When my wife and I recently celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary our Defender 110, called Aurkitzaile, had to be part of the fun - so we decided to discover a part of the desert over the Spanish border called Las Bardenas Reales, which is only a couple of hours' drive from our home in Bidart.
Leaving our little daughter Camille with my parents-in-law, we headed to Olite, home to a spectacular 15th-century castle. We arrived in time for the town's San Fermin festival, with lots of music, drinking and partying.
After that we set off for the Bardenas Reales, a UNESCO-protected area, with specific entry points for walkers, mountain bikers and 4x4 drivers. Vehicles are restricted to a 40-mile stretch of sandy, stony marked routes that you mustn't deviate from.
The place is sensational - arid and blisteringly hot in summer, cold and windy in winter. It's like being on another continent, even when you're barely an hour away from civilisation.
We had loaded our bikes into the back of the 110, so we spent the next two days riding them round the park and driving the Land Rover. It was a fabulous experience, and one we'll not easily forget.
Published in the February 2015 issue of Land Rover Owner magazine.