Wondering where I've gone? ... I'm in EU land! (1 Viewer)

Minxy

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 22, 2007
32,733
66,839
E Yorks
Funster No
149
MH
Carthago Compactline
Exp
Since 1996, had Elddis/Swift/Rapido/Rimor/Chausson MHs. Autocruise/Globecar PVCs/Compactline i-138
Sorry this is a bit long - due to the fun and games we’ve had and being tired I didn’t get the chance/feel like posting what we’d been up to so have typed it all up tonight, it won’t be so long in the future ... I hope!

Our plan: To spend a couple of months away, heading through France and into Spain, possibly Portugal along the way. We had been sorting out stuff for our travels in the weeks leading up to this, getting it fettled, stocked up, bits and bobs packed and finally our ‘stash’ of grub was loaded ... we were just about ready to go!

Wednesday 14/12: We about to put water in but then found our home outside tap had frozen solid ... darn it! As it had been predicted to freeze overnight we filled up the day before as we didn’t want to risk damaging the pipes, taps etc, whilst we waited for it to defrost we packed the rest of our stuff in to the MH, went to see the neighbours to say bye and give them our house keys. Fortunately the tap, after some encouragement with hot water eventually unfroze so we were able to fill the tanks ... of course it wasn’t that simple as the dump valve for the boiler had triggered and wouldn’t reset at all even though it had warmed up quite a bit by then ... eventually the use of a cable tie and a bag clip kept the little blighter in place so a disaster was averted.

We set off at 1.35pm and decided to have a stop for coffee at the parking just on the approach to Godmanchester ... big mistake! The road is nowhere near where it used to be so is quite a distance away rather than just next to it, once we realised we turned round but then found that there was no way back onto the motorway without a long, sometimes wrong direction, route. We eventually got back onto it but had lost quite a bit of time with the ‘detour’. We stopped for the coffee we’d missed out on then set off for the Seafarer chippy at Folkestone, arriving about 7.45 pm, we had a lovely bit of haddock and tonnes of chips, much more than we could eat! We spent the night at the cricket club parking once we eventually found it as P4N had it in the wrong place. After a potter with the dogs in the cold with a bitter wind we hightailed it back to the MH and settled in for the night.

Thursday 15/12: It had been well below freezing during Wednesday night but we were fairly snug in the MH even without the heating on but had a quick blast when we got up to take the chill off. We got picked up Bella’s AHC just before 10.00am and decided to go to Euro Tunnel to see if we could get an earlier crossing (£20 supplement) so we could travel further down France to try to get away from the predicted near freezing daytime temperatures on the following days. The earliest crossing we could get was 1:20pm, 3 hours early than our 4:20pm crossing, but we decided to pay up and had a potter with the dogs then noticed loads of crossings were being cancelled or rescheduled to later times. In the end I went to enquire what time we were realistically likely to get away and was told there was at least an hour and half delay ... not happy as we’d not have paid to go only 90 mins before our original crossing time (although I realise it would have been delayed too but we’d just have gone to Sangatte or Montreil as originally planned). All we could do was wait and had a chat to a couple in a MH who were going to Spain for 3 months however, having set off the day before with full fresh water tank, due to their stopping overnight it had frozen solid (I assume they’d stopped their dump valve from working) plus they had no gas as they hadn’t refilled it since they last used the MH! To say they were a bit concerned is an understatement as they were worried what state the pipes, taps etc would be in when they defrosted. We also met another couple with their 2 grandkids, they’d driven all the way from Scotland the day before and were heading for Spain, they’d never been abroad before, no idea how long it would take, what route, cost of tolls, the only map they had was a large folding overview map of France and a sat nav, worse of all they had just assumed they’d be able to find campsites open enroute through France so hadn’t a clue where they’d be stopping even for their first night ... I think they were going to have a very steep learning curve.

Sorry, I digressed didn’t I! :giggle: Back to us, due to having to wait for our crossing we cheered ourselves up by having the left over chips from the previous night for lunch (they warmed up beautifully in a dry frying pan) but at 12.30pm just as I’d dished them up our crossing number was called to go through, we hoped it meant we were going to get across nearer to our 1:20pm slot time ... no such luck, they were just trying to get as may vehicles through in readiness for when the crossings started again so we ended up stuffing ourselves with them whilst waiting in the passport control queues. It was chaos though, due to being called to the side to do the gas check we had a much longer wait than other vehicles as we couldn’t re-join the queues as they hadn’t kept the ‘hatched’ areas clear so we had to gradually ‘force’ our way out which took ages ... joy of joys.

Eventually after a long wait in the ‘holding’ lanes we were loaded and away on the 2:50pm then once we landed in France we stopped at a 24 hour self-service station en route (actually cheaper than Boulogne sur Mer and saved getting stuck in the traffic jams). The dogs had a quick potter and us a coffee and biscuit then we hit the road again, eventually getting to Pont de l’Arche a good few hours later and had a nice ‘tinned’ stew for tea (tins of stewing steak, carrots and spuds ... yummy!), a quick dog potter, check where we were heading the following day, then bed.

