24 hour race…

Ouistreham, France – Camping municipal ‘Les Pommiers’ – Rue de la haie breton, 14150 (63Euros for 5 nights, 21-26/8/14, elec inc)

Our next stop was a strange one, but more of necessity as we travelled back briefly to the UK to drop of the car. It was good to catch up with both families whilst there, even if it was only briefly.

The camp site was a strange place as it appeared that some people spent their holidays there which is a little odd as there isn’t much in Ouistreham, but it definitely wasn’t just a stop off place for trips to and from the UK. The faclities on the site were all fairly basic, but more than good enough for our needs; there was even a bakery stall by the welcome building as well as a place on site for take away meals though we didn’t try these. There was a French family staying a few vehicles away from us that consisted of mum, her mum, 3 children and a dog. It seemed to be a bit of mayhem, but whatever works for the individual ๐Ÿ™‚

When we were last at the Jaqueline motorhome place near to Caen, they had told us that we would be able to weigh our motorhome at the ‘Point Vert’ to the north West of Caen. We turned up at the Point Vert on leaving the camp site and it looked like an average garden type centre, so as you can imagine we were a bit sceptical. however, Gail checked and sure enough, they had a weighbridge out back and provided us with a total weight, as well as the individual axle weights for 10Euros. Apparently a number of the other Point Vert also have a ‘Balance’, but best to ask; they are usually used to weigh loaded agricultural vehicles.

Le Mans, France, Municipal camp site ‘Le Port’ – Quai de l’Amiral Lalande (Free – 2 nights, 26-28/8/14)
Our next stop was Le Mans. Being near the end of the French holidays, we decided just to rock up and see what we could find as according to Gail’s parents there was a municipal motorhome site in the centre; we had a backup plan as there was a campsite in our discount book that was located about 7Km from the centre. Without having the details of the location of the site, we decided just to head for the centre of Le Mans and search for the site. Just before crossing the river and heading towards the older part of town we saw the sign for the site, which we duly followed. Our plan of arriving mid-afternoon was a good one as the site was a very basic one and only had space for 7 motorhomes; later on in the afternoon and evening there were many motorhomes that arrived and left disappointed. The site is right by the river and about 1Km walk from the old town. Although the site is very basic, you can empty the grey water and toilet as well as fill up with fresh water. It was free, so what more do you expect ๐Ÿ™‚

Walking around Le Mans the old part of the town is definately the prettiest with its twisty and windy cobbled streets near to the cathedral, which can only be described as HUGE.

We found out from one of the other motorhome owners at the site that during July and August there is a light show during the evening in Le Mans around various sites, where various images portraying different storiesย  are projected onto certain buildings

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The light show starts at night fall and goes on for about a couple of hours, which each ‘story’ lasting about 10-15 mins and then it is repeated.ย  The picture didn’t come out great, but below is a snapshot of the cathedral during the light show.

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Km’s walked and cycled during Euro tour..

We had a mad idea that it would be interesting to see how many Km’s, yes we thought we’d go European, we walk/cycle during our tour around Europe as well how many we drive.

As such for a bit of fun, not sure if there be a small prize for the person closet to the actual amount, if you fancy having a guess then please can you let us know by the 12th Sept’14 how many Km’s you think we’ll walk/cycle until the beginning of Aug’15?

We’ll add an update every now and again to the blog of the current total of our progress ๐Ÿ™‚

To date we have covered 81Km.

Gail guessed 5200Km
Keith guess 6000Km – we may well be doing some more cycling in the last few weeks ๐Ÿ™‚

Going, going, gone

We leave the house in Normandy, France on Saturday to start our travels proper and we’ll update the blog as often as we are able to.ย  If you want to follow us you can go to the blog and then select “follow” on the right hand side and then add your email address to get an email whenever we make an update ๐Ÿ™‚

Mirebell plums

Although we only have a few more days left in the house in France, Bernard very kindly gave us over 3Kg of Mirebelle plums. They are small plums, though not really a looker. However, they are naturally sweet and with limited time we decided to just stone and then stew then. Keith tried some raw and a bowl of them stewed and both were very good; the below bowl was even a bit much for Keith to manage after dinner ๐Ÿ™‚

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Meal out and then slept in the motorhome

The advantage of having the motorhome on hand, and virtually prepared for the off, is that we decided to take it with us on Saturday evening when we went out for a meal in a hotel/restaurant in a near by village called Juvigny with Mary and Melvyn. We could’ve driven, but there was a municiple camp site so we decided to stay in the motorhome.

The meal was very good, though not quite as good as the one in Concarneau though of a similar style made by a very talented young chef.

We’ll be doing something similar this Saturday after we finally leave the house. The Cheverie restaurant just outside of Juvigny, where we had many good lunchtime meals, is our destination as we’ve always wanted to taste their evening menu. They have a big parking area out at the front and back of their beautiful setting, and they’ve agreed that we can park and stay in our motorhome overnight. Hopefully not a bad way to start the tour ๐Ÿ™‚

Italien chef

Whilst chatting to Sandro, one of our neighbours opposite here in Bagnoles, on the way down to the Boulongerie the day after we got back from our trip to Brittany, he told me to wait whilst he went a got a jar of homemade blackberry jam to go with our croissants – it was very good.

