A Life in the Slow Lane

Into the Pyrenees

Today started with Sarah, the dogs and I making the 15 minute walk into the centre of Huesca. It turned out to be a bit of a waste of time, in truth. The Rough Guide made the old town sound quite pleasant, although the use of the word “dark” perhaps should have been a warning.

Huesca Cathedral

Rather uniquely for the old medieval towns we have explored on this trip, Huesca looked sorely in need of some tourists. There were many closed shops and in all honesty not enough of the ancient buildings had been retained to enable it to compete with its many Spanish competitors.

Cathedral Door

The only attractive part we found was the small square in front of the pleasant enough Cathedral, which was also flanked by a Renaissance style town hall, rather like the one we saw in Zaragoza yesterday.

Door of the day. A cheat – it’s from the Cathedral, but it was very nice.

So after 15 minutes or so poking around we returned to Basil and girded our loins for our journey into the Pyrenees.

For once I used our old fashioned paper maps, which detail scenic routes, to plan a journey which would traverse the foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees rather than just driving straight through the mountains to France.

The drive was suitably stunning, with the sun still shining, although some fluffy clouds did wreath the highest peaks. The change of scenery from the dry dusty plains we have experienced for most of our time in Spain to the lush forests of the mountains was as sudden as it was dramatic.

View en route

The roads were mostly good, although some sections were so narrow that when Basil met an oncoming coach or lorry, he had to slow right down and manoeuvre carefully.

View from our campsite

We finally reached our campsite near the village of Ainsa. Camping Pena Montanesa (42.436578, 0.134763) is the best campsite we’ve stayed on during this trip. It is an exorbitant €19 on ACSI but it has huge pitches, full restaurant facilities and shop throughout the year and it still has an indoor and outdoor pool open.

Basil in his new spacious pitch

I think we will stay here for at least two nights, so that, providing the weather is propitious, we can have a walk in the surrounding countryside tomorrow.