France. Virginal mistakes

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by suavecarve, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. suavecarve

    suavecarve Funster

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    i did take some sort of time to plan our trip but kept changing my mind. I have learnt an awful lot and in no particular order they are:
    The Dordogne is special.
    The book "Wild Swimming in France" is worth purchasing
    The Aires book and a Michelin map are essential. I would suggest a satnav for location of Aires as some can be difficult.
    Internet is rubbish. Have to find a way round it. Mcdonalds is free and so are some tourist Boards.
    Toursit Boards are essential when getting into a town.
    If canoeing and you are carrying your waterproof camera put it on a strap when going through rapids.
    Rocamadour is delightful
    Lacave is well worth a visit.
    Hiring a canoe from Souillac catch the provided bus up river to how far you fancy going then finish at Souillac because you get free entry into Quercyland.
    If going in the height of Summer Dont try eating til 2200 as nothing starts til then.
    Make sure you know where you can go for a free dip in a river or lake.
    Dont pay anything for water (or electric if you have a solar panel)
    There are numerous lakes which are lifeguarded which are free and clean and free parking.
    You need a gas converter if you have LPG tanks (14 euros) at most dual carriageway stops.
    Dont pfaff about with the North of France it has absolutely nothing on the South. Get the journey down there done in one day then spend your time enjoying it rather than trying to split it up into 3 days (if you have the ability)
    If you see a load of people cooking in the town square and there are table in the middle DONT EAT your own food buy it from them ready cooked and enjoy the atmosphere.
    E Leclerc is not an Electricity hypermarket it is like J Sainsburys and can be very cheap on the meat though LIDLS is cheapest for fruit and veg.
    France is definitely more expensive than UK apart from wine.
    Buy your wine in 3 or 5 litre containers. Taken an Antonoi (or a funnel) pour into a bottle with either screwtop of stopper and place in fridge. Dont try keeping red in the van in the summer. It becomes mulled without the spices or fruit and is in fact bloody horrible.
    Look out for free dual carriageways.
    Consider going through Belgium Germany Switzerland (£20 tax) and then Italy on motorways if heading to Provence or Alps.
    It is not necessary to buy a croissant from teh boulangerie every day. For the same price you can get delicious cakes from leclerc.
    Horsemeat is a lot cheaper than steak and tastes the same !
    Dont buy a beret for 27 euros from teh market.
    Diesel can be bought for 1 euro 30 which in a decent currency is about £1.17.
    You cant fill up your motorhome at cite d europe
    There are very few english people to meet on your travels but broken english is spoken more or less throughout.
    The french are actually courteous drivers as long as you dont go through a major town which can be stressful. (Rouen)
    We booked our ferry up in January and got it for £94 return. Choose the cheaper option then turn up early.
    Dont be tempted with full english on DFDS. 18 euros wasted. (still she cant say she didnt have a meal out

    I m sure i ll think of some more but in short definitely going back. Nearly made the med on £360 of diesel, £94 crossing fee, £15 of gas and i did actually pay to go into a lido for 2 of us (Fiver) The rest was all on food and beaucoup de vin.
     
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  2. bungy

    bungy Funster

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    :thumb::thumb:


    Now that is a good idea! - we tend to head straight for Provence due to the time of year and time we have available (apart from this year that is!! as weve already done our jaunt)...me thinks that is on the cards for the next one:thumb:
     
  3. steveclecy

    steveclecy Read Only Funster

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    An interesting, amusing and punchy post - thanks. I love the South of France but please don't rubbish the North (or the East or the West or Central). Each has its own uniqueness. It is a massive country with much to explore.

    Steve
     
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  4. Sid52

    Sid52 Funster

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    Yes I agree, when camping we often took a night or two in northern France, different but full of history and great Gothic architecture, talking cathedrals here, Reims, Amiens, Laon, Soisson etc, and such moving and yet inspirational relics of the two world wars, Thiepval, Vimy Ridge, and unforgettably the cemeteries lining the roads around Arras.
    It's a great foil and contrast to the equally impressive Mediterranean and Alpine south.

