Ramblings of a Wandering Geordie (1 Viewer)

Jul 1, 2010
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Some will have read my other threads on the set backs and frustrations we have suffered with ferry cancellations to Spain over the lat week so I won't bore you all again.

As a last resort we agreed to take an alternative crossing to St Malo in France and drive down to Spain helped by a generous lot of dosh from Brittany Ferries to cover fuel costs. So it was we met up with fellow Funsters Roxio and hubby Jerry at the terminal prior to boarding. This being our first ever jaunt they had kindly offered to accompany us through France (just echo's Jims sentiments Fun is the best on the web!)

Wonderfully the ferry departed on time and the crossing was calm, we spent an enjoyable night in the bar over a few drinks planning our route and stopovers. Up early this morning and we were off the ferry 08.25hrs (French time) and on our way. We had made the decision to use toll roads to speed our progress, and as in another recent thread n here on both automated toll booths they attempted to charge us class 3. Nobody messes with Helen (Roxio) she swiftly hit the button and demanded class 2 as we were camping cars, which is what we paid so anyone make sure you pay 2 the difference is more than 50%!

We stopped en rout for a grocery shop at a supermarket topping up with diesel at 1.05 euro's (81.6p) per litre, a result.

Enough of my ramblings, we achieved our aim arriving at the aire in the charming little town of Cavignac just North of Bordeaux a distance of 309 miles, tired but well pleased. Sharing it with 3 Dutch vans

Another long one tomorrow hoping to reach Narbonne but snow is forecast for the Toulouse area so we'll see.
 
Jan 9, 2013
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That's us both in the snow at Toulouse Sud!
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Stewart J
Jul 1, 2010
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What a wonderfully peaceful night we had, woken at 07.00hrs by the sweet sound of the nearby church bells. After a breakfast meeting to discuss tactics in view of Toulouse snow warnings we were on the road for 09.15hrs. Decision taken to go for the Toulouse route and if snow caused it to go pear shaped we’d park up and sit it out, turned out to be unfounded.

Onwards Easterly and then Southerly, drove through some interesting weather. The French can show us how to clear snow with 4 snow ploughs diagonally clearing a 3 lane motorway at speed with miles of traffic backed up behind them. Must have driven through 150 + miles of snowy weather, no hold ups but at times tiring driving. Tonight we are at the municipal campsite at Cap Leucate, as we both need wate, all the Aires de Service in this area have it shut off for the winter. At 12 euro per night with 16 amp EHU, toilets, showers etc it is still cheaper than what most UK sites can offer.

Total mileage today 289, topping up with fuel at local garage equated to 84p per litre for diesel, and on offer at the supermarket a 3 litre pack of Fitou Red wine (13.5%) at £8.45p, bliss ;-)

Shame about the weather very windy perishing cold at 2 deg C. Southwards tomorrow a mere 285 kilometres to Vilanova Park and hopefully some warmth.

We are really enjoying this and finding the driving on the wrong side to us very easy, hope we are not boring you all but several have asked for a journal of sorts to be posted.

Very impressed with the Motorhome provisions in France, so much so we are considering a return and more leisurely visit later this year.

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Stewart J
Jul 1, 2010
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A shorter drive today down into Spain only 177 miles but by far the most stressful and tiring arriving at Vilanova Park late afternoon. The Barcelona ring road was at a standstill, I have never ever seen so many lorries in one place, at its worst 4 kms took 45 minutes. Totally different driving from the quieter more polite French into the manic Spanish it took a real effort to keep in touch with Helen and Jerry (Roxio).

So what’s with this weather, more snow South side of Barcelona maximum temperature 7 deg C and here at Vilanova, awnings with snow on, all the hills are snow covered and the bitingly cold wind, everyone is all muffled up, hats and gloves being the order of the day. We’ve come for some winter sun???

Staying 2 nights here it will be nice not to be behind the wheel tomorrow and do nowt, well apart from joblist OH has for me ;-) This campsite is vast, like a small town!
 
Apr 30, 2012
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Great to hear how you're getting on Stewart, please keep it up! (y) Let us know what it's like in Spain. Good luck and all the best. Terran :)
 
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Stewart J
Jul 1, 2010
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Finally had to take our leave of Roxie and Jerry our wonderful Funster guides through France and travelling companions and head off on our own this morning.

Southwards 218 kilometres to Bencassim, staying 2 nights at Camping Azahar lovely to see blue skies and rising temperatures. Walked along the prom in the warmth this afternoon no coats or gloves needed. The Med is finally "blue".

