Up against it ?

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Figaro, Apr 20, 2014.

  1. Figaro

    Figaro Funster

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    Well it feels like it right now. I`ve hired a MH for 10 nights in June for myself, reluctant wife and the pooch.
    I`ve always dreamt of having a MH but never had one, so I`ve got to get accustomed to driving it, figure out how it all works, and get the hang of staying on Aire`s all in a short space of time, definitely in at the deep end..…….am I mad ?
    The plan is to get early evening tunnel crossing to France and look for an Aire not too far from Calais, Wissant seems to fit the bill from reading on here ?
    Plan A is to head to Brittany and pootle around possibly looping around through Loire Valley.
    Do any funsters have suggestions for must see places enroute, I`ve read about Fougeres and think we may visit there for a stopover but would welcome other suggestions for places to visit. We like pretty villages / harbours, chateau`s, gardens etc
    By the way, if anyone finds themselves in Normandy I can recommend Chateau Champ de Bataille near Rouen. It`s a stunning Chateau and formal gardens. Very impressive and far more enjoyable than Versailles in my opinion, a fraction of the price and without the thousands of other tourists and the lengthy queues. When we were there last summer we virtually had the place to ourselves.
    Plan B is to head further south if the weather is cr*p, destination unknown.

    Tell me I`m not mad…….
     
  2. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    You are not mad.

    That is the way to do it! As I see it if you forget something, they sell them in France.

    Tell yourself and your wife if you hate it totally and really can't stand it after X amount of time, you can quite easily drive until you see a hotel you fancy and stay there! But you won't.

    Fougeres is good, we went there last year I think stayed on the aire and went round the castle. I also had to buy a watch strap as mine (leather) actually fell in half the day we arrived!

    How about Wissant, Le Crotoy, Honfleur, Fougeres .......
     
  3. Mr Colpot

    Mr Colpot Funster

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    We have found the Wissant Aire full when we have travelled over in the evening although there is another one nearby, but we have stopped at Equihen Plage which is about 20mins further South and hasnt been full....yet:Smile:

    If you like pretty villages the Veules les Roses in Normandie might be worth a look. There is an Aire outside a Campsite and you can walk down the hill to the Village where there is a signposted walk taking in the sights.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
  4. greyman1

    greyman1 Read Only Funster

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    probably the most important thing to do first is establish why your other half is reluctant to the trip . does she view motorhoming/camping as roughing it ? or is it the driving that is the problem ? once established you can tailor your holiday to suit . we toured brittany for over a month last year and the longest we ever stayed in one place was 2 days . we loved it but it did involve a lot of driving [by me] and it did take a lot of organisation and packing/ unpacking by er indoors ! not everyones idea of a holiday ! 10 days is not a long time if your both enjoying it but boy oh boy its a bloody life sentence if its pissing down and your at each others throats !! be prepared to compromise and hopefully she will become a convert . regards garry
     
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  5. Taran_Las

    Taran_Las Funster

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    If you are travelling through the Loire Blois is a nice place to stay. There is an aire in the town and it's only 7k from Chambord chateaux which IMO is stunning.:thumb:
     
  6. ericonabike

    ericonabike Read Only Funster

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    Judging from your profile, OP, we must be soulmates! But anyway...as mentioned by others, might be worth talking between you about what you want. Mrs E prefers staying on site with facilities for a reasonable length of time. I'm happy to keep moving on. We compromise...

    If you want to get to the sun, suggest pootling down there, staying put for say 5 days then racing back. Or vice versa. But that way you at least get to experience in one trip the varied ways you can use the van!
     
  7. rosalan

    rosalan Funster

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    I agree that it would be good to clearly see your wife's point of view and what it is that she feels negative about. Once that has been given some priority, you may be able to explore your collective enjoyment.
    Aires were a stumbling block for my daughter, where they sound to be full of potential risks. The reality of course can be very different but if I have any negative feelings about an Aire, I move on.
    I truly hope that you both discover what we all have found to be a way of life worth following but must accept, it is not for everyone.

    Alan
     
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  8. FIDGET

    FIDGET Funster

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    Hi Chris,
    Yes, you are very sensibe to try before buying as if wifey doesn't take to it, it would be very expensive. I'm sure she will once she's tried it, the dog will love it !!! just take your time traveling don't try to do too much mileage (we only do about 180 miles a day) & find aires reasonably early as they can get busy it's always best then as you should get choice of parking place ( not pitch as some aires more like car parks a bit close ).
    As to heading to brittany in 10 days not sure how much you are planning to see, we went last year from Dunkirk , stopped at very nice aire 2 euros next to campsite & small water park (fountains etc) at Arques about 30 miles from Calais, then on down to St Nicholas de Bliquetuit aire free again nice aire along side the Seine avoiding Rouen, then to Fougeres aire, from there to Campeneac free nice lakeside aire ( toilets rubbish ), then on down to Carnac stones & over to Quiberon but aire there massive didn't stay we then moved on towards Piriac sur mer nice beachside aire called Brambells, onwards to Notre sur Erdre free riverside aire, onto Challones sur loire aire now part of campsite right on the side of the Loire .heading home via St Denis du Maine aire nice lakeside aire then Rugles aire then St Mailleraye sur Seine 5 euros on the banks of the river.
    If you need Map refs or any other help just give me a PM.
    Only too pleased to help
    :sin:Terry:sin:
     
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  9. Styx

    Styx Read Only Funster

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    My advice would be: don't be too rigid with your plans

    If you find somewhere that ticks all the boxes, be prepared to stay there for as long as you are enjoying it (even if it is only 10kms outside Calais!) - because if everything is great then there will be other trips to venture further afield :thumb: whereas if everything is a rush and a pfaff, chances are, there won't... :Sad:

    Relax, enjoy doing whatever you both enjoy doing - you're on holiday :BigGrin:


     
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  10. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Can't speak for your missus, but mine likes to stay on sites with showers and things, I prefer to avoid sites, but we compromise and do a bit of each. Works for us.
    Don't try to do/see too much in 10days, you are on holiday.
     