Friday 16/12: Another very cold night with ice on the inside of the driver’s sliding window despite having the external screens on, the passenger side was okay so I think it’s due to the metal surround making it colder. We had a long day’s driving ahead of us and intended just to stop for pees for the dogs and lunch for us which went to plan then it went a bit ‘awry’ mid-afternoon when trying to get fuel ... what a fiasco that was! The sat nav tried to take us via a 2m high tunnel and in order to avoid that we had to do a big loop round which a ‘certain MH driver’ made us do twice as he failed to follow ‘instructions’ (mine and the sat nav) so didn’t turn right when he should’ve ... to add insult to injury when we did get there the price on the Fuelio app was way out, despite it saying it had been updated that day, so it was much dearer than what we’d passed on the motorway! Needless to say we didn’t bother with it and finally got some cheaper later on then when we got to our desination at Couhe it was even cheaper ... not happy bunnies. Won’t trust the app again that’s for sure and a warning to anyone else who uses it. After a quick curry for tea we had an early night as it’d been a tiring day for us and the dogs who travel brilliantly and settled down as soon as we set off, even Bella who’s never been away in the MH before just curls up and snoozes.

Saturday 17/12: By heck it was cold overnight ... we had ice on the window again, we’d been nice and snug in our beds though. After a nice walk with the dogs we were off, really sunny and warm so no need for the heating at all. We stopped for a late lunch, then near our destination popped into a supermarket for some bread where we met UK MHing couple who we got chatting to and discovered that they’d been broken into the night before. They’d made the mistake of stopping overnight on a motorway aire, this was despite saying they never would as they knew it wasn’t the best thing to do, but they thought it looked okay, there were 2 other MHs there already so thought it would be safe - although they had an alarm they couldn’t turn off the internal sensors so hadn’t set it. The thieves had used a screwdriver in the cab door lock and rifled through the glovebox getting away with a wallet with credit cards in (no cash), fortunately the cards were found in the morning nearby by one of the other MHers so nothing actually lost. The couple hadn’t heard a thing, nor had their staffie, so weren’t aware until they woke up and noticed things had been moved; fortunately the door lock still worked so they could secure the MH with the alarm on when they left it. We said we were on our way to Lac de Leon for the night - they were going to head into Portugal but were reconsidering as they were having issues with their internet so wanted to spend time to try to sort it out amongst other things. We tootled off and got parked up near the Lac then about 10 minutes later they arrived and parked near us so we were able to have a natter and offer some advice etc on bits and bobs - this was only their second trip abroad so it was still fairly new to them.

We had a nice walk around with the pooches, it was Bella’s first experience of sand, well more like really fine gravel as it’s a ‘faux’ beach, she was taking it all in and wasn’t phased by anything although she was a bit apprehensive when she walked out onto the jetty but soon followed the others as she didn’t want to miss out. It was quite sunny, certainly warmer than we’d had previously and by heck we were enjoying it. After chilling out in the MH for while it was time for tea, a last dog potter and bed.

Sunday 18/12: Not quite so cold overnight fortunately and it was certainly much warmer in the morning with the sun nicely heating us up. We took the dogs to the beach again where Bella enjoyed saying hello to next door’s 3 year old staffie called Stuart - I’m sure if she could’ve got under the grass in submissive mode she would’ve! We had a walk round the nature trail area along the boardwalks and Tazzy went paddling up to her tummy to see if she could find any frogs (she didn’t) - this is a dog who does NOT like going in water normally, or at least not when I want her to go in. After drying the monster it was time for the off, stopping en route for lunch, coffee and biscuit in the afternoon along with dog ablutions, then to Socoa (just below St Jean de Luz) where we’re parked on the raised bit of road next to the cemetery with lovely views of the bay.

By heck it was warm today, the glorious sunshine throughout, so with us travelling south we were kept nice and toasty without having to put the heating on - our digital temperature gauge said 21 degrees at one point, most of the day it was at least 18 - lovely jubley. We took the dogs to the bit of beach and Bella was doing a funny walk on the sand, it must’ve felt weird to her, but she soon got used to it and she and Minky had a lovely chase around, the first proper one they’d had for a few days, even Tazzy had a run about too although I think the little dog treats we had encouraged her to do that, going from me to hubby, and back again! After a coffee and biscuit for us we went back to the beach for more lolloping around (the dogs not us!) before having tea and chilling out/planning ... and me writing this ‘tome’!
 

DuxDeluxe

LIFE MEMBER
Jul 10, 2008
14,682
73,329
Planet Zog
Funster No
3,243
MH
A woosh bang van
Exp
since 2008
Sorry this is a bit long - due to the fun and games we’ve had and being tired I didn’t get the chance/feel like posting what we’d been up to so have typed it all up tonight, it won’t be so long in the future ... I hope!

Our plan: To spend a couple of months away, heading through France and into Spain, possibly Portugal along the way. We had been sorting out stuff for our travels in the weeks leading up to this, getting it fettled, stocked up, bits and bobs packed and finally our ‘stash’ of grub was loaded ... we were just about ready to go!

Wednesday 14/12: We about to put water in but then found our home outside tap had frozen solid ... darn it! As it had been predicted to freeze overnight we filled up the day before as we didn’t want to risk damaging the pipes, taps etc, whilst we waited for it to defrost we packed the rest of our stuff in to the MH, went to see the neighbours to say bye and give them our house keys. Fortunately the tap, after some encouragement with hot water eventually unfroze so we were able to fill the tanks ... of course it wasn’t that simple as the dump valve for the boiler had triggered and wouldn’t reset at all even though it had warmed up quite a bit by then ... eventually the use of a cable tie and a bag clip kept the little blighter in place so a disaster was averted.

