A Travellerspoint blog

So glad we left....

St Martin to Spain, Val de San Vicente

sunny 26 °C

Well leaving compounded our ideas on it being right to leave. No real space on the entry point meant confusion all round with people parking everywhere and kids and families biking and walking between you to get to the beach. Next to the word hectic in the dictionary should be a picture of that exact point. I managed to find the girl who we booked in with and explained we no longer wanted to stay for the two nights. The final blow was the bill. Nearly fifty euros for the one night, pitched on a curb, no electric and no amenities in sight. Only good thing was the family next to us could relax, until the next lot filed in.

Sat nag was obviously tired as she sent us on a few wild goose chases and then wanted us to turn on a dime to correct it. Once she settled the drive was great, so great in fact that the first time we realised we had arrived in Spain was when the lady in the toll booth said "Hola". I just stared at her like a guppy for what seemed ages. She must have thought how good Dan was to take such a special person so far on our sunshine bus. I can't say my Spanish has improved since but that's my excuse for now.

The roads were so good and the scenery was gorgeous. Lots of tunnels and bridges and the sight of the sea now and then.

Learning from our mistake we opted for a small quiet place and what a different experience. Dan was able to walk round with the owner and picked out a pitch. Although the French sites were mostly English speaking I have to say the Spanish have made up for our lack of understanding with a willingness to help.

We now have a full pitch with the awning and whole day out of the van! Dan left me to do the electrics this time as the inside is hot and he thought he would give me a break. The electric point was different which meant using a piece of kit to adapt our UK line to the Spanish one. I fitted it all with out issue and I was perplexed as to why it wasn't working. Apparently when you open the electric box you don't need to push the big red button to open it........that just shuts down power to half the site! Urr....ooppppss.

We met a lovely family who were travelling like us but they finish at Portugal. The site is a traditional Spanish site. Everything is in Spanish but as I have said this site is very friendly and were happy to help us figure it out; even going as far as to show us images on the internet. Thank you Martin. As the night cooled we sat down to a very yummy meal and thought "this is it". The view was stunning of the Picos de Europa national park.

Kids to bed and for the first time Dan and I had a coffee and played cards knowing that we had no alarm to worry about. Can't wait for tomorrow.

Posted by fordcrew 12:49 Archived in Spain Comments (2)

Rainy Start....Long day.

La Roche Sur Yon to St Martin, north of Biarrtz

sunny 23 °C

Had our first real rain while trying to strike camp. It didn't slow us too much and the sun re-joined us pretty much as we left. The campsite was lovely and it was a shame we had to leave this one. The kids especially mourned the loss of the first site to have not only toilet seats but loo roll as well! Hard life.

To be honest the day slipped away with us as we had a hard push down to the lower edge of France. We picked out a site and we were all looking forward to a two night stay. Get the awning out and enjoy the beach and maybe a surf. However we were late getting in and the only available space was free camping. Not an issue we thought until we drove into the site and where we were meant to camp. Well sardines spring to mind. It was a lovely site and about a thousand other campers thought so too. We managed to slot in on a corner but the awning would not go up due to the slope of the pitch. The days of driving were catching up so none of us were feeling this new spot. The arrival of the family next door sealed our decision that it was not for us as they were rightly unamused at how close we had to pitch.

All day breakie from a can and soup with bread filled us up and finished us off. Early night and push on in the morning. It's a shame we left so quickly, we didn't even take a pic as we just wanted out. Good news was that Dan and Bodhi had a lovely moonlight walk together on the beach.

Posted by fordcrew 08:35 Archived in France Comments (0)

Language and more miles.

Mont St Michel to La Roche Sur Yon

sunny 20 °C

Day-2

After being unable to stay awake last night long enough to get in the que for the washing machine it meant an early alarm to get in before anyone this morning. It was peaceful and quiet on the site. One sleeping bag washed and family fed we set of for a glimpse of Mont St Michel which made Ethan a very happy little boy.

It was amazing to see Mont St Michel standing out on the horizon, nothing else to see except fields of corn. We don't have time for a full visit today but we all agreed we would like to return one day.

Tonight we finished at La Roche Sur Yon. A few minor hic cups on the way but nothing major. One major bridge that me feel like I was driving over a roller coaster, the French do like their very high bridges. Arrived at a lively and very clean site. Bodhi is now asleep at my feet as I write this. We had a lovely walk down to a lake earlier and he was a great hit with all the kids wanting to pet him. We managed to get him to eat tonight by hand feeding him and gave him treats and a good brush. Busy day for our young man, he's plum tuckered out.