The drive past Tarragona on the Toll road was very entertaining with 65 km/hour side winds making a mockery of my lane discipline and no doubt causing concern to overtaking traffic.

Another short 210 jaunt South on Sunday to Los Llanos to catch up with our C & CC bookings. Really enjoying the whole experience now.
 
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Stewart J
Jul 1, 2010
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Go for it Mitzimad but wait for the better weather, it's a coddle and motorists are far more considerate to Motorhomers than the manic Spanish.

Enjoying a quiet beer on the beach with free wifi this afternoon 3-4 minutes walk from campsite
 
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Stewart J
Jul 1, 2010
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A brief update for those still following this thread. Spent a very enjoyable 2 nights at Camping Azahar at Benicasim, what a delightfully friendly community of like minded souls we met, many having been there for months. Quite a lot of Brits, followed by Dutch, French, German and a few Swiss plus others. A short 100 metre walk down onto the beautiful seafront promenade. First photo is the lovely sunset on our last night, OH managed to catch up with some washing being the start of our 3rd week from home. She was made up the the Mangle, an Acme model with 3 settings, thats what you call British engineering, it was in almost constant use by all! Second photo.

From there we drove down to Los Llanos campsite near Denia, lot of Brits here making for a very friendly atmosphere, yesterdays weather was warm and sunny shirtsleeves weather, today somewhat cloudier and cool with a wicked ENE wind, luckily campsite is well sheltered. Third photo taken late afternoon.

Onward's and South for 220 kms tomorrow to La Manga to join the C & CC rally for 6 days which we are both looking forward to, it will be nice to stand still for a while. :)
 

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Stewart J
Jul 1, 2010
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Our most Southerly stopover, the rally at La Manga, this site is awesome its immense like a small town. The on site Spar supermarket has to be experienced to be believed they sell almost everything and cheaply ;-) Branded whiskey less than a tenner a bottle.

Its a C & CC rally so all sorts of activities going on we've booked for the sponsored fish and chip supper Friday night, sponsors being the local Liqueur company producing that wonderful orange based drink "43" Quiz to follow with drinkable prizes, sounds good to me, 6 euro's per person thats good!.

Internet access 10 euro per week, all sorts of offers for long stayers with very reasonable UK TV and internet packages on offer (minimum stay 30 days) Internet cheap for us at 10 euro for a week unlimited downloads.

The drive down using toll roads was quiet and uneventful, weather upto 16 deg C and cloudy with a stiff breeze so nothing to cheer about, nice sunny evening.

I am really going to enjoy having 6 days with no driving :)
 
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Stewart J
Jul 1, 2010
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At last wall to wall sunshine and a temperature high of 19 deg C, awning up, carpets and bikes out, gorgeous day with next to no wind, we did just manage to fit everything onto our pitch. Lunch in the sun, shorts and tee-shirts, enjoyable afternoon sightseeing on the bikes.
 

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Apr 30, 2012
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Congratulations! The predominant colour you can see when you look towards Blighty is Green! Pure envy. ;) Have a great time and keep us up to date. Cheers. Terran :drink:

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Jan 9, 2013
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Glad you're having a well deserved rest. We're still at Bonterra, and thoroughly enjoying ourselves. Caught the 8.04 train to Valencia this morning - lovely city. Only wish we had longer to explore further. Had a fab lunch with our friends, and then caught the train back "home". Keep well and happy.
 
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Stewart J
Jul 1, 2010
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Yo Roxie good to hear from you glad you had a good day in Valencia its a lovely place, stayed there for a couple of days eons ago waiting to join my ship..

Well after yesterdays glorious day overcast, cold and showery at La Manga today.

Put the "Funster" flag up this morning and was pleasantly surprised this afternoon when fellow Funsters Jan & Dek parked in the next pitch after seeing the flag naturally we had a good natter ;0)
 

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Feb 22, 2014
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Thoroughly enjoyed reading about your travels.

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Jan 9, 2013
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Nooo - was hoping to get one, if only to "fly the flag" when we go to Glastonbury and Sziget Festivals.
 
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Stewart J
Jul 1, 2010
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A cracking day finally unpacked the shorts and tee-shirts more of the same tomorrow apparently :0). Fish and chips followed by a quiz tonight sponsored by Liquor 43 very enjoyable and met some lovely folk.

La Manga is fully booked 5 vans had to stay in car park last night and more again tonight, charge is 6 euros, a small price to pay for security and use of campsite facilities.

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