Monday, 6 February 2017

End of this Blog

Looks like the end of this blog, I do not think we will be taking the Van over to France again. We will however still be travelling over there but using the car and other accommodation.

I will be still using the Van in the UK and keeping a record of my travels in it, see below for access.

Low Budget Motorhoming

I am also keeping records of my travels in France and elsewhere without the Van, again see below.

France without the Motorhome

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The 2016 trip is off for now

Well we are not going to France in the Van for the first trip this year but we may still get there in September. I really hope that we do get there as it means so much to me to be there 100 years after my Granddad.

We are still going this week but we are taking the car and staying in Mobile Homes. Also we will be further down away from where my Granddad was and the ferry trip will mean missing out that area as well.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Looking forward to a trip 2016

I am really hoping that we are going to make it to France in the van this year. We are already looking at places to visit around June, probably just up north of the country though and maybe pop into Belgium (for beer).

One reason that I really want to visit in 2016, is that it is exactly 100 years since my Grandad fought there and I have his diary for that time. I never met him, he died in the shipyards some time in the 1920's when my Dad was a baby and I didn't come along until the 1950's. So I would like to go and be somewhere that he was, exactly the same place, on exactly the same day, although 100 years on from him.

I have been intending to do this for as long as I have had the van, but thought that after my stroke that I would never make it. Hopefully it will all come together but we will have to wait and see, for now we are only looking.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Using the Van in France 2015

Well the van has been abroad to France for the first time in since 2010, I did not believe it was that long but is was, honest.

One reason was the price of diesel over the last few years, plus the fact that we could get cheep Mobile Home holidays in France and Holland. Towards the end of 2013 is when I had my Stroke and that seemed to put an end to my Van travels in France for good. But the Stroke wasn't too bad, it is mainly short term memory that is poor and with the price of diesel dropping to less than petrol in 2015, we decided to use the Van again.

Although we did not use the Van to stay in, we still got a very good deal with a Mobile Home but as there were six of us travelling, using the Van saved using two cars and it was much more comfortable. The toilet in the Van was also a bonus and saved lots of driving time, well pulling over into service areas that is. Also with young Ralph doing half the driving it helped quite a lot but I think we went too far into France for just the one week. Although it was nice and warm were we went.

Me, Dot, young Ralph, Georgia, Emily and Amber all went, we set off in Friday night to miss all of the traffic and pay less on the ferry (about half as much), Ralph drove in England and I took over in France. We stopped off on the way down to pick Amber up and arrived in Dover earlier than intended but luckily we got on an early ferry. Off the ferry if France, Ralph drove on for a while but eventually I took over and we arrived in Onzain a couple of hours before we could get into our Mobile Home.

While we were there we used the Van for a few trips out but mainly we just stayed on site using the pool, the write up on the full holiday is covered in the Mobile Home blog.

The Van

Now we have used the Van for an overseas trip again, I think we could go again next year but really using the Van to stay in, we will have to wait and see. Have a look back next year and see what happens.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

France 2010, Last Day

Day Twenty 23rd June

By the time we got up Mick and Bren were long gone, we took our time packing up in the hot sun. We were no in a hurry I had resigned myself to the fact hat I would miss the next England match as we would be on the ferry or in the queue for it at match time. As usual when we are over here I had all the times wrong and we could watch if we could get parked and found somewhere in St Malo with a TV.

The 135 mile to St Malo should have taken about 2.5 hours but we arrived just before kick-off time, the SatNav had tried so send us up a dirt track and I did do a wrong turn and had to repeat the last part of the journey into St Malo, it took about 4 hours.

We left the site the way we came in D77/C3 to the N165 East, to exit 39 into the N24, to the D768/D700 to Loudéac and the N164. We stayed in the N164 (even though we were asked to turn off) to Saint-Méen-le-Grand and the D166/D766 to the N176 then on to the D137 and St Malo, we did fill up with cheep fuel just on the outskirts.

We looked for somewhere to park for free and the didn't appear to be anywhere and lots of other car parks had height barriers, so we paid €5 to park at the port. We then rushed into the centre to find a TV, a TV showing the right match. We found one with good beer and we were not loosing, a half time we looked for some food but didn't find anything we fancied, so it was back to the pub for the second half. We manage to hold on to a one goal first half lead to win and qualify for the next round.

We got back to the van had a sandwich, paid the €5 parking and set off the the ferry, the car park barrier lifted I drove through and there was a loud bang and a loud hissing sound. I got out and we had clipped a low concrete block, which had put a dent in the rear wheel, deflating the tire. We had, had a debate as to whether to carry the spare wheel, as most new motorhomes don't even have them, well I am glad we did take it. It was not an easy job but I managed, got very hot, very sweaty and very dirty.

Then when we checked in we where informed that we would be calling at Guernsey as well as Jersey on route adding about an hour to the sailing time. We did not mind that much as we were only going to park and sleep at the port until morning anyway.

I had to reverse on to the ferry, the supervisor loading didn't believe we had drove on forward coming, it was very scary but the direction given were excellent and would have been even better if I could remember left from right.

On arrival at Pool I asked where to park and where to pay and was told to park by the side of the building and not bother with any payment. So we parked with the others, had a beer and went to bed.

France 2010, Day Nineteen, Pont Aven

Day Nineteen 22nd June

Mick and Bren had to be up early to get to St Malo for the early ferry tomorrow, whereas we had the whole day to get there. So our days today were very different, Mick and Bren had to get ready to go and also use the remaining Siblu vouchers they had and we could relax and enjoy our last day.

Mick and Bren went to the reastraunt for lunch while dot and I went to the pool and after the pool went straight to the bar before meeting up again back at the van for supper sat in the sun.

 We found a very large stag beetle that was climbing a tree and Mick and Bren never did get an early night.

France 2010, Day Eighteen, Pont Aven

Day Eighteen 21st June

Spent the morning sunbathing, then after lunch we drove into Pont Aven, last year Dot and I, walked the 2.5 miles each way. We had a stroll along the river and had a beer in the same bar as last year, La Chaumière Roz Aven, a very nice bar. After the beer we looked round the shops and I bought a gift box of different beers as my Fathers Day present from Nicole.

That night only Dot and me went over to the bar, the entertainment was was some sort of family quiz/competition that we didn't understand, so we just sat in soft seats inside the bar.