We set off at 1.35pm and decided to have a stop for coffee at the parking just on the approach to Godmanchester ... big mistake! The road is nowhere near where it used to be so is quite a distance away rather than just next to it, once we realised we turned round but then found that there was no way back onto the motorway without a long, sometimes wrong direction, route. We eventually got back onto it but had lost quite a bit of time with the ‘detour’. We stopped for the coffee we’d missed out on then set off for the Seafarer chippy at Folkestone, arriving about 7.45 pm, we had a lovely bit of haddock and tonnes of chips, much more than we could eat! We spent the night at the cricket club parking once we eventually found it as P4N had it in the wrong place. After a potter with the dogs in the cold with a bitter wind we hightailed it back to the MH and settled in for the night.

Thursday 15/12: It had been well below freezing during Wednesday night but we were fairly snug in the MH even without the heating on but had a quick blast when we got up to take the chill off. We got picked up Bella’s AHC just before 10.00am and decided to go to Euro Tunnel to see if we could get an earlier crossing (£20 supplement) so we could travel further down France to try to get away from the predicted near freezing daytime temperatures on the following days. The earliest crossing we could get was 1:20pm, 3 hours early than our 4:20pm crossing, but we decided to pay up and had a potter with the dogs then noticed loads of crossings were being cancelled or rescheduled to later times. In the end I went to enquire what time we were realistically likely to get away and was told there was at least an hour and half delay ... not happy as we’d not have paid to go only 90 mins before our original crossing time (although I realise it would have been delayed too but we’d just have gone to Sangatte or Montreil as originally planned). All we could do was wait and had a chat to a couple in a MH who were going to Spain for 3 months however, having set off the day before with full fresh water tank, due to their stopping overnight it had frozen solid (I assume they’d stopped their dump valve from working) plus they had no gas as they hadn’t refilled it since they last used the MH! To say they were a bit concerned is an understatement as they were worried what state the pipes, taps etc would be in when they defrosted. We also met another couple with their 2 grandkids, they’d driven all the way from Scotland the day before and were heading for Spain, they’d never been abroad before, no idea how long it would take, what route, cost of tolls, the only map they had was a large folding overview map of France and a sat nav, worse of all they had just assumed they’d be able to find campsites open enroute through France so hadn’t a clue where they’d be stopping even for their first night ... I think they were going to have a very steep learning curve.

Sorry, I digressed didn’t I! :giggle: Back to us, due to having to wait for our crossing we cheered ourselves up by having the left over chips from the previous night for lunch (they warmed up beautifully in a dry frying pan) but at 12.30pm just as I’d dished them up our crossing number was called to go through, we hoped it meant we were going to get across nearer to our 1:20pm slot time ... no such luck, they were just trying to get as may vehicles through in readiness for when the crossings started again so we ended up stuffing ourselves with them whilst waiting in the passport control queues. It was chaos though, due to being called to the side to do the gas check we had a much longer wait than other vehicles as we couldn’t re-join the queues as they hadn’t kept the ‘hatched’ areas clear so we had to gradually ‘force’ our way out which took ages ... joy of joys.

Eventually after a long wait in the ‘holding’ lanes we were loaded and away on the 2:50pm then once we landed in France we stopped at a 24 hour self-service station en route (actually cheaper than Boulogne sur Mer and saved getting stuck in the traffic jams). The dogs had a quick potter and us a coffee and biscuit then we hit the road again, eventually getting to Pont de l’Arche a good few hours later and had a nice ‘tinned’ stew for tea (tins of stewing steak, carrots and spuds ... yummy!), a quick dog potter, check where we were heading the following day, then bed.

Friday 16/12: Another very cold night with ice on the inside of the driver’s sliding window despite having the external screens on, the passenger side was okay so I think it’s due to the metal surround making it colder. We had a long day’s driving ahead of us and intended just to stop for pees for the dogs and lunch for us which went to plan then it went a bit ‘awry’ mid-afternoon when trying to get fuel ... what a fiasco that was! The sat nav tried to take us via a 2m high tunnel and in order to avoid that we had to do a big loop round which a ‘certain MH driver’ made us do twice as he failed to follow ‘instructions’ (mine and the sat nav) so didn’t turn right when he should’ve ... to add insult to injury when we did get there the price on the Fuelio app was way out, despite it saying it had been updated that day, so it was much dearer than what we’d passed on the motorway! Needless to say we didn’t bother with it and finally got some cheaper later on then when we got to our desination at Couhe it was even cheaper ... not happy bunnies. Won’t trust the app again that’s for sure and a warning to anyone else who uses it. After a quick curry for tea we had an early night as it’d been a tiring day for us and the dogs who travel brilliantly and settled down as soon as we set off, even Bella who’s never been away in the MH before just curls up and snoozes.

Saturday 17/12: By heck it was cold overnight ... we had ice on the window again, we’d been nice and snug in our beds though. After a nice walk with the dogs we were off, really sunny and warm so no need for the heating at all. We stopped for a late lunch, then near our destination popped into a supermarket for some bread where we met UK MHing couple who we got chatting to and discovered that they’d been broken into the night before. They’d made the mistake of stopping overnight on a motorway aire, this was despite saying they never would as they knew it wasn’t the best thing to do, but they thought it looked okay, there were 2 other MHs there already so thought it would be safe - although they had an alarm they couldn’t turn off the internal sensors so hadn’t set it. The thieves had used a screwdriver in the cab door lock and rifled through the glovebox getting away with a wallet with credit cards in (no cash), fortunately the cards were found in the morning nearby by one of the other MHers so nothing actually lost. The couple hadn’t heard a thing, nor had their staffie, so weren’t aware until they woke up and noticed things had been moved; fortunately the door lock still worked so they could secure the MH with the alarm on when they left it. We said we were on our way to Lac de Leon for the night - they were going to head into Portugal but were reconsidering as they were having issues with their internet so wanted to spend time to try to sort it out amongst other things. We tootled off and got parked up near the Lac then about 10 minutes later they arrived and parked near us so we were able to have a natter and offer some advice etc on bits and bobs - this was only their second trip abroad so it was still fairly new to them.