For some reason we are still thinking in Spanish and our French is not so good. But we know enough. It's funny, I see someone and think "how do you say good morning in French?".......still walking and getting closer........"damn, think woman"......."crud I have to say something.........Hi" Oh dear. Not even a bonjour. Plonker. At least we made ourselves understood in the home of cuisine that language has no barriers...yes La Mc Donalds. How British of us. Only second day and it had to be done so Aeryn didn't starve. Yes we are that Family! Oh dear.

Well another hit in the tumble dryer and no bed time story see's little man back in his sleeping bag and the whole tent asleep except me tapping maniacally on this tablet. Tomorrow we hope to leave early again and push on toward Biarrtz and some beach front camping.

Toodle pip.

Posted by fordcrew 23:01 Archived in France Tagged language Comments (2)

Flash, Bang, Puke

Calais to Mont St Michel

sunny 19 °C

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Day 1 - Tired

The realities of what we set out to do hit us hard on day one. After a 1:30am start on the Saturday to a 5:30pm arrival (with a 1 hour time difference) it's fare to say that 15 hours of travelling has taken it's toll. Considering we are currently sat at a campsite near Mont St Michel I would say that was pretty much the biggest U-turn known to man.

Bodhi was amazing. With only a few breaks for all of us he coped incredibly well. He had a few moans but other then that was as good as gold. He hasn't been too interested in food today but I'm sure he'll come round.

Drive down to Dover was not bad, the typical diversions you would expect - bit of a shame as we were looking forward to trying out the new tunnel at Devils Punch Bowl. Eventually pulling up at the last petrol station in Dover before jump on the ferry we were able to top the tank off, dodge the local drunk youth & off we go. Leaving the country was the easiest thing on the trip so far. No passport checks. Just drive on, have cooked breakfast, sit around for an hour & drive off - shimples. Cant imagine getting back home to be that easy but we will see.

On the ferry we flipped a coin to see where we would go first. The coin decided to skip Mont St Michel and head Straight for La Rochelle. So with a few nerves Dan drove off for his first time legally on the wrong side if the road. Surprisingly the miles and tolls built up. After a few hours we pulled over for a pee break. We had hit a lot of traffic and it was tiring us both out. Plus we had a niggle that too many of the signs had La harve on them. Yes we had made the classic mistake of blindly following Mrs Sat Nag only to find out she was as lost as we were. So as it was 2pm and time was ticking we decided that the fates had stepped in and Mont St Michel it would be.

Best bits of the drive were: easy roads, tolls (at first), sleeping (when not driving ;), bridges, amazing high/bendy works of art, booking our first pitch despite our appalling French, Dan panicking as a flash went off in a tunnel; it was Aeryn taking a picture and the fact somewhere between here and home is one Conway Crusader Hub cap?

The site is lovely and we treated ourselves to pizza. Settled in while we had rain thunder and lightening. Thinking we had done well, both dog and Ethan did not throw which is a bonus on any trip it just left bed time. I gave the kids one of their favourite stories, Fartilocks (no that is not a miss spell), and Ethan laughed so hard he threw up all over the bed he shares with Aeryn. Arrrrrr. Yep trip complete with the added joy of washing sleeping bags.

Roll on tomorrow.

Posted by fordcrew 22:57 Archived in France Tagged france in day first Comments (0)

Trial Run

Kids enjoy time with friends and family.

sunny 20 °C

Only a week to go! Can't beleive it's nearly here and we have so much still to do. We had a fun trial run a few weekends ago. Kids loved it. I found it a little daunting thinking about setting up every day but we will only have two kids not six running round. It was also great to spend some time with my brothers, sister in law and nephews before we go. Only wish we could of stayed longer.

Bodhi is fully jabbed, just need to give him his Advantix against sandflies and ticks. We have been reading up on other bugs to look out for as well. Some rather nasty bugs to keep an eye out for.

I've thrown my back out and Dan has flu like symptons so this weekend will be fun running round trying to get it all up together. This week we have been sorting out the roofrack and top box. Plus two surf boards. Fingers crossed we have it all sorted; well if it's not then oh well.

Taking some time out now to write this and watch the opening of the olympics.

Posted by fordcrew 12:37 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (1)

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