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  11. Figaro

    Figaro Funster

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    Whoooh......that brings home my biggest fear..... what do we do if we get to say Wissant to find it full ? Just drive to the next ? I got All the Aires book and an app that shows Aires by distance / nearest first, but what if they`re all full ? surely that won`t happen in June, out of peak season.
    Being unable to find somewhere to park for the night would bring me some grief from the o/half !
    Her reluctance is she see`s it as roughing it. She would much rather have a hotel but I want adventure !
     
  12. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Main thing with aires is not to leave it too late to stop. I usually aim for early afternoon, they fill up in the early evening. Best possible arrival time is late morning but that doesn't leave much driving time.
     
  13. Figaro

    Figaro Funster

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    Ummm, we pick up MH just off M1 early afternoon and have approx. 1 hour for paperwork & demo etc then drive to Folkestone, comfort break for the pooch, crossing, time difference etc and it will be 7/8pm ish local time before were looking for an Aire. Is that too late to expect to get on one ? Would I be better trying to book a first night on a site near Calais ?
    After first night we should be ok, planning to drive for a couple of hours in the morning then look for somewhere.
    Thanks to all for really useful replys :thumb:
     
  14. Soozywoozy

    Soozywoozy Funster

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    We have just done our first big trip and because we were novices did a combo of aires/ stell platz and asci campsites ( which has paid for itself already). We had an end place in mind for about half way through our days away, but this allowed leeway and flexibility for plans to change - which we did, as we stayed longer in some places and shorter in others. We had a back up plan of options for each destination a good idea eg 2 aires, 2 campsites, which was reassuring but in reality didn't need it.
    Another tip is whatever google maps / sat navs say as travelling time add extra on - google maps is based on going maximum permissible car speed for the routed roads eg 70mph on motorway. In reality you will probably average 50mph
    Hope you really enjoy it - we had a blast and I can't understand why I was the reluctant party now
     
  15. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    10 days is not long, you can choose showing your wife how far you can get in 10 days non-stop driving or you could pick a nice campsite not too far and stop for a week.

    Which do you think will get her on your side ?

    KISS

    Just Calais to St Malo is 320 miles which is a hell of a day in a MH, two better, these things don't like to hurry.
     
  16. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    She is by hotel standards.

    You NEED a quality campsite.

    You need good food, let her figure out you have to cook in them when you get your own.

    You have a hell of an adventure convincing her, don't push your luck.
     
  17. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Obviously I can only go by my experience, but if you've got someone who is a bit ambivalent about motorhoming, I think the first night on a booked site is a good idea. That way neither of you will have any worries about your first nights stop.
    If you haven't already booked your crossing you could stay the first night near Folkestone, and take an early crossing which would give loads of time to get wherever you want to go. Your planned itinerary gives you a very long first day and tempers may fray a bit if you have delays.
     
  18. greyman1

    greyman1 Read Only Funster

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    you have been given some great advice so far, so go for it and enjoy. one word of caution though ! beware of raised expectations of what aires will be really like. in theory , they offer the visitor the opportunity to park up in little villages or along meandering waterways etc . in reality a lot of the ones in or around towns and villages are nothing more than designated areas in car parks [of which the charge can be 8 /9 euros per 24h ] some of the rural ones can be far from idlylic as well .we chose one from its picture in the book, only to find it was next to a sewage works ! another we came across by accident was set in a lovely secluded woodland setting , fine, untill it went dusk and the DOGGERS turned up !!! to echo other funsters advice and taking into account your wifes reservations you wont go far wrong if you stick to campsites for at least the first few days. even the basic 2* municiple sites will offer a superior level of facilities to even the really good aires and the cost inc ehu can be as little as 11 euros a night . bon voyage garry
     
  19. shunter

    shunter Funster

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    I had the same problem the wife was not keen on the idea of motor homing I had talked about it for a few years and we finally went looking on the odd days out and finally I got my wish , the first trip out was to a camp site in Norfolk we had a ball and a great time , now she loves going away have not gone over to France yet was planning to go this year but might have to wait and see what happens when I get back to work have been off since January.
    So have a great time pick a nice camp site and relax and lough a lot:thumb:
     
  20. Movinon

    Movinon Funster

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    It is often the man who wants to hit the open road, trailing his less than enthusiastic wife behind him. It can be a testing time. If you want her onside then comfortable fullservice caravan parks should soften her up. Once she's acclimatised then aires and more basic stuff follow on towards the goal of full wild camping.

    Mrs Movinon had no motorhoming aspirations originally, but was prepared to go along with mine provided she could use her hairdryer three times a week. This meant hookups until she was used to the idea of not using a hairdryer so much. In the next van I had a 2000 watt inverter installed just for her hairdryer, but that released us to be more flexible. Nowadays she doesn't worry so much. If you know your wife's main concern and address it early on then things may be less stressfull. Motorhoming disaster looms if you don't pay attention. Happy wife, happy life.
     
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