Really calm crossing to Santander, found a great aire at Lieganea 30 mins from Santander. Spent all Sunday there anx went for a drive through the hills, beautiful scenery, of course weather cold and cloudy. Monday headed east but took a long and beautiful route through the hills in pouring rain, finally arriving at an aire ....... the night was bitterly cold but we slept late and re now stopped for lunch at a truck stop. A beautiful all you can eat hot and old buffet + sweet all for 13 euros inc, water or wine. Sun is shining temperature has reached 13 degrees and forecast looks better the further east we go.
We are hoping to make Tarragona by late this afternoon.
Will try adding pics later.
Day 6 – started as usual with leaden skies and persisting rain! We planned a longer run today so we might be closer to our friends and set off for St Aignan sur Roe and the Etang de la Guiardiere that promised to be a pretty spot. Sadly the place was overrun with a cycle cross competition and the pitches near the lake were taken by the competitors stands, or occupied by muddy velocipedes and their clarted riders, the only place to stay was in the car park – not a pleasant spot, so like a mongrel who marks his spot, we emptied our grey water tank at the borne and set off for Nozay, which is where we are at present. This aire is situated by a lake and in summer would be impossible to get on, even tonight on a wet night in October the place is half full. Although not free the aire provides unlimited electric for your 5 euros, but no one came to collect the fee.
(Sadly no pictures to accompany this entry)
Day 7 – “Ille fait pleu” seems to be the start of every day and this one is no exception though as we head for Redon the sun comes out and although the breeze is cool it is definitely our second good day. We park alongside the marina and avail ourselves of emptying grey water tank, cassette and refilling our fresh water tank to the brim at no cost. “I love the French,” it is great to be welcomed in a motorhome rather than being treated as a nuisance as we are in England. A walk round the town confirms nothing has changed since our last visit four years ago. We nip in to the Patissier treat ourselves to a sticky bun each and return to “The Beastie” for a coffee. Suitably refreshed we set off for Malestroit a beautiful little town where the river and canal meet. Arriving in the centre of town we find a vintage car show so I stopped and took a few photo’s....................... nearly half the cars were UK classics with a few French ones thrown in for good measure but as I know nothing about French cars I took no photos.
There are three aires in Maletroit but without doubt the most attractive is the one by the canal, but it offers no facilities, but as we took care of all that at Redon it’s not a problem. We have the canal to our left and open fields to our right so I hope I might manage a few wildlife shots.
Being British there is a sense of smugness about being by the Nantes Brest canal for without the success of the Royal Navy in harassing French shipping Napoleon ordered the canal built, consequently we have a beautiful canal to walk/cycle/boat along amidst beautiful scenery.
Day 5 – The weather has cleared up so took a walk to the boulangerie for our bagette and croissant and to buy a jeton for the borne to discover the cost for water and electric has risen from 2 – 3 euros. So having emptied and filled we set off – the weather just happens but again the adventures keep happening. Approaching a roundabout a motor cyclist had skidded off his bike and under a car; it couldn’t have happened long before we arrived as we were only four vehicles behind. The ambulance and sappeurs pompiers were in attendance (How unlike UK no police in attendance – we would have had at least 4 cop cars attending, but I digress. The cars in front mounted the kerb and skirted around the accident, the grass on the side of the road looked green and as two cars a white van and an articulated lorry traversed the grass no problem – so up the kerb I went, as soon as the front wheel hit the grass they spun in the mud and we were stuck!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ah but in the garage I had seen a set of “get out of the mud ladders” so rescued them and placed them under the wheels but the shortest distance to hard ground was by reversing, but I now had cars, vans and lorries up my rear end. So I sat and waited..................... the fireman nodded and gestured was I stuck? I nodded back yes – after a few moments he and another fireman stopped the traffic and pushed me on to the hard ground and we were able to continue our journey. Not more than half a mile up the road we saw a car nose into the ditch, clearly he had caught the edge and spun round and nose dived into the ditch.
Now we are settled into the aire (gratuite) at La Madeleine Bouvet a pretty spot overlooking a lake, (large pond) with the sun shining down to make is feel welcome. As we settled the van I thought we were getting a special welcome as one of the locals went by whistling “Scotland the Brave!”
Day 3 –
Not long after writing Day 1 – 3 we had a visitor, Mel (Heyupluv), only popped in for a short visit but stayed nearly two hours as I introduced him to “The Beastie” and he explained how most of the extras that came with her, but had time to explore, work. Thanks to Mel I discovered I possessed a mains tester and from the odds in the garage I was, with his instruction, able to make an ehu adapter lead to return negative polarity back to positive polarity.
We then explored the TV and sat dish and sky receiver and with a little effort I might be able to watch T.V though not sure I want to be inflicted with Emmerdale and Corrie; at home I can escape them but not so easy in the motorhome.
We have not had TV in our motorhome before and have found the absence of a TV an opportunity to catch up on conversations we never seem to have time for at home, a surfeit of TV would destroy that.
The weather at Nuncq Hautecote led us to think we could have a sunny holiday, at night and all through day 4 it has rained incessantly and as we sit here at La Mailleraye sur Seine the passing ships are distorted as we watch them through an ever increasing pattern of rain drops.
But the day was not without charm, as we pulled over so I could secure the ehu cover and Sue searched for her phone, I went off for a stroll and just next to where we parked was this old water mill situated on the bridge over the river at Hardinval (Doullins). Despite many attempts this was the best view I could find but it thrilled my love of all (some) things French.