Day 1671 – En Route Spain 14-1 – 28 Sep 14

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Day 1671 – En Route Spain 14-1 – 28 Sep 14

Primarily this blog is aimed at keeping our daughter in the UK, Chloe, abreast of our adventures in Europe. Additionally, we hope that other readers will find snippets of info regarding campsites, prices and foreign travel interesting or perhaps just informative.

for photos see

Hi Clo,

Well, we set off from Lee Valley in good shape, having picked up some RAF memorabilia from an ex-RAF WO who was refereeing at the Invictus Games. The trip to Ashurst in the New Forest was uneventful and we spent a pleasant evening with Sue England, mainly reminiscing about Bill, who passed away last winter.

Then on to Chard to get the sink and shower tray fixed. After a few minutes I realised that the bloody Turbo wasn’t working again, so we limped into the town and called out the AA. They sent a mechanic whilst the shower tray was being recoated and suggested we call in to their garage when we were done. We did so and they completed a diagnostic and found about 10 old/new possible faults. However, the turbo has started working again, so on we go.

Reached the Riverside Campsite in Plymouth, just 15 minutes from the Brittany Ferry to Roscoff (£206). And guess who we met there – Penny and Kenny from Cabo! Small world! Got up at 0500 for an 0700 sailing and we were in Roscoff 20 minutes early. We drove the 10 mins to Camping Ar Kleguer and got the last pitch overlooking the bay. Very impressive. It's a pleasant area and well equipped site. Perfect for a couple of days resting up pre/post ferry.

We are heading on to Quimper tomorrow (14th) in the south of Brittany for a couple more days.
L’Orangerie de Lanniron was an expected pleasure. Huge pitch, fantastic facilities, golf course and superb shower block. Also we had great weather and walked the two miles into town – TWICE! - for the Noddy train and cathedral. Well worth a visit.

Then on to Nantes for a nitestop and after about 50 miles, just approaching road works we slowed down and at about 30 mph – we had a rear tyre BLOWOUT! Merde! We slowed and swerved into the outside lane, which was protected by bollards and work vehicles. We assessed the damaged and called out the AA via SAFEGUARD. Once again they were superbe!

The rescue vehicle was with us in 20 minutes, changed the tyre and we followed them back to their garage in Auray. After waiting an hour for lunch!!!...we got both tyres changed by 3.30pm – just 4 hours after the incident – at a cost of €294…cheaper than the UK.
All in all a lucky escape but great SAFEGUARD service.

A quick nitestop in Nantes and on to Cresse and a meet up with old pals from Grantham, Andy and Eileen, who are house-sitting a lovely place near St Jean D’Angely. The rain showers have started but we are safe inside.

Transit to Cresse was uneventful, but we hear that the weather in Bermuda is a bit ‘iffy’. Never mind – no work!

Andy and Eileen’s cottage is really nice, but a bit isolated. We got the 'van into their backgarden OK and spent 2 days exploring – Ruffec and St Angely. Crib was played to late hours and we set off to Verneuil near Limoges on the 20th to visit with P and J at Paul’s sister’s farmhouse. Of course, I got lost and disregarded the Sat Nav. So the journey took 45 mins longer than expected. The farmhouse is in a very out-of-the-way area but we found it OK and parked on the drive.

We enjoyed a few days of sunshine and visited the destroyed WW2 village at Oradour-sur-Glane after a walk round a local boot fair – or Bric-a-Brac. Saw some very nice old cars. The farmhouse is an ongoing project but clearly will be a very fine place when finished.

After clearing up around the house, it's off to Bob and Pat’s in Condom – a 4 hour trip south. Bob met us on the outskirts of Condom – come on now! No Sniggering! He led us through some very narrow backstreets to a parking place up against a city wall just 20 metres from his palace. Actually there is no other way to describe this medieval structure of gargantuan proportions. They have only just sold the place and we were their final visitors. We spent 3 days being royally entertained. Condom is a very pretty town nestling in the countryside. Thanks Bob and Pat for a great visit. We met Keith and Sue who are helping B and P pack up their gear. Not an envious task – as there is so much of it. We hope to see them all at Cabo in October.

Transitted to St Jean de Luz on the 26th and parked up by the seaside. Caught the bus into town and enjoyed a walk through the old section. Lots of street artists and we were entertained by a display of the French Red Arrows – Le Patrouille de France. There were literally thousands of spectators lined up and sitting on the beaches. Excellent bonus.

We tried to get to San Sebastian but were foiled by the lack of trains and buses. Because of the change at the border town of Hendaye, it became all too difficult and the railway staff were particularly unhelpful. So we trained it to Biarritz instead (€4.30 single on TRV) – and once again, the directions for tourists was poor. The railway station is 5kms out of town and only a bus gets you there. Shirl found the info tucked away on a board in the station entrance. Anyhoo, we got there and took a Noddy train round the town. Basically it's a big beach with a hotel that royalty used to frequent. Don’t bother is my advice.

We've decided to head inland tomorrow to Haro as the excellent weather is set to change here. We’ll do the Rioja region, Zaragoza and then get to coast near Valencia for the 4th. Then on to Benicassim for a fortnight.

Hope you are nicely refreshed after the honeymoon.

Speak soon
M and D
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