We spent a few days driving from Portugal up to Bilbao, stopping en-route in the Cathedral city of Leon where more tyre trouble with the van forced us to stay an extra day while we got it sorted out.
Finally leaving the sun behind once and for all we arrived at the port of Bilbao in wet and windy conditions to await our return ferry to Portsmouth. After an overnight stop overlooking the harbour we discovered the departure would be delayed by around 10 hours and the crossing itself would take an additional 7 hours to accommodate the inclement weather pushing our arrival in Portsmouth back by nearly 1 day. Getting Pam to her hair appointment on Wednesday morning was now looking distinctly dodgy!
While we waited for our ferry some nice chaps in the van next to us in the queue pointed out our tyre was flat, it turned out the blighters that had fixed it in Leon fitted an inner tube on my tubeless tyre and with the help of some sealant passed it off as repaired. At least our friendly neighbours had a compressor so we were able to pump it up and get onto the boat.
The crossing was rough especially the first 6 hours as we made our way through the Bay of Biscay, after that it calmed down and was relatively uneventful.
We nursed the van back to Tunbridge Wells with its dodgy tyre and got Pam to her hair appointment with 5 minutes to spare!
We are now enjoying a couple of weeks back home before heading off to India on 21st December.