We had a nice walk around with the pooches, it was Bella’s first experience of sand, well more like really fine gravel as it’s a ‘faux’ beach, she was taking it all in and wasn’t phased by anything although she was a bit apprehensive when she walked out onto the jetty but soon followed the others as she didn’t want to miss out. It was quite sunny, certainly warmer than we’d had previously and by heck we were enjoying it. After chilling out in the MH for while it was time for tea, a last dog potter and bed.

Sunday 18/12: Not quite so cold overnight fortunately and it was certainly much warmer in the morning with the sun nicely heating us up. We took the dogs to the beach again where Bella enjoyed saying hello to next door’s 3 year old staffie called Stuart - I’m sure if she could’ve got under the grass in submissive mode she would’ve! We had a walk round the nature trail area along the boardwalks and Tazzy went paddling up to her tummy to see if she could find any frogs (she didn’t) - this is a dog who does NOT like going in water normally, or at least not when I want her to go in. After drying the monster it was time for the off, stopping en route for lunch, coffee and biscuit in the afternoon along with dog ablutions, then to Socoa (just below St Jean de Luz) where we’re parked on the raised bit of road next to the cemetery with lovely views of the bay.

By heck it was warm today, the glorious sunshine throughout, so with us travelling south we were kept nice and toasty without having to put the heating on - our digital temperature gauge said 21 degrees at one point, most of the day it was at least 18 - lovely jubley. We took the dogs to the bit of beach and Bella was doing a funny walk on the sand, it must’ve felt weird to her, but she soon got used to it and she and Minky had a lovely chase around, the first proper one they’d had for a few days, even Tazzy had a run about too although I think the little dog treats we had encouraged her to do that, going from me to hubby, and back again! After a coffee and biscuit for us we went back to the beach for more lolloping around (the dogs not us!) before having tea and chilling out/planning ... and me writing this ‘tome’!
Keep it coming 👍

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Feb 23, 2021
1,020
1,598
BURY ST. EDMUNDS
Funster No
79,383
MH
Adria Coral 670 SLT
Exp
Since 2002
We also met another couple with their 2 grandkids, they’d driven all the way from Scotland the day before and were heading for Spain, they’d never been abroad before, no idea how long it would take, what route, cost of tolls, the only map they had was a large folding overview map of France and a sat nav, worse of all they had just assumed they’d be able to find campsites open enroute through France so hadn’t a clue where they’d be stopping even for their first night ... I think they were going to have a very steep learning curve.

This type of story really beggars belief doesn't it!
Why oh why do van owners not do any research before such a major holiday.
I might have been tempted to give them a mild talking to but there again it wouldn't have done much good.
 
Oct 15, 2011
4,232
11,490
Not Glasgow
Funster No
18,482
MH
Carthago chic eline
Exp
Since 2011
Sorry this is a bit long - due to the fun and games we’ve had and being tired I didn’t get the chance/feel like posting what we’d been up to so have typed it all up tonight, it won’t be so long in the future ... I hope!

Our plan: To spend a couple of months away, heading through France and into Spain, possibly Portugal along the way. We had been sorting out stuff for our travels in the weeks leading up to this, getting it fettled, stocked up, bits and bobs packed and finally our ‘stash’ of grub was loaded ... we were just about ready to go!

Wednesday 14/12: We about to put water in but then found our home outside tap had frozen solid ... darn it! As it had been predicted to freeze overnight we filled up the day before as we didn’t want to risk damaging the pipes, taps etc, whilst we waited for it to defrost we packed the rest of our stuff in to the MH, went to see the neighbours to say bye and give them our house keys. Fortunately the tap, after some encouragement with hot water eventually unfroze so we were able to fill the tanks ... of course it wasn’t that simple as the dump valve for the boiler had triggered and wouldn’t reset at all even though it had warmed up quite a bit by then ... eventually the use of a cable tie and a bag clip kept the little blighter in place so a disaster was averted.

We set off at 1.35pm and decided to have a stop for coffee at the parking just on the approach to Godmanchester ... big mistake! The road is nowhere near where it used to be so is quite a distance away rather than just next to it, once we realised we turned round but then found that there was no way back onto the motorway without a long, sometimes wrong direction, route. We eventually got back onto it but had lost quite a bit of time with the ‘detour’. We stopped for the coffee we’d missed out on then set off for the Seafarer chippy at Folkestone, arriving about 7.45 pm, we had a lovely bit of haddock and tonnes of chips, much more than we could eat! We spent the night at the cricket club parking once we eventually found it as P4N had it in the wrong place. After a potter with the dogs in the cold with a bitter wind we hightailed it back to the MH and settled in for the night.

