Anna Belleforte

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Basque country

Posted by Anna Belleforte on June 11, 2017 at 12:35 AM

I’ve seen many cyclists travelling with a teddy bear strapped onto their bikes and onto their tents when they've set up camp. Too many to be a coincidence. Anyone know what the significance is of this? I haven’t yet mustered the courage to ask these people, why are you travelling with a stuffed animal?

I had planned to spend more time in Spain, but after Portugal, Spain seems to have a different flavour. In Portugal I encountered friendly and efficient (a quality I appreciate) people, in Spain they seem lacklustre and tired of tourists already, and their season has only begun June 1st. Probably my encounters were just the exceptions rather than the rule. The added frustration of supermarkets being closed in the afternoon until 5pm didn’t help…In any case, I moved on to France. And here campground receptions are closed from 12-3 (!!), another source of frustration when I was desperate for a cool-down in a pool.

Bidart, just under Biarritz, is a prosperous little town magnificently situated above the Atlantic, with a landscaped trail from town down to the beach where there are lots of surfers and beautiful rock formations: strata that are coming apart. This is still Basque country and it doesn’t quite feel French. The houses have deep overhanging roofs and Tudor-style (I’m sure they have a Basque word for this) facades of white plaster and wood beams. And many have a decorative row of triangular pigeon holes, or painted triangles, on their fronts, probably not for said birds, but for what? Attic ventilation? The typical Basque font is also everywhere: ethnic-looking letters with wide feet and the A with a line balancing on its tip. 

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1 Comment

Reply Sheryl
9:52 AM on June 17, 2017 
Did you ever find out what all the teddies were for? Perhaps there was going to be a huge teddy bear's picnic somewhere! :-D