France from Start to Now and Beyond

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Brakers, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. Brakers

    Brakers Funster Life Member

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    Hi Everyone
    Yesterday arrived at the boat on time and boarded, I caught the 9:25 Portsmouth to St Malo ferry, which left at 10:00.
    Although the sea was relatively calm I had a bad crossing with a migraine headache, so I did not get any sleep or rest.
    There was tannoy announcements during the crossing, which I did not catch most but one was about St Malo port saying something like it does not open till 8:00am I think.
    Anyway as this is my first visit to France in years I was a bit concerned about getting out of the port and getting my bearings.
    I arrived at what I thought was St Malo feeling tired and drained, but was confident I could get to that supermarket as I’d followed the route in google earth twice.

    Leaving the port there is no where to park to sort yourselves out so onto the road I blindly went, got to the first roundabout and though this does not look familiar, but followed the green sign. The next roundabout totally threw me, I think I cut some poor French guy up and turned onto a road just because.

    I managed to find a car park with shops and pulled in there. I was still under the impression I was in St Malo or near.
    I looked on camper contact around st Malo and my position on google earth and could not find any points that matched between each app, I also seemed to be on the wrong side of the estuary from where I thought I would be. Doh!!
    I was so tired but then I had a brain wave LOL.
    I would select a camperstop near St Malo and put the co-ordinance in to the Tomtom and let it take me there.
    Low and behold Tomtom said I was 110 miles away from this Aire, this is when the penny dropped I’m at Caen LOL.
    After that I picked a Aire which was near and parked there for a while to compose myself and get some food inside me.
    I think it was Campercontact no.22457 but the pics don’t look anything like the location, I think some bushes and trees have been taken down and some sort of construction work is going on.

    Anyway after some food and composing myself I decided to leave that Aire as it was just an open area not very interesting at all and try to get nearer to where I should have been if landing at St Malo
    So Campercontact to the rescue (from here it will be CC) I picked out an Aire which looked good in Guilberville cc13833. When I arrived there they were in the process of improving the Aire with a digger and dump truck, although there was space for me to stay if I so wished but did not fancy it.
    So onward and upward I picked a Aire at Avranches cc4697 which is on a slope but looked as if it could be a nice place to stop and had good reviews.
    On arriving at Avranches I could not find the bl***y Aire and as I have a reasonabley large MH and things were getting tight I decided to continue and head for Rennes.
    So I headed back down the A84 towards Rennes,
    I was hoping to get to an Aire at Liffre but not having very little sleep on the boat to be sensible “Now there’s a word you won’t hear any of my friends or relatives refer to me as” So I decided to stop at one of the parking areas along the A84
    I was a dit dubious as it looked like one of those I remember they have on their Motorways, where the baddies get and gas you. But to be truthful I was toooo knackered to give a dam.
    So now I’m happy I’m sort of where I think I should have been had St Malo let us dock.
    This morning after a good nights sleep I headed for a Aire in a Super U market cc19711 in Plelan Le grand.
    As there was no pics of this on CC I took some and now they are on CC, with my review way hey I’m famous lol.
    There is services here but not working at the moment as someone has knocked the tower over, no it was NOT ME.
    I purchased my first items in Super U so now I’m totally French LOL.
    By the way got some Diesel as well.
    I am now at Josselin arrived in the dark will explore tomorrow.
    Best Wishes Tony :dance2::dance2::Grin:
    73FBBC27-4E43-4F10-B87A-C4E0114BBB7C.jpeg
     
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  2. DBK

    DBK Funster

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    It will get easier! Have a look at Google Maps, either on your phone or on a tablet. It will show you exactly where you are. :)
     
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  3. martin2603

    martin2603 Funster

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    Sounds like a baptism of fire, don't worry it will get better. Be sure to get on your Aire in daylight. Even at this time of year it is still busy.
     
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  4. klaatu

    klaatu Funster

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    Sounds a bit awful for your first time, but Josselin is a wonderful place, so I’m sure things will only get better from now on.
     
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  5. Zains Pops

    Zains Pops Funster

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    I had a similar experience once in Los Angeles. I rented a car from what I assumed was LAX instead it was another airport I’d never heard of as I’d come on an internal flight. This was pre sat navs, so after some dodgy map reading, I ended up is some very dodgy LA suburb, couldn’t make head or tail as to where I was, I eventually went into a gas station with my map and asked, to my relief the guy knew where he worked showed me on the map and I plotted a route back into civilization, very relieved as it was dropping dark.

