In September a lovely English lady, Sally Christopher approached me via a home-exchange site to enquire if Frank and I would be interested in house-sitting her Eguzki B&B in Durango for 12 days. After establishing that the B&B was shut and that there was just one neutered Tom cat to look after, and that we could use the owners’ car during our stay, we gave a wholehearted yes!
Unfortunately, due to French air-traffic control strikes our original flight was cancelled and because Vueling then had a backlog of passengers to clear we were offered an afternoon flight two days later. Not too bad you would think but that meant we didn’t have a chance to meet our hosts! No worries, Sally had arranged a pick-up at the airport and a whistle-stop tour of the house by her Spanish neighbours. All very well but as we were both rather weary and my Spanish is extremely rusty I forgot to ask which was the car we were meant to use and which garage belonged to Sally. So we went around aiming the keys at various cars and trying garage door locks until we found the right one.
Perhaps because of all the stress of travelling, a few days later I got sick and had to go to the local health centre. My pidgen Spanish must have been good enough because I have never been fast-tracked through to a doctor so quickly! As the cold was extremely severe and I am asthmatic, antibiotics and Prednison were prescribed whereby I was quickly back up on my feet and able to enjoy sightseeing again. Highlights were The Guggenheim at Bilbao, San Sebastian, the coastal drive from Bilbao to San Sebastian and horse-riding in the Urkiola National Park – courtesy of remarkable British woman, Teresa Doyle who rehabilitates and trains neglected horses, and teaches Spanish children both English and riding simultaneously!
The Basque country is stunning, if you ever get a chance to go grab it with both hands!
Gosh – great that you overcame all those obstacles and were able to make so much of your stay. And I do admire these enterprising people who do these original things.
Thank you, Sally! The Basque people are so warm and helpful, which made a difference too!