Club Motorhome Bloggers

Blogs written by Club Motorhome members.

Still in France, but only just

News No 2

 

After leaving our overnight spot on the Loire we travelled on to Oradour-sur Glane, near Limoges. Oradour is the site of an atrocity carried out by the Waffen SS in 1944 – just a few days after D-day. In their effforts to supress the resistance they attacked the village murdering one third of its inhabitants, of whom the majority in the village during the day were of course women, children and the elderly. They then burned out the village, which has been kept as a memorial; a new village was built just a few hundred yards away, but not until 10 years later.

The following morning we were befriended by a cat; it simply walked in as we opened the door, and despite being forcibily removed camped on our step. Eventually we gave in as it had not tried to claw us when we threw it out, so we made abit of a fuss of it. No doubt it it regularly popped down to visit the motorhomers – it certainly looked as if it was used to having double rations! We called him 'Smoky' which he seemed to respond to, no doubt to ingratiate himself for a free meal!

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Off to Spain

We are now on our third night in France and 3 very different days so far.

 

On Wednesday night, after a very smooth trip across the channel we went on as planned to the Auchan supermarket in Boulogne, parked in their car park and went into the French version of fast food, where we had a bacon omlette and chips and a glass of wine for just 12 euros – not fine dining, but just right for a quick and easy meal at the end of our travelling. In the morning we topped up with diesel for 1.20 Euro (£1) a litre before setting off. All good!!

 

 

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Mooching around the Pyrenees

A catchup blog as we have just spent 6 weeks on the road, the first 3 weeks hunting for some more Aires to add to the website listings - and we found some crackers! All of which will be added in as soon as time and internet access allow. The second 3 weeks were guiding some of our Club Motorhome members through some of the lesser known parts of eastern Spain.

We started from our Spanish base and used the newly setup Aire at Daimus for our first stopover. Being not too far from home gives us the chance to get ourselves all setup tidy for the rest of the trip. Expecting to be away for around 6 weeks its handy to pop back for anything major that's been overlooked. As it turned out there wasn't anything to be concerned about.

From there we headed north and stopped at a German restaurant that we had been told about 10€ a night or free if you use the restaurant, which we did. We spent a pleasant evening in company with a Belgian motorhome couple.

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Van fixed, onwards and downwards (south that is) :)

Well the RAC did us proud, the warranty company were a complete waste of space (as expected to be honest) and we are back in business!

The Iveco agent replaced the big old aluminium casting which is the alternator and ancillaries support, belt tensioner and belt itself at, what we think is quite a reasonable cost, 360€. So it could have been a lot worse!

Anyway we retrieved to van and carried on with our travels stopping at the Aire at Benicassim for the night.

 

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The best laid plans........

Having spent several enjoyable but uneventful days at some Mediterranean Aires we pressed on south into Spain. We stayed at a couple of our favourite stopovers, Saint Feliu near Girona and Peniscola near to Vinaros.

A few miles out of Peniscola I felt the steering go very stiff so pulled in at the next safe stopping point which was a fuel station (closed as it was a Sunday) and popped the bonnet to investigate. 

All seemed Ok with the steering fluid but then I did a double take as I noticed the alternator was sitting at a strange angle and its pulley had no belt on it! Access to an A-Class engine bay is a little restricted but reaching in I discovered that the alternator was just resting on a ledge at the side of the engine and had actually sheared its cast mounting bracket.....

We were going nowhere.

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More Aires Hunting - Day 9

A change of plans

Rather than a day off we decided to proceed south, our intial destination being on the Med coast but thinking about a long day we decided to split the journey with a night-stop about half way.

Before setting off properly we nipped about 15/20kms into the mountains for some scenic photos, at somewhere over 2000mtrs we found our spot. We would have used the Aire at Orcieres but at 10€ a stop (18€ in the ski season) we used a public car park for a brief stop.

While I fiddled about getting photos Caro decided to start walking back down and I had instructions to catch her up in about half an hour - fair enough!

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More Aires Hunting - Day 8

Well, no gunfire in the night so I have no idea what that was all about......

Anyway, after a fill and empty we set off for a scenic day. Beautiful village after beautiful village we progressed through the Rhone-Alps and before long we were gaining altitude. Another difference discovered between this and our last van is the lack of engine braking on long descents - I can see more frequent changes of brake pads coming.

Our 200km day was a long one on these sort of roads so we were glad to reach our stop for the night. Pont du Fosse is a lovely Aire that we first used about 4 years ago, on arrival it was clear that it has been a little neglected since. However, its still free to stay and its a great location, we may have another day off tomorrow to walk the local routes as we did last time. (Incidentally, Pont du Fosse is available for public viewing in full detail in the relevant stopover section on Club Motorhome).

 

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