    Keep going it will get better and it’s all part of the adventure.
     
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  6. GerTee

    GerTee Funster

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    Hey Tony it's a learning curve and as the song goes 'Things can only get better '.Just enjoy and have a fab experience, we wish we were en le continent right now rather than stressing over when to put the Xmas sprouts on to boil.
     
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  7. Anthea M

    Anthea M Funster

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    Take care and safe travels and enjoy!
     
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  8. Riverbankannie

    Riverbankannie Funster

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    A true baptism of fire!
    Wey hey...... your starting your adventure in style :xgrin:

    Thanks for posting, we WILL be following........:xeek:
     
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  9. TM59

    TM59 Funster

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    Do you not have a Sat Nav?

    I will follow this thread with interest.

    No matter if you turn right or left, hopefully like me you will find all of France beautiful.
     
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  10. Brakers

    Brakers Funster Life Member

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    Hi TM59 yes of course I have, but buried in a metal boat the sat nav was of no use so had to get somewhere close to embarking where I could use it, but believing I had landed at St Malo the first thing I did in my state of tiredness and with my migraine still giving me hell was to find an Aire near to me, so I looked near St Malo to find the nearest one. The rest is in the first post.
    Best Wishes Tony
     
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  11. Bognor Saint

    Bognor Saint Funster

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    Hi Tony

    I'm a bit confused. Did you get on wrong Ferry or get your itinerary mixed up?
     
  12. Riverbankannie

    Riverbankannie Funster

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    The ferry was diverted en route as the protesters closed St Malo port. Brakers was asleep with a migraine and missed the tannoy announcements. So you can see the confusion.
     
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  13. Bognor Saint

    Bognor Saint Funster

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    Ah. Read it again and understand.
    It must have been very unreal..
     
  14. QFour

    QFour Funster

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    What you should have done is put the Aire in before you left the Uk then as soon as you pop out the boat it realises you have moved and starts directing you. Great Aire at St. Malo by the Fort. Its outside the Campsite. You can walk down to the town and harbour.

    Like the shopping .. Take it you don't eat food just like a drink. Watch where you park if you are drinking you maybe asked to move.

    Theres always somewhere to stop just pull over and put your hazards on. If you get out put your yellow jacket on. You can always say you thought something had fell off.
     
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  15. Brakers

    Brakers Funster Life Member

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    Yes that would have been great if that is what I intended to do when I got there.
    Arriving in the morning I was hoping to get a long way away from St Malo, the plan was get to the supermarket see how I feel if good pick a Aire quite a long way away, depending on how I felt deciding the distance I wanted to travel. So selecting an Aire before I sailed seemed pointless to me but in hindsight, the best laid plans of mice and men :xThumb:
     
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  16. Puddleduck

    Puddleduck Funster Life Member

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    SuperU sometimes have polystyrene crates for bottles. We got one and wish we had bought another two or three :)

    We'll have to go back next year just to buy one.
     
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  17. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster Life Member

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    Interesting start to your trip Tony, look on the bright side, it can only get better - hopefully. :xgrin:

    1st lesson learnt, no shortage of places to stop in France.

    Reminds me of a trip to Sweden in the early 80's. Got of the boat with a bad headache @10:30pm managed to take A4 instead of the A40. 12:30am 100miles later realised my mistake, ½ way up the wrong side of a bleeding great lake, I'm on my own, it's snowing, written down my contacts number wrong, no mobile in those days. Had a lucky break found a truck stop at 1am & got a room.
     
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  18. Brakers

    Brakers Funster Life Member

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    Hi Q4 Didn’t really need anything, just walking round for the experience lol. I saw the Bailey’s and thought that will make a nice Christmas drink also seeing in the New year if it lasts that long lol.
    Best Wishes Tony
     
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  19. carolyn

    carolyn Funster

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    Well done you, I think you did very well indeed to sort all that out even if you hadn't been recovering from a migraine. They are peculiar things, when I've had a bad one it's as though every thought process is in slow motion for about another 24 hours.
     
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  20. Manic

    Manic Funster

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    Could job you didn’t find Avranches, as the aire it has got a good old slope.
    Josselin is nice, used to be an English book shop in town and it worth going to the top of the tower for some good views.
     
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