It has been 2 long months since we returned from our camper adventure in Poland and Czech Republic. Although we have also enjoyed our trip, we were not so enthusiast about travelling with the camper in these two countries. There was not much freedom to camp (one has to stay in pricey campings with basic facilities). It was during these two months that we missed free campings in the nature which we could do without problem in Norway, Portugal, Germany and Spain.
So after the needed rest, we were again ready to hit the road and travel for the third time in the south – Spain and Portugal. When the final preparations were done, we said goodbye to families ands friends and left Holland on a Tuesday, November 1, 2016.
COMING TO PAMPLONA
Our first target destination was Pamploma, in Spain. This time, we stuck to our plan to head directly to Spain, not stopping whatsoever along the way for some sightseeing. It took us three long days of travelling, covering a distance of 1545 kilometers , to reach Pamplona. We had two overnight stays in France : first was in Beauvais (after 520 km-drive), and the second was in Bessines (after 430 km-drive).
On the third day (November 3, 2016), we arrived early on our target overnight place, so we decided to drive further to Pamplona which was then still 120 kilometers away. It was 16.30 and we drove about 2.5 hours to reach Pamplona, driving in the dark through the Pyrenean mountains, with its numerous bends and curves, reaching the highest point of 1057 meter height.
- BEAUVAIS : Aire de Camping Beauvais
Rue Adelbert Bellier
60000 Beauvais (France)
Coordinates : N: 49.42427 E : 2.08019
It is a free parking area for campers with 20 available places. Facilities are present. Maximum stay is 72 hours. City center is about 500 meters away. We had a very good night rest here, together with at least 5 other campers.
2. BESSINES SUR GARTEMPE : Aire Municipal Bessines Sur Gartempe
Rue d ‘Ingolsheim
87250 Bessines sur Gartempe
Coordinates : N : 46.10927 E : 1.36969
It is a free aprking area with reserved places for campers, and with facilities. Public toilets are at the municipal building opposite the aprking area. It is in the village center ideal for passing thru because it is just 1 kilometer from the highway A20. Limoges is 35 kilometers away which is easily to be reached by bus which stops by the parking.
3. PAMPLONA (SPAIN) : Camper Park Berriozar
31031 Pamplona (Spain)
Coordinates : N : 42.84028 W : 1.66528
It is a free parking area with reserved places for campers, and with available water and facility for chemical toilet. Pamplona is just 4 kilometers away which can be reached by biking, or by bus (Bus # 17). Bus fare is 1.35 euro per rit. There is police control.
PAMPLONA, ST. FERMIN’S TOWN
Pamplona, the capital city of Navarra in northern Spain, is primarily famous for the Running of the Bulls during the Fiesta of St. Fermin in July. It is a city with historical walls which are considered to be among the best preserved in Europe. It is a city with old historic quarter (Casco Antiguo) as characterized by its Citadel, the narrow streets, noble houses, and the many historical monuments in the old city center. It is also a major stop for Santiago de Compostela pilgrims.
Pamplona, as such, is also a charming city. We only had the misfortune of being in the city on a rainy day! Nevertheless, we made the best of everything we could during our visit, even if it meant walking around in the rain.
THE RONDA DE BARBAZAN (Paseo de Ronda)
After walking around the Plazas Ayuntamiento, Castillo and Toros, visiting the Mercado Sto. Domingo, and taking a walk at the famous Estafeta street where the Bulls run, Hans and I decided to have a walk along the city walls.
It took us about an hour to do so, starting at Archbishop’s Palace and ending at Plaza de Toros. Highlights of our walk was the Rincon del castello Blanco (said to be the highest point in the city and offers magnificent views of the surroundings), the New gateway (Portal Nuevo), Bastion of La Taconera, and the La Taconera Park.
After the Ronda, we even had time to stroll at the commercial district of the city, visiting some shops like Mango, El Corte Ingles, Bershka and Vodafone, among others.
Even though the weather was not so cooperating that day, we were still able to make the most out of our visit in Pamplona. We could say that we have seen much of the city, both its modern and historic quarters, and even enjoyed a leisurely walk along its walls. We could only imagine that the city is alive and bustling with activities on warm summer days, especially on the Feast of St. Fermin.