Pamplona site, bad experience!!

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by ValinFrance, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. ValinFrance

    ValinFrance Read Only Funster

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    :Sad:Hi, here is a place we would drive miles to avoid - ref 2369 in the ACSI guide......

    Maybe its nice in the summer, but it was like a quagmire and completely deserted at this time of year. It looks like a handy place to stop for those going from France to Spain or vice versa and was peaceful but that was about it! Having stayed at a site where every day a "Completo" sign went up in the afternoon, it was a surprise that no one else was there - perhaps the owner's attitude? OK we were knackered, it was raining, and the journey was a nightmare....! Here is what I just sent to ACSI:

    We arrived at 8pm to a closed reception with a sign saying to park and someone would come and see us later. It was dark, raining and nobody came. However someone did come out to close the large entrance gates that evening. We couldn't see any sign of a shower block and all the hookups appeared locked, with nobody at all on site to ask.

    Next morning, we rang the bell to get someone to let us out.

    Eventually the guy arrived and after some discussion, assured us that there was hookup and took us to see. He insisted that we pay the full 18 euros before we could leave.

    Overall we thought that as he was able to come out and close the gates, he could have come to welcome us and help us, rather than seeming interested purely in taking our money. We wished we had stayed in a roadside stop and wild-camped, as that was the level of service received.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014
  2. busby

    busby Funster

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    If the site was empty i do not think i would have been at all surprised to see reception closed at that time of the night out of season. Was did surprise me was that the gates were open..BUSBY:Sad:
     
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  3. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    if the place was that bad you should have just hung around until the gates were opened next day then just driven off.
     
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  4. brynric

    brynric Funster

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    We must have missed you by a day. We stayed there on Friday night and had exactly the same experience. Long journey, foul weather, open gates, closed reception and one other van parked on a roadway. I wandered around looking for signs of life or other information other than the less than helpful instructions:
    "If no one in the office an come and put your caravan happen later responsible for your site. Thank you."
    In the end we also parked on a roadway, we didn't trust any of the pitches. In the morning the manager/owner came and pointed out that the office was open. So we went through the registration and paying €18 and left a minute later, never to return.
    We stayed last night at Zaragoza, a much better experience and I'm writing this on free wifi whilst waiting for paella at Valencia Camping Park, it's getting better and better.:Smile:
     
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  5. ValinFrance

    ValinFrance Read Only Funster

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    We were there on Weds night - having had bad weather and overheating problems we couldn't wait to get back on the road, so driving away without paying not an option! Wished we had stayed on the tarmac as it was like a mudbath!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014
  6. paddyd887

    paddyd887 Read Only Funster

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    We stopped at this Acsi site on our way to Benidorm. As we approached the gates we didn't see any sight of a receptionist or owner. We were unsure as to wether or not the site was open as the only people around were a couple of road workers and we were the only campers. We checked the hook-ups and they worked so we set up camp. We decided if no one came we were in for a cheap night - however a young lady appeared and requested Euro 16. The shower block was freezing so after we worked out how to switch on the heating and collecting our wash bags someone had made a visit and turned it all off again.
    This was on the 17 December so it was not on our list for the return trip. Pity really as it was well positioned and and not far from the main road and very convenient.
     
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  7. iandsm

    iandsm Funster

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    Driving off

    Arriving on any site off season, UK or EU, to find the reception closed particularly early or late evening should not really be a surprise, particularly in bad weather. I would not expect an owner/manager to sit in reception just on the off chance that someone might turn up and even if booking by phone I can understand being told to choose a pitch and register pay the next morning. We have arrived on many occasions in these circumstances.

    If the gates are open and there is a sign on reception telling customers to find a pitch, the site is obviously open for business. Whether one likes the site or not continuing to use a pitch with or without facilities creates an obvious obligation to pay.

    I think to advise anyone, however dissatisfied with their pitch/facilities to just "drive off", is at best very poor advice. Anyone taking this action intending to avoid payment would commit a criminal offence in the UK and probably in the EU. To say nothing of the damage to the reputation of UK motorhomers.

    Anyone who simply "drives off" would do well do keep an eye on their mirrors.
     
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  8. ValinFrance

    ValinFrance Read Only Funster

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    I appreciate he doesn't want to sit in reception, but if he came out to close the gates that evening, he could have come to see us then!

    18 euros is the top end of ACSI fees, and we would have expected more, otherwise it would have been better to wildcamp (and not risk getting stuck in the mud!)

    They're either open for business (albeit off season), or they're not! I have run a hotel in my time, and would not expect someone to pay full whack, if not getting full use of advertised facilities etc etc. We would have expected some kind of discount from the owner under the circumstances.
     
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  9. iandsm

    iandsm Funster

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    He was open. Was it bad service not to have a word with you when he closed the gates, or perhaps your blinds were all closed and he didn't want to disturb you. If you could not find the facilities or hookup, you presumably could have rung the bell that you rang in the morning to summon someone so you could ask.

    Knowing as you did on arrival it was 18 euros, you understandably were miffed you couldn't find hookup or facilities, anyone would have been. Even though you could not find the things you wanted, you stayed even though as you said, you could have wilded it.

    I am not defending the campsite, maybe he/they could have been more helpful / maybe you could have been more persistent with your enquiries. There was working EHU as you were shown in the morning and although you don't mention it, I presume an open toilet block. So I can't see why you should have got a discount.

    Not a nice site. I think it's one to put down to experience and I bet you check facilities before you decide stay on another site with a closed office. But, if a sign invites you to take a pitch and you do. it's your choice.
     
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  10. busby

    busby Funster

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    Did you make your feelings felt to the site owner?? BUSBY:Smile:
     
  11. brynric

    brynric Funster

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    Iandsm, you may be right. We may have expected too much. But I would warn others about expecting a "campsite" experience if calling here in bad weather in winter.
    3 disappointing visits may suggest that the site is taking advantage of a lack of all year camping in this part of a Spain rather than offering a viable break of journey.
    I'm not sure that wild camping is encouraged in Spain. Still, I'm sure others have had a much more positive experience.
    Bryn
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014
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