On top of that, last night we were invited to Sandro and his wife Michelle’s house for an Italien meal.ย  Hmm, mmm.ย  Homemade pizza slices to start with, followed my homemade pasta for the main.ย  After that came the cheese board and then a chocolate dessert that came from the local boulongerie/patiserie which were equally as good.ย  Yes, there was more as we then finished off with some homemade macarons, all washed down with some very nice Italian wine.ย  Yes, we were very spoilt indeed.

La Flaveur restaurant

Le Pres Vert, Concarneau, France (19.44Euro/night without Elec)

We stopped off in the pretty little town of Pont Aven on route to Concarneau. If you’re into you artist and gallery shops then it’ll be the place for you. The river estuary location is very nice, with some expensive looking houses.

Getting into the camp site after we arrived to ages as it seems that the daughter who has taken on the running of the place is not very organised. However, the parents are still around and help out to smooth things over; though they can chat, chat and chat, but then it was good practise for Gail ๐Ÿ™‚
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The campsite is seems very relaxed and peaceful, luckily making muesli and rolls didn’t interfere with this tranquillity.

View from the bottom field on the campsite, unfortunately not from Mika:-

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On the Tuesday evening we went out for our 1st meal of this trip.ย  The restaurant La Flaveur was excellent.ย  We took the cheaper of the 3 menus at 25Euros/person which was for 3 courses, but the food was superb and unique and not something that we would be able to do at home, let alone the motorhome, so it was definitely worthwhile.ย  We also liked the size of the wine glasses.

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Concarneau itself as a town is worth a trip to see, especially the old town in the fortification guarding the port area; it was a surprise to use when we entered it.

Megaliths

Quiberon, France – Camping Beausejour (15Euro/night without elec, plus 4.5Euro pppn)

On route to Quiberon, we stopped off in the town of Vannes for a wander around. This has a pretty quay area and a very nice old town, well worth a stop over and a wonder around; it was a good place to stop and eat our lunch ๐Ÿ™‚

The camping Beausejour had all the facilities that we wanted. The site was fairly busy, but then all the sites on the coast will be the same during the summer months. On the day of arrival we did think that it seemed to be lacking somewhat in the number of showers, but it turned out that what we thought was an excess of toilets was in fact 1/2 toilets and 1/2 showers. Although the site itself doesn’t have a shop or a bar, there is one of each next door. The shop is excellent and has everything in it more or less, even a fairly good bakery, though we haven’t tried the bar.

After a walk around the coast to the centre of Quiberon on the Sunday, we tried a local Brittany pastry speciality that is called ‘Kouring Amann’. It was very good, though as it was essentially pastry, butter and caramel you wouldn’t wont one of these that often ๐Ÿ™‚

On the Monday we cycled into Carnac with the aim to have a look around the town and then see the Menhirs, Megaliths, alignments of over 1000 standing stones. These are alot smaller than those of Stone henge and not so impressive, though the fact of how they got them here 5000 years ago is. When we arrived in Carnac we realised that although we had the bike locks, Keith had forgotten the keys; we wondered briefly around the town with our bikes, though if we were going to forget the key on one day, then today was as good as any as there was not that much to see anyway.

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After another walk into Quiberon, which is well worth a visit as a nice seaside town, we had just got back and opened a bottle of cidre to share as an apperitif which some crips when the heavens opened. Luckily the menacing black clouds had given us warning and we had already ducked inside.

Guegon, France – Le Domaine De Kerelly camping (16Euro/night without elec)

We’ve decided that we have now begun our tour of Europe, though with a stay of 12 days back at the house in Bagnoles; we are currently thinking of staying in the motorhome ๐Ÿ™‚

Gail enjoyed her lunchtime rolls during a stop on the drive to Josselin.

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We noted that even with a loaded motorhome it does definitely drive better with the addition of the air suspension on rear axle.ย  On the journey we nothced up the first 1000 miles in Mika, though I’m sure that the next 9000 to the 10000 landmark will probably arrive in the timescale of the first 1000 if not before ๐Ÿ™‚

We had a nice shaddy spot for Mika at the camping; this definitely kept her fresher, though we’ll have to deal with the sap from the tree on our return to Bagnole.

The camping site was more than adecuate for the price, and a fantastic location to visit the very pretty medieval town of Josselin (2.5km from the camp site to the centre) and right by the river.ย  Josselin has a fantastic Chateau and a great market on a Saturday morning, though it is very touristic.

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We decided to do without the Electric to test the limits of Mika running on gas and the solar panel, though obviously this will change depending on the weather and time of the year; obviously if electric was included in the price then we’d use it (prices in the summer seem to range from about 4-7Euros/night) ๐Ÿ™‚

Friday night at the camp site was a BBQ evening with some free live music outside.ย  We didn’t partake in the BBQ as we had one planned for the Saturday with burgers and sausages anyway, though we did spend the evening buying drinks from the bar and listening to the music; very amusing even if Keith didn’t really understand what they were singing.

On the Saturday after lunch we decided to go for a bike ride along the very pretty river, which is strewn with locks.ย  We ended up having a gentle cycle, yes we can do exercise gently as well, to a town call Rohan; though the round trip was about 45Km.ย  The town has nothing to do with the clothing store or the Horse lords in Lord of the Rings.ย  In fact, if it did have one of these links then it may have been more interesting; no, not one that we’d recommend.ย  However, Gail was after an ice cream and after some searching and just at the point of giving it up as a lost cause we found a supermarket that sold some; unfortunately the minimun pack size contained 3 and with a long way back we had to eat them all ๐Ÿ™‚