Saturday, 23 September 2017

OLD AND NEW

See below for story. New rack is a foldable one and has fewer moving parts.

THULE RACK FAILURE.

Locking mechanism on bike rack fails . Could not unlock rack from towbar and found large chunks of metal from a failed washer or cam jammed under the locking arm.
Although it eventually detached and I could seemingly get it back on again I didn't fancy travelling home with an obviously unsafe locking mechanism that may suddenly disintegrate when carrying 50 kilos of bikes and bouncing up and down.
Thule were useless in helping so no alternative but to buy new one €550 .

Monday, 24 April 2017

18th. April 2017

LET'S WRAP THIS UP....

07/04/17
From Figueras we headed for Toulouse, a city I now realise we have never visited before. The campsite is close to a water park where we watch water skiers being dragged round by zip wires with varying degrees of success, attempting to avoid buoys and tackle ramps. Most entertaining. Odd campsite opposite Gypsy campsite, bur security is visible and tight. Discover that there are 500kms+ of cycle paths, like Bordeaux, so make note to return here and spend a few days sometime.

08/04/17
Aire in Jonzac. Pretty little town and we cycle to Dave's Gite. No entrance for motorhome so will need to rethink plans for summer. Weather glorious.

9/04/17
Ste. Maure de Touraine. Aire in town centre south of Tours very handy.

10/04/17
Intend stopping at CampingCarParks site in Dreux as I have a card with €20 credit which has been sitting there for 2 years. Find site without problem but it is on industrial estate and we are only ones there. Manage to open barriers with card ok so that works, and ir is ok, new, electric points etc but lonely. By 5pm, nobody else has arrived and the industrial estate has emptied. Although there is a 6ft wire fence around us it doesn't feel good so find campsitea few miles away and head there. On checking my account later, we have been charged €5 for parking which was fair enough.

11/04/17
Had intended stopping at Castels site in Guines, outside Calais but decide to go to Calais aire as we paid for a campsite last night. Discover rumour about the aire being demolished is correct and that it is in the process of being moved closer to Sangattte. It is still a building site but the barriers are in place and require €10 but no hook ups. As it is now too far out of town to walk to a restaurant we head back to Guines where the campsite has a nice restaurant and have a jolly good meal. The new aire will be ok in the future as it will be much quieter and is only 2 miles from the Tunnel terminal.

12-14/4/17
To Fleet and 3 days at the Little Bramshot Farm CL whilst we visit J&K.
15-17/04/17 Chez William for the Easter Weekend and home on 18th.

 Great trip




Thursday, 6 April 2017

ALL GOOD THINGS...?....

1st-6th April 2017

Stayed at Aquarius for a week in the end, leaving Friday 7th. and taking a slow route back through France as the weather is so fine. I didn't expect to be leaving Spain on the Mediterranean side when I suggested that we check out the Pates Summer Residence at Jonzac which is north of Bordeaux on the Atlantic coast side so we have a longer route than  is strictly necessary so we are taking 5 days.

We have had a great week ; the weather is very warm but this area is windsurf and kitesurf central because of the wind which does not do the GF any good at all as we all know, and the wind has sometimes been extremely strong making cycling a joy one way but hell on the return.
Lots of cycle paths around and good maps available and the route signposting usually quite good, so we have been out and about most days......and I did a great little route to pick up 5 caches one afternoon on my own when the wind was too much for the GF. In fact this was quite a rich area for caches and my total is now 347.
We planned a day in Figueiras by bus, believing that it stopped outside the camp only to discover that it only comes down here in the summer and that the rest of the year you have to walk over 2.5miles to pick it up. Consequently research showed an Aire in Figueiras within walking distance of the centre so we took the van and parked in a supermarket car park along with 20 other vans probably doing the same. Figueras is the home of several Salvador Dali museums and we can thoroughly recommend the Teatro Dali which he created in his lifetime. Astounded by the crowds ......tours and school parties which made it almost as bad as the Hermitage in St.petersburg.  Amazing place and the volume of his work here is truly outstanding.  Even the GF  was finally won over after muttering 'Weirdo' for the first hour. I loved it. An we had a nice lunch.
We cycled to L'Escala down the coast, past Roman and Greek ruins and having such a nice time rather foolishly decided to continue on another cycle track . ... mountain bikes would have been good, or rather essential. It was a bit stressful and the route was not well marked. Fortunately  a very nice family ( on mountain  bikes) confirmed our whereabouts on our rather sketchy map and we didn't get lost . Ascending had been a pain....descending was a nightmare in places and the descent was a third of the distance of the ascent and all on rocky flint tracks. I was quietly terrified that one of us would pick up a puncture. Amazingly we were passed by a motorbike  and 3 4x4s out for a spin. Very relieved to get back to town and have a jolly good lunch before heading home.