First France Trip /Legionaires

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by weejohnw, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. weejohnw


    Aug 3, 2008
    As Promised a wee report on our first motorhome trip across the shuuuugh.
    Rose early, travelled down motorway and got boat at Belfast. Arrived that evening in Birkenhead. Motored down 300 miles of motorway, stopping at rest areas recommened by fellow funsters before arriving at Dover. Were early for our booked sailing and Norfolkline got us on the four am sailing.
    Arrived Dunkirk. moved into Belgium to Poelcapple Military Cem. Slept here, (not the sleep like the occupents) til 12 mid-day. Visited several other Grave sites before arriving in Leper at the Jeugdstadion camp site. Welcome was rather more cold than the weather! Site was dirty- more rubbish around the bins than in them. None-the-less, we visited the service at the Menin Gate two nights running. In leper there was a round of the Internation Rally Championship and I along with our 17 year old son spent lots of the evening drooling over the rally cars.
    Back in France we used the aire at Doullens (free)and visited Hill 62, Sanctuary Wood and Vimy Ridge. Fresh water pump expired, but a MH -Dethleffs dealer about 10 miles away replaced said item under warranty. Visited the Ulster Tower and Thiepval along with Hamel Military Cems.
    Next stop was at Cleres, great aire with hedges, although tokens for water were a considerable trek into the village- nice spot though and again free.
    The following night was a stopover at friends near Champengateaux. Aren't those French MW's fantastic? and very quiet.
    Le Mans- great museum, when we were coming out the heavens opened it rained then it rained heavier then heavier, we sat it out for an hour or so before moving on. Kettle was well used.
    Le Lude was next, very reasonably priced go-kart track nearby, a lovely village, the car park aire was free, but was very open and dominated by trucks. Water and lecky were free, but lecky not working when we were there, - 25th June. Better to have found somewhere else to overnight.
    We had booked a hot air balloon flight for the following Monday so to have a wee rest, we stopped at Le Moulan Fort campsite near Chateaux Chenonceaux. Quiet site by the river Cher and close to the Chateaux. This is were things started to go very wrong. The missus and myself used the showers here, only a few days later forcing us to come home early due to coughing - turned out to be Legionaires Disease. Grey drain was impossible to use as not enough room to drive into area, and not enough room to reverse into it either - very strangely designed. had to do the business along the verge!
    anyway - have mentioned that on another thread under Legionaires.
    The Hot Air balloon flight was brill. Strange set up at the aire at the Chateaux Chenonceaux though, you can only use it during the DAY. - you get moved (politely) to an allotted space just a few yards away, but access is though a very very narrow stone walled laneway.
    Mont St Michael, very popular - hundreds of vans, but 8 euros just to park with no water in or out! British owners of site perhaps? - oooophs couldn't resist that one. Lovely spot nonetheless and we were treated to a spectacular sunset and then sunrise the following morning.
    Horror, started van only to be met with an empty diesel tank warning - had filled up the night before. Fix It Again Tomorrow ! - well actually it didn't get fixed for nearly three weeks. Just kept a note of the mileage as to when fill up was due again.
    Lessay was a fantastic aire, freshly surfaced carpark off the main street in yet another beautiful village. Water and waste readily avialalbe and availed of. Free. Were quite amused here as a Belgium Mher was having as much dificulty reading the French sign at the fresh water taps as I was!
    It was very hot and with the onset of our coughing we were feeling rotten so headed sooner thatn anticipated to the Omaha Beach area. really enjoyed the sea air and spent the day next to a sand dune and the sea.
    Discovered a really lovely aire -6 euros including lecky, at Honorine Des Portes. Only don't judge a book by its cover.
    The Aire was almost like a low rent campsite, in that it was a field with a stone driveway - also on sight was a chippy- expensive chipy and the folks "in charge" were pleasant.
    After dark things went downhill. There were about 9 or 10 vans on site, but tucked away in a corner were two vans that were converted minibus type vehicles, don't mean to sound snobish- but they were occupied by much younger folks that us at 50. By half eleven we though the noise would die down, but not a bit of it. Bang bang musiv, loud shouting, just kept on and on. THe folks who took the money of us made no attempt to quell the high jinks that was going on. Other people were disturbed by this noise too as we could see lights come on in other vans. By half past one we just could not stick the noise, se we uped the steadies, disconnected the lecky, opened the curtains and drove off site. As we were leaving we were ceronaded - not spelyt correctly! by the blowing of horns from these undesireables, so I'm sure everyone on site was probably wakened by now. We travelled on to Hermomville and spent a very quiet restful few hours here til the morning came around.
    We then headed on a long crive back to Dunkirk. Norfolkline were brill and we sailed home a few days early at no extra cost. Things a bit different though with Norfolkline at Birkenhead we had to pay extra after pleading with a chap that we were not well. By this stage our son had to do the talking as we were both coughing so much we could not talk. BEcasue we had booked as a "show Special" he was not going to change the booking at all! , But finally he relented to change the booking - there was lots of room on the boat- but managed to charge us extra, plus of course even more extra for using a credit card.
    Although we came home ill, we had a very enjoyable time in France.
    Quiet roads
    Aires to overnight in
    Friendly and welcoming locals
    A relaxing feeling
    Not despised for driving a motorhome
    THe two most - sorry three, I forgot the missus, useful things on holiday
    the kettle and the bikes.

    Would we do it again, you bet your bottom dollar we would.
    Already planning for next year

    Regards to all, Weejohn
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2009
  2. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

    Sep 2, 2009
    Sarth London
    This has only happened to us a few times in 25 years of camping....when It does I get up in the morning, open all the windows and doors turn up the music as loud as possible and wake the bu$$ers up!:winky:
  3. weejohnw


    Aug 3, 2008
    all nighters

    Hi Judgemental,
    By half past one we just could nt stick it any more, I suffer from a disability which leaves me with extreme fatigue and I need my sleep!
    Disappointed in the folks who took our 6 euros and yet did nothing to ensure everyone on site had a good time. Otherwise this was a lovely spot to stop off at in the Omaha Beach area.
    Did what you suggested with neighbours many years ago before we moved to the country. They had loud music and shouting til about 4.30 in morning, we got up at 7am, turned the speakers to face the joining wall, put Abba on the stero on repeat play, turned the volume and bass up full and went away for the day!
    Regards, Weejohnw
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009

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