Thursday 15/12: It had been well below freezing during Wednesday night but we were fairly snug in the MH even without the heating on but had a quick blast when we got up to take the chill off. We got picked up Bella’s AHC just before 10.00am and decided to go to Euro Tunnel to see if we could get an earlier crossing (£20 supplement) so we could travel further down France to try to get away from the predicted near freezing daytime temperatures on the following days. The earliest crossing we could get was 1:20pm, 3 hours early than our 4:20pm crossing, but we decided to pay up and had a potter with the dogs then noticed loads of crossings were being cancelled or rescheduled to later times. In the end I went to enquire what time we were realistically likely to get away and was told there was at least an hour and half delay ... not happy as we’d not have paid to go only 90 mins before our original crossing time (although I realise it would have been delayed too but we’d just have gone to Sangatte or Montreil as originally planned). All we could do was wait and had a chat to a couple in a MH who were going to Spain for 3 months however, having set off the day before with full fresh water tank, due to their stopping overnight it had frozen solid (I assume they’d stopped their dump valve from working) plus they had no gas as they hadn’t refilled it since they last used the MH! To say they were a bit concerned is an understatement as they were worried what state the pipes, taps etc would be in when they defrosted. We also met another couple with their 2 grandkids, they’d driven all the way from Scotland the day before and were heading for Spain, they’d never been abroad before, no idea how long it would take, what route, cost of tolls, the only map they had was a large folding overview map of France and a sat nav, worse of all they had just assumed they’d be able to find campsites open enroute through France so hadn’t a clue where they’d be stopping even for their first night ... I think they were going to have a very steep learning curve.

Sorry, I digressed didn’t I! :giggle: Back to us, due to having to wait for our crossing we cheered ourselves up by having the left over chips from the previous night for lunch (they warmed up beautifully in a dry frying pan) but at 12.30pm just as I’d dished them up our crossing number was called to go through, we hoped it meant we were going to get across nearer to our 1:20pm slot time ... no such luck, they were just trying to get as may vehicles through in readiness for when the crossings started again so we ended up stuffing ourselves with them whilst waiting in the passport control queues. It was chaos though, due to being called to the side to do the gas check we had a much longer wait than other vehicles as we couldn’t re-join the queues as they hadn’t kept the ‘hatched’ areas clear so we had to gradually ‘force’ our way out which took ages ... joy of joys.

Eventually after a long wait in the ‘holding’ lanes we were loaded and away on the 2:50pm then once we landed in France we stopped at a 24 hour self-service station en route (actually cheaper than Boulogne sur Mer and saved getting stuck in the traffic jams). The dogs had a quick potter and us a coffee and biscuit then we hit the road again, eventually getting to Pont de l’Arche a good few hours later and had a nice ‘tinned’ stew for tea (tins of stewing steak, carrots and spuds ... yummy!), a quick dog potter, check where we were heading the following day, then bed.

Friday 16/12: Another very cold night with ice on the inside of the driver’s sliding window despite having the external screens on, the passenger side was okay so I think it’s due to the metal surround making it colder. We had a long day’s driving ahead of us and intended just to stop for pees for the dogs and lunch for us which went to plan then it went a bit ‘awry’ mid-afternoon when trying to get fuel ... what a fiasco that was! The sat nav tried to take us via a 2m high tunnel and in order to avoid that we had to do a big loop round which a ‘certain MH driver’ made us do twice as he failed to follow ‘instructions’ (mine and the sat nav) so didn’t turn right when he should’ve ... to add insult to injury when we did get there the price on the Fuelio app was way out, despite it saying it had been updated that day, so it was much dearer than what we’d passed on the motorway! Needless to say we didn’t bother with it and finally got some cheaper later on then when we got to our desination at Couhe it was even cheaper ... not happy bunnies. Won’t trust the app again that’s for sure and a warning to anyone else who uses it. After a quick curry for tea we had an early night as it’d been a tiring day for us and the dogs who travel brilliantly and settled down as soon as we set off, even Bella who’s never been away in the MH before just curls up and snoozes.

Saturday 17/12: By heck it was cold overnight ... we had ice on the window again, we’d been nice and snug in our beds though. After a nice walk with the dogs we were off, really sunny and warm so no need for the heating at all. We stopped for a late lunch, then near our destination popped into a supermarket for some bread where we met UK MHing couple who we got chatting to and discovered that they’d been broken into the night before. They’d made the mistake of stopping overnight on a motorway aire, this was despite saying they never would as they knew it wasn’t the best thing to do, but they thought it looked okay, there were 2 other MHs there already so thought it would be safe - although they had an alarm they couldn’t turn off the internal sensors so hadn’t set it. The thieves had used a screwdriver in the cab door lock and rifled through the glovebox getting away with a wallet with credit cards in (no cash), fortunately the cards were found in the morning nearby by one of the other MHers so nothing actually lost. The couple hadn’t heard a thing, nor had their staffie, so weren’t aware until they woke up and noticed things had been moved; fortunately the door lock still worked so they could secure the MH with the alarm on when they left it. We said we were on our way to Lac de Leon for the night - they were going to head into Portugal but were reconsidering as they were having issues with their internet so wanted to spend time to try to sort it out amongst other things. We tootled off and got parked up near the Lac then about 10 minutes later they arrived and parked near us so we were able to have a natter and offer some advice etc on bits and bobs - this was only their second trip abroad so it was still fairly new to them.

We had a nice walk around with the pooches, it was Bella’s first experience of sand, well more like really fine gravel as it’s a ‘faux’ beach, she was taking it all in and wasn’t phased by anything although she was a bit apprehensive when she walked out onto the jetty but soon followed the others as she didn’t want to miss out. It was quite sunny, certainly warmer than we’d had previously and by heck we were enjoying it. After chilling out in the MH for while it was time for tea, a last dog potter and bed.

