was completely necessary). We were so pleasantly surprised to see it was a Mexican themed event and we were even happier to see them still serving! I could have eaten a scabby dog at that point but he vegetarian offerings of bean burgers and tofu fajitas were enough to make me dribble. Maybe it was because we were starving but it tasted heavenly and was wolfed down in seconds. Now the hanger had passed we thought it best to get to bed and hope the next day wouldn’t leave such a sour note.

We planned that night so we could make the most of a fresh start in Bilbao, I couldn’t help it though I has this niggle about not liking this place. We again cycled along the river taking in the pretty sights and sunshine. We walked around taking in the old town with fresh eyes. We stumbled upon a square and stopped off for a coffee so we could people watch – our favourite pastime and strolled through the seven streets. Joshua picked up a tremendous shirt, probably my favourite of his collection yet. We went then to the food market, it tustve been around 11am but it was as well have been 11pm as pretty much all the stalls were closed, either not open or completely empty. It was so disappointing, as you’ve realised by now I love a food market! We crossed over the river on our bikes and headed down towards the Guggenheim which we had passed several times now. Being the tight people we are we sufficed with the outdoor free offerings. We took shade under the giant flower dog and loved being immersed in the mist of the fountains. It was a nice way to end the trip but to be honest we’d had enough. This is the beauty of van life I must say. It might have caused some problems but it was also our escape route so no sooner had we arrived we’d hot footed it back out of Bilbao.


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