    Sid
     
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  5. greygit

    greygit Read Only Funster

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    We used to think the north was boring but that was because we always travelled through it via the Autoroute one year we came back up on smaller roads and were pleasantly surprised. :Smile:
     
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  6. spitfire

    spitfire Funster

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    Agree with most of that except :Smile:

    The Dordogne is full of Brits so probably where you meet the most British and English is spoken more . Many areas of France hardly anyone speaks English .

    Normally you can eat from around 7pm .

    Internet . Ask if you are in a cafe if they have wifi ( but say wee fee as that is how the French say it ! Here an i is pronounced ee) may have but do not advertise. In Gannat at the weekend I asked at a cafe in Gannat and he took my phone and put in the code . Did not say and did not give out code but happy to give access. Also the Marie s often have access .

    So glad you joined in with our eating in the villages. Not gastronomique but lots of fun and a great way to socialize . My Aussie daughter and husband came especially in the summer this year to experience Bastille Day and the summer markets.

    Glad you loved my adopted country :thumb:
     
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  7. mowbotman

    mowbotman Funster

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    france

    we are now sat on a site in Gravelines,waiting for the morning ferry, we have just had 2 weeks going from Dunkirk , Cambrai, Charleville,sedan,chalons,troyes,sezanne,soisions,peronne,doullins,eperleques.
    then here at Gravelines, never touched a motorway, went on d and n roads, weather was very hot most of the time,spent around £200 on fuel.stayed on sites most of the time, because it was so hot, tried 1 passion and the bloody dogs never stopped barking, and stayed on 1 aires, crapest site was peronne,€18 for really crap toilets just wanted to go to ww1 museum,most expensive site and one with 10 out of 10 for toilets and showers was eperleques, wanted to go to V1 site which was mind blowing.
     
  8. Manxcat

    Manxcat Funster

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    We have been camping and latterly Vanning in France every year for the past 27 years.

    Do not diss any area - we are still discovering wonderful new areas. The French have many faults, but in my opinion they have sussed how to live life to the full and enjoy it.

    The Brtis and Americans spend all there lives working to try and live a bit.

    vive la france !
     
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  9. jackierals

    jackierals Read Only Funster

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    We are off to France on the 1st of Sept and staying until it gets too cold. (1st time in the van) Loved your post & would like to know of anything else you consider invaluable.

    Thanks,
     
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  10. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    wanted to go to V1 site which was mind blowing.


    For anyone who hasn't been and interested in the wartime stuff, this one is a must, came on it almost by accident, just followed the signs for Blockhouse and didn't really know what it was till we got there, 3 English coaches full of school kids there.:Smile:
     
  11. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    Well I am in Normandy and I am really enjoying myself.

    The weather has been great, the food excellent and the local people very friendly and helpful.

    The only downside was an English female Motorhomer who invited herself onto my pitch and then had a go at me for showing off because I had a smoothie maker on my table.

    If the stupid cow hadn't wandered onto my pitch she wouldn't have seen it.

    ' Not proper camping ' I was told.

    And there we were having this discussion on a fully serviced site complete with swimming pool and slide:Doh:
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2013
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  12. steveclecy

    steveclecy Read Only Funster

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    Not the image I had of a rufty tufty rugby enthusiast!

    Steve
     
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  13. Taran_Las

    Taran_Las Funster

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    Doesn't everyone have one?:BigGrin:
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2013
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  14. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    It's for the wife:Wink:
     
  15. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    I was gonna say, oh we've got one of them! rechargeable battery jobbie, made by Phillishave ......
     
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  16. Speve

    Speve Funster

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    France

    Loved the amusing earlier post,we have just returned from a four week tour and loved every minute of it, the one thing we learned is that the French do as they please and enjoy their leisure time we should take a leaf out of their book:thumb:
     
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  17. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    I didn't know you could play, do you play by ear or sight read?
    [​IMG]
    Lovely old English Virginal
     
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