Friday, 1 April 2016

NEARLY HOME......AND ANOTHER SETBACK

01.04.2016. CALAIS

ST.JEAN DE LUZ was great fun. The easter weekend was terrific weather and the hitherto closed bars immediately  outside the campsite and overlooking the beach sprang into life as per the pictures. The campsite was full, the dead end Road outside was packed with surfing dudes sleeping in their vans and the it was party time.....although sudden notices posted all round the site warned of gale force winds between 20.00-2200 on Saturday night (I believe the UK called it  storm katie). Preparations were made (ie everything put away) and we did indeed have a very hairy 20 mins of high winds about 21.00. The sea was something else....and then it rained which dampened things down. But Sunday was great.  We stayed till the Tuesday after easter and when I went to pay discovered with had qualified for 7 for the price of 6 which was a bonus. Top site, belongs to the Flower group of which we know, and this is high up in my list of favourite sites.
Now the drive home. First to an old favourite in the vineyards  of the cote de blaye at St. Palais,run by a lovely Dutch couple and then to Thouars to check out the gite we have hired for the summer family party . We intended scoping the gite but didn't have the exact address so found the village but not the house. Anyway its a done deal and village is  fine and only 3km from Thouars which is lovely. We had meant to spend the night in the aire but it wasn't to be so we tried the next one which was awful so ended up in Saumur at the Flowers  (purely by chance ) campsite on the island in the Loire opp. the chateau...and being close to town we had a lovely dinner in a very retro restaurant.
From here we headed north up  the N10 to Vendome,  an excellent drive, to find an Aire in the town. Our usual route to Spain via Le Mans is under fire because the non toll roads are becoming to congested and the toll road is outrageously expensive so an alternative is required. The old N154 from Rouen to Chartres  has been upgraded and from there we can join the N10 which is toll free down to Bordeaux, so we just need to find an overnight stop and  Vendome is about the right distance.  Anyway, the aire is fine and should we go to Spain  again, that will be the route.
We stopped there for lunch and then pressed on to Chartres. .....it rained incessantly all day and the pretty site we found on the river at Chartres was open but waterlogged. They were doing business but we were told to park on the roadways as if anybody would even attempt to get on the pitches.?..I got soaked just hooking up.
So we had a nice dinner and went to bed......until the GF began vomiting  for England. Bad night. ...and a bit of a problem as we had to be in Calais by 07.30 on Saturday morning and an email from euro tunnel  had advised that sat/sun were exceptionally busy and that we should make sure that we arrived for our slot on time......everybody going home after easter holidays that I hadn't clocked when booking back in 2015.
So she stayed in bed whilst I did support stuff until 13.00 when I made a management decision to head for Calais. So she was feeling a bit better, and it was like being in an ambulance  really,
and by the time we got to Calais at 18.30 she was quite perky. The aire is full and I had  a revolting takeaway from the the Friteries des Nations on the seafront, whilst trying to convince myself that I had saved €100 by not eating at the Cote d'Argent which I had been looking forward to.......

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