Sunday 18/12: Not quite so cold overnight fortunately and it was certainly much warmer in the morning with the sun nicely heating us up. We took the dogs to the beach again where Bella enjoyed saying hello to next door’s 3 year old staffie called Stuart - I’m sure if she could’ve got under the grass in submissive mode she would’ve! We had a walk round the nature trail area along the boardwalks and Tazzy went paddling up to her tummy to see if she could find any frogs (she didn’t) - this is a dog who does NOT like going in water normally, or at least not when I want her to go in. After drying the monster it was time for the off, stopping en route for lunch, coffee and biscuit in the afternoon along with dog ablutions, then to Socoa (just below St Jean de Luz) where we’re parked on the raised bit of road next to the cemetery with lovely views of the bay.

By heck it was warm today, the glorious sunshine throughout, so with us travelling south we were kept nice and toasty without having to put the heating on - our digital temperature gauge said 21 degrees at one point, most of the day it was at least 18 - lovely jubley. We took the dogs to the bit of beach and Bella was doing a funny walk on the sand, it must’ve felt weird to her, but she soon got used to it and she and Minky had a lovely chase around, the first proper one they’d had for a few days, even Tazzy had a run about too although I think the little dog treats we had encouraged her to do that, going from me to hubby, and back again! After a coffee and biscuit for us we went back to the beach for more lolloping around (the dogs not us!) before having tea and chilling out/planning ... and me writing this ‘tome’!
And breathe. 🙄
 

Wingingit#1

Free Member
Dec 13, 2022
658
1,742
Funster No
92,872
MH
Adria
Sounds awesome !
We are also guilty of arriving in france recently and being totally unaware of it being closed for winter :LOL: .
We skidaddled out of france cuz it was a tad fresh for us and are currently sat just south of Barcelona .
Have fun and safe journey.
 
Jan 13, 2022
189
981
Scotland, UK
Funster No
86,263
MH
Carthago
Exp
New to Motorhome, experienced caravanner 😊
Enjoyed the first instalment, looking forward to more!
I’m trying to persuade the OH to head off in Feb to France/Spain but he says it will be too cold. We live in Scotland! Even if we went to England it would be warmer 🤣

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

bobandjanie

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 28, 2008
8,177
15,852
Javea, Spain
Funster No
2,360
MH
Pilote V600g
Exp
2007
Always enjoy your blogs Mel, safe journey check out this for fuel. 🙂

Its works well, just set Diesel 😉 remember in Spain it's less 20cents a litre or Autogas and hit the location. 😎 Bob.

Screenshot_20221219-082925_Chrome.jpg
 
Feb 16, 2013
19,854
52,543
uttoxeter
Funster No
24,713
MH
ambulance conversion
Exp
50 years
We also met another couple with their 2 grandkids, they’d driven all the way from Scotland the day before and were heading for Spain, they’d never been abroad before, no idea how long it would take, what route, cost of tolls, the only map they had was a large folding overview map of France and a sat nav, worse of all they had just assumed they’d be able to find campsites open enroute through France so hadn’t a clue where they’d be stopping even for their first night ... I think they were going to have a very steep learning curve.

This type of story really beggars belief doesn't it!
Why oh why do van owners not do any research before such a major holiday.
I might have been tempted to give them a mild talking to but there again it wouldn't have done much good.
Don't agree, our first tour we didn't even have a sat nav just maps and we got to pisa and back into Spain and even got home, first and best trip we have ever had.
 
Jun 30, 2011
7,276
20,300
Barnard Castle, UK
Funster No
17,128
MH
Concorde Concerto
Exp
Since 2007
Don't agree, our first tour we didn't even have a sat nav just maps and we got to pisa and back into Spain and even got home, first and best trip we have ever had.
I agree as well, our first trip just a map, Stellplatze book, hadn’t a clue but best trip we ever had. More excitement not knowing anything.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Last edited:

MichaelT

LIFE MEMBER
Nov 12, 2015
3,196
6,025
Colchester
Funster No
40,159
MH
Carthago I 143 LE
Exp
Since 2016
Don't agree, our first tour we didn't even have a sat nav just maps and we got to pisa and back into Spain and even got home, first and best trip we have ever had.
Same here with our first few trips tugging, just booked a ferry and off we went, learning as we went. It was summer though and we didn't have sat nag's or Internet available to use.
 

bigtwin

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 29, 2009
5,297
10,063
Derby
Funster No
9,111
MH
Concorde
Exp
Since 2006
Don't agree, our first tour we didn't even have a sat nav just maps and we got to pisa and back into Spain and even got home, first and best trip we have ever had.

I agree as well, our first trip just a map, Stellplatze book, hadn’t a clue but best trip we ever had. More excitement not knowing anything.

Same here with our first few trips tugging, just booked a ferry and off we went, learning as we went. It was summer though and we didn't have sat nag's or Internet available to use.

In winter, or summer?

If the latter I’d agree but not for the former.

Ian
 

Coolcats

LIFE MEMBER
Jan 24, 2019
5,985
10,156
Funster No
58,207
MH
HymerCar Ayres Rock
Sorry this is a bit long - due to the fun and games we’ve had and being tired I didn’t get the chance/feel like posting what we’d been up to so have typed it all up tonight, it won’t be so long in the future ... I hope!

Our plan: To spend a couple of months away, heading through France and into Spain, possibly Portugal along the way. We had been sorting out stuff for our travels in the weeks leading up to this, getting it fettled, stocked up, bits and bobs packed and finally our ‘stash’ of grub was loaded ... we were just about ready to go!

