Thursday, March 22, 2012

The trip south, so far...

Firstly, the long awaited grandchild arrived under HIS own steam just 2 weeks late and weighed in at an impressive 9lb 13oz!

After saying cheerio to others in the family we set off for our Eurotunnel crossing arriving in France in the dark and we headed to an Aire that we used a couple of years ago at Equihen Plage. Parking on the clifftop we quickly cooked our dinner and settled in for the rest of the evening, with that 'happy to be travelling again' feeling.

Clifftop parking at Equihen Plage

At around 9 the next morning we were woken by the police knocking on our door asking for €5, not being ready for this as last time it was free we only then wondered where we had stashed our Euros while in the UK. I found a little loose change in the ashtray and apologised to the officer who after a short exchange (the best I can do in French) he shrugged and wished us a good day - I think....

We had been in contact with friends and members 'stevegreen' as they were returning from their overwintering in Portugal. They had suggested our next stop as it had been recommended to them. By mid afternoon we met up at Criel sur Mer, a designated motorhome parking area just off the beach. It was a great opportunity for our 'Digger' to meet their 'Jack', they are friends on Facebook (yes really..... they each have their own pages - and many friends!)

Our little meetup at Criel sur Mer

We had a great meetup with Steve, Lorna and Jack and enjoyed their hospitality and lots (too many) glasses of Leffe and Bordeaux so the next morning was a slow start for all of us.

They had mentioned an interesting town further south which we decided would be one of our next stops.

We used toll roads for a change (I had come down with a lousy cold and didn't fancy negotiating all the little villages and countless roundabaouts en route)  and were delightfully ripped off to the tune of 30+ Euros by the time we got to our destination . Not only are the tolls a ripoff but the diesel prices on the toll roads are eye wateringly expensive - nudging €1.60!

Our next nightstop was at an Aire in the small town of Le Sap. We've used this Aire before as its a reliable source of water and waste dumping and the water was on this time too. Situated beside a pond its a nice location. We were entertained briefly by what we though was a boy-racer screaching around the corner and skidding to a halt outside the adjacent building - then we twigged it was the fire station and he was a part time fireman on a shout, others soon arrived in various vehicles one of which was a gardeners pickup truck with its contents falling all over the place behind it!

Next morning we set off for Richelieu.

Steve and Lorna's recommendation was indeed a charming, typically French town developed in the grounds of what had been an enormous palace - Richelieu.

Water tower at Richelieu

We parked by the water tower in the motorhome signposted area and had the place to ourselves, except for the old fellas playing petanque.

A nice quiet night followed by a wander around the Parc de Richelieu, which must be stunning in the summer with everything in bloom (makes note to come back in summer). We'd found a new service point about half a kilometer away outside the municipal camping so made use of the emptying facilities before making our way further south.

Tonight we are at Magnac Bourg, a quaint village with an Aire beside the pond and amazingly some unsecured wifi which is how i am able to post this update.

Tomorrow, Vers or Cahors... we haven't decided yet. The great thing about motorhoming - make plans but change them whenever you want!

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