We were thinking of just popping over the Channel to France with the bikes but a chance comment from a friend suggested " Why don't you catch the ferry to Spain?". I didn't know that you could do that but it turns out that it is quite practical albeit a little expensive.
A bit later - we have a twin berth booked with Brittany Ferries from Portsmouth to Bilbao. Leaves at 22:30 on sunday and arrives at 06:45 on Tuesday!
The A3 quickly takes us to Portsmouth and our new GPS finds Tripadvisors' 4.5 star Lady Hamilton pub in what appears to be a run down historic area just across from the Victory. Lord Nelson would doubtless be unpleasantly surprised at what they have done to the place. We certainly were. Perhaps it's just that it's dimly lit?
The Lady Hamilton does not have any white wine but a brisk walk around the other neighbourhood pubs reveals that it is the only one without flashing lights and thumping music. It turns out that the Lady Hamilton is closing and for sale, hence they have run down stocks. A sad end to a place established in 1735 or so. They managed to put together a glass of rose, a nasty pint of some modern beer and meals which were ok. Actually the whole thing was rather sad and we felt like we were intruding at a wake.
Our ferry does not board until 10pm but luckily the night is mild and not raining otherwise we would have been very wet.
Our pet friendly cabin on board the Cap Finistair is quite reasonable but it would be a squeeze with the four occupants that could be in there. It was the last available with no evidence of pet friendliness that we could see except for a packet of treats and some pet poo bags. The ensuite is good with an excellent shower.
A glass of wine on the poop deck as we left port with a pleasant chat with a UK prison officer away to Spain with his caravan and to bed for a very sound nights sleep.