Wednesday 14/12: We about to put water in but then found our home outside tap had frozen solid ... darn it! As it had been predicted to freeze overnight we filled up the day before as we didn’t want to risk damaging the pipes, taps etc, whilst we waited for it to defrost we packed the rest of our stuff in to the MH, went to see the neighbours to say bye and give them our house keys. Fortunately the tap, after some encouragement with hot water eventually unfroze so we were able to fill the tanks ... of course it wasn’t that simple as the dump valve for the boiler had triggered and wouldn’t reset at all even though it had warmed up quite a bit by then ... eventually the use of a cable tie and a bag clip kept the little blighter in place so a disaster was averted.

We set off at 1.35pm and decided to have a stop for coffee at the parking just on the approach to Godmanchester ... big mistake! The road is nowhere near where it used to be so is quite a distance away rather than just next to it, once we realised we turned round but then found that there was no way back onto the motorway without a long, sometimes wrong direction, route. We eventually got back onto it but had lost quite a bit of time with the ‘detour’. We stopped for the coffee we’d missed out on then set off for the Seafarer chippy at Folkestone, arriving about 7.45 pm, we had a lovely bit of haddock and tonnes of chips, much more than we could eat! We spent the night at the cricket club parking once we eventually found it as P4N had it in the wrong place. After a potter with the dogs in the cold with a bitter wind we hightailed it back to the MH and settled in for the night.

Thursday 15/12: It had been well below freezing during Wednesday night but we were fairly snug in the MH even without the heating on but had a quick blast when we got up to take the chill off. We got picked up Bella’s AHC just before 10.00am and decided to go to Euro Tunnel to see if we could get an earlier crossing (£20 supplement) so we could travel further down France to try to get away from the predicted near freezing daytime temperatures on the following days. The earliest crossing we could get was 1:20pm, 3 hours early than our 4:20pm crossing, but we decided to pay up and had a potter with the dogs then noticed loads of crossings were being cancelled or rescheduled to later times. In the end I went to enquire what time we were realistically likely to get away and was told there was at least an hour and half delay ... not happy as we’d not have paid to go only 90 mins before our original crossing time (although I realise it would have been delayed too but we’d just have gone to Sangatte or Montreil as originally planned). All we could do was wait and had a chat to a couple in a MH who were going to Spain for 3 months however, having set off the day before with full fresh water tank, due to their stopping overnight it had frozen solid (I assume they’d stopped their dump valve from working) plus they had no gas as they hadn’t refilled it since they last used the MH! To say they were a bit concerned is an understatement as they were worried what state the pipes, taps etc would be in when they defrosted. We also met another couple with their 2 grandkids, they’d driven all the way from Scotland the day before and were heading for Spain, they’d never been abroad before, no idea how long it would take, what route, cost of tolls, the only map they had was a large folding overview map of France and a sat nav, worse of all they had just assumed they’d be able to find campsites open enroute through France so hadn’t a clue where they’d be stopping even for their first night ... I think they were going to have a very steep learning curve.

Sorry, I digressed didn’t I! :giggle: Back to us, due to having to wait for our crossing we cheered ourselves up by having the left over chips from the previous night for lunch (they warmed up beautifully in a dry frying pan) but at 12.30pm just as I’d dished them up our crossing number was called to go through, we hoped it meant we were going to get across nearer to our 1:20pm slot time ... no such luck, they were just trying to get as may vehicles through in readiness for when the crossings started again so we ended up stuffing ourselves with them whilst waiting in the passport control queues. It was chaos though, due to being called to the side to do the gas check we had a much longer wait than other vehicles as we couldn’t re-join the queues as they hadn’t kept the ‘hatched’ areas clear so we had to gradually ‘force’ our way out which took ages ... joy of joys.

Eventually after a long wait in the ‘holding’ lanes we were loaded and away on the 2:50pm then once we landed in France we stopped at a 24 hour self-service station en route (actually cheaper than Boulogne sur Mer and saved getting stuck in the traffic jams). The dogs had a quick potter and us a coffee and biscuit then we hit the road again, eventually getting to Pont de l’Arche a good few hours later and had a nice ‘tinned’ stew for tea (tins of stewing steak, carrots and spuds ... yummy!), a quick dog potter, check where we were heading the following day, then bed.

Friday 16/12: Another very cold night with ice on the inside of the driver’s sliding window despite having the external screens on, the passenger side was okay so I think it’s due to the metal surround making it colder. We had a long day’s driving ahead of us and intended just to stop for pees for the dogs and lunch for us which went to plan then it went a bit ‘awry’ mid-afternoon when trying to get fuel ... what a fiasco that was! The sat nav tried to take us via a 2m high tunnel and in order to avoid that we had to do a big loop round which a ‘certain MH driver’ made us do twice as he failed to follow ‘instructions’ (mine and the sat nav) so didn’t turn right when he should’ve ... to add insult to injury when we did get there the price on the Fuelio app was way out, despite it saying it had been updated that day, so it was much dearer than what we’d passed on the motorway! Needless to say we didn’t bother with it and finally got some cheaper later on then when we got to our desination at Couhe it was even cheaper ... not happy bunnies. Won’t trust the app again that’s for sure and a warning to anyone else who uses it. After a quick curry for tea we had an early night as it’d been a tiring day for us and the dogs who travel brilliantly and settled down as soon as we set off, even Bella who’s never been away in the MH before just curls up and snoozes.

Saturday 17/12: By heck it was cold overnight ... we had ice on the window again, we’d been nice and snug in our beds though. After a nice walk with the dogs we were off, really sunny and warm so no need for the heating at all. We stopped for a late lunch, then near our destination popped into a supermarket for some bread where we met UK MHing couple who we got chatting to and discovered that they’d been broken into the night before. They’d made the mistake of stopping overnight on a motorway aire, this was despite saying they never would as they knew it wasn’t the best thing to do, but they thought it looked okay, there were 2 other MHs there already so thought it would be safe - although they had an alarm they couldn’t turn off the internal sensors so hadn’t set it. The thieves had used a screwdriver in the cab door lock and rifled through the glovebox getting away with a wallet with credit cards in (no cash), fortunately the cards were found in the morning nearby by one of the other MHers so nothing actually lost. The couple hadn’t heard a thing, nor had their staffie, so weren’t aware until they woke up and noticed things had been moved; fortunately the door lock still worked so they could secure the MH with the alarm on when they left it. We said we were on our way to Lac de Leon for the night - they were going to head into Portugal but were reconsidering as they were having issues with their internet so wanted to spend time to try to sort it out amongst other things. We tootled off and got parked up near the Lac then about 10 minutes later they arrived and parked near us so we were able to have a natter and offer some advice etc on bits and bobs - this was only their second trip abroad so it was still fairly new to them.

We had a nice walk around with the pooches, it was Bella’s first experience of sand, well more like really fine gravel as it’s a ‘faux’ beach, she was taking it all in and wasn’t phased by anything although she was a bit apprehensive when she walked out onto the jetty but soon followed the others as she didn’t want to miss out. It was quite sunny, certainly warmer than we’d had previously and by heck we were enjoying it. After chilling out in the MH for while it was time for tea, a last dog potter and bed.

Sunday 18/12: Not quite so cold overnight fortunately and it was certainly much warmer in the morning with the sun nicely heating us up. We took the dogs to the beach again where Bella enjoyed saying hello to next door’s 3 year old staffie called Stuart - I’m sure if she could’ve got under the grass in submissive mode she would’ve! We had a walk round the nature trail area along the boardwalks and Tazzy went paddling up to her tummy to see if she could find any frogs (she didn’t) - this is a dog who does NOT like going in water normally, or at least not when I want her to go in. After drying the monster it was time for the off, stopping en route for lunch, coffee and biscuit in the afternoon along with dog ablutions, then to Socoa (just below St Jean de Luz) where we’re parked on the raised bit of road next to the cemetery with lovely views of the bay.

By heck it was warm today, the glorious sunshine throughout, so with us travelling south we were kept nice and toasty without having to put the heating on - our digital temperature gauge said 21 degrees at one point, most of the day it was at least 18 - lovely jubley. We took the dogs to the bit of beach and Bella was doing a funny walk on the sand, it must’ve felt weird to her, but she soon got used to it and she and Minky had a lovely chase around, the first proper one they’d had for a few days, even Tazzy had a run about too although I think the little dog treats we had encouraged her to do that, going from me to hubby, and back again! After a coffee and biscuit for us we went back to the beach for more lolloping around (the dogs not us!) before having tea and chilling out/planning ... and me writing this ‘tome’!
Sounds like a nice adventure hope you both have lots of fun exploring.

Have to say I never ever ignore my wife’s directions particularly if she is overriding the sat nav as I know she is an expert in map reading. ✔️

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Jan 13, 2014
3,645
11,847
Leeds - Yorkshire
Funster No
29,678
MH
Coachbuilt
Exp
40+
Don't agree, our first tour we didn't even have a sat nav just maps and we got to pisa and back into Spain and even got home, first and best trip we have ever had.
Same here when we started there was no SatNav, No Motorways,and the Maps didn’t give the info they give today.
Still the same we never plan mostly book ferry/tunnel day of travel and never know where we we be staying,heading yes sort of general direction.
 

Al n Val

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 28, 2019
2,329
5,777
West Yorkshire occasionally
Funster No
66,381
MH
Rapido i1090 Distinc
Exp
since 2018
This type of story really beggars belief doesn't it!
Why oh why do van owners not do any research before such a major holiday.
I might have been tempted to give them a mild talking to but there again it wouldn't have done much good.

First time for us all I knew was that if I headed south eventually i’d get to the sea, then turn right and we’d get to Spain, no map, haven’t had a map since the 90’s. And guess what, it worked and we loved it.

With regards to getting a mild talking to would have been replied to with a mild

“What the F has it got to do with you”

It’s an adventure not a journey 😉
 
Feb 14, 2021
3,743
8,068
Milton Keynes, UK
Funster No
79,219
MH
Burstner Lyseo 727G
Exp
19 month year 18000 miles UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany, Italy. Campsites and off Grid.
The thieves had used a screwdriver in the cab door lock and rifled through the glovebox getting away with a wallet with credit cards in (no cash), fortunately the cards were found in the morning nearby by one of the other MHers so nothing actually lost. The couple hadn’t heard a thing, nor had their staffie, so weren’t aware until they woke up and noticed things had been moved; fortunately the door lock still worked so they could secure the MH with the alarm on when they left it.

Heard this sort of thing before. How do people sleep like that? Tiniest gust of wind and I'm awake, the littlest creak caused by heat/cold expansion/contraction and I'm awake!

I have heard people say pro thrives can be really quiet but you cannot break into through a door or rifle through a glove box without making some sound.

Also, who keeps wallets/cards in the glove box? Far to obvious. Especially in a motorhome where there are so many other storage possibilities.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

Join us or log in to post a reply.

To join in you must be a member of MotorhomeFun

Join MotorhomeFun

Join us, it quick and easy!

Log in

Already a member? Log in here.

Funsters who are viewing this thread

Back
Top