Motorhome Blogs by Members

Blogs written by Club Motorhome members.

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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NEILMAC
Great to see you are on your travels. Do let us know if you're coming our way when you get to Spain.
Friday, 21 November 2014 22:59
Glad to see you're on your way to the warmth! Looking forward to the next episode.
Saturday, 22 November 2014 19:54
WAUNWYLLT
Wish I was brave enough to take my motorhome abroad, too nervous travelling by myself. Mary
Monday, 24 November 2014 09:01
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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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TravelsRus
Thank Neil - will continue reading with interest as we are always looking for different places to stop.
Saturday, 11 October 2014 15:42
kontiki645
Thanks for the free cheering up. Us two part timers are due down at the bottom of France in 12 days, to get away from a storm dama... Read More
Thursday, 16 October 2014 14:56
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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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kontiki645
glad to see the wheels still turn. it goes to show if you do plug into a good rescue service the pain is some what easier. stay sa... Read More
Sunday, 06 July 2014 16:47
BillGA
Hi Neil & Caroline, glad to hear you got the problem sorted & back on the road . Sounds a very reasonable price to me . Main thing... Read More
Monday, 14 July 2014 15:58
NEILMAC
Thanks kontiki645 and BillGA, sorry for the slow reply - got a bit side-tracked
Tuesday, 15 July 2014 17:34
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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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JockandRita
Hi Neil & Caroline,Although it's been a few weeks now, sorry to hear about the breakdown, especially in your newer MH. We've been... Read More
Sunday, 20 July 2014 08:08
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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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I can imagine the scene Neil. I get quite worried in very tight villages.
Thursday, 26 June 2014 07:59
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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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TravelsRus
Link to aire - very good
Saturday, 19 July 2014 13:46
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More Aires Hunting - Day 7

The plan was to follow one of the local circular walks up into the mountains.

Whilst having our traditional morning coffee there was a determined knock at the van door. A Frenchman enquired as to whether we would be staying 'this night'? He advised us not to be worried by gunfire because 'tonight we kill some bad animals!'

We're intrigued to say the least!

We set of on the planned 5.4km walk which took us all of two and a half hours due to the slowness caused by the gradients but it was well worth it following waterfall after waterfall.

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More Aires Hunting - Day 6

After visiting Aires on the way we ended up at a charming location next to a small swimming lake, Serrieres En Chautagne. Parking and services free next to a little stream, we felt another day off coming!

We took advantage of the local bar's take-away pizza option and very good it was too.

A nice peaceful, if very warm, night other than the many local bullfrogs croaking the night away!

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TravelsRus
Typical - you've gone & put a picture on this one! (See previous comment)
Saturday, 19 July 2014 13:43
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More Aires Hunting - Day 5

After filling and emptying as required we headed to the nearest E'Leclerc to get some shopping, fill up with diesel and give back our French Butagaz cylinder that we used in France in our old van which didn't have the refillable cylinders that we now use - on production of our original gas contract and ID we got our 9€ deposit back too.

Having had no wifi for a few days we also headed to a MacDonalds to see if all was well in the world. Their car park looked a bit tight so I pulled in at a garden centre opposite and used a long range aerial to get a just about ok signal. Caroline went for a wander around the centre to 'justify' our parking . Emails sorted, blog uploaded, lunch eaten (that time already!) we set off for Burgundy.

Our afternoon's driving finished in the south of the region at Louhans. Its a lovely Aire that we first visited a few years ago when it had first been refurbished. Set by the riverside its nicely laid out and landscaped with the planting of 50 different varieties of pear trees which were now coming along nicely.

Tomorrow should see us up into the Alps....

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TravelsRus
Neil - interesting reading but photos / exact location of aires would, for me, be better.Chris
Saturday, 19 July 2014 13:42
NEILMAC
Thanks Chris, but not always possible when scratching around for wif etc sometimes even good old MacDonalds is only good enough to... Read More
Saturday, 19 July 2014 14:31
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More Aires Hunting - Day 4

A day of rest.

Thats's a laugh! Well, that's what we call it anyway 

A great opportunity to finish a couple of jobs on the van whilst we are rested up in lovely surroundings.

Firstly I got the inverter connected up to power. I had previously installed the unit and run the necessary cables behind trim and through lockers etc to get the power where it would be needed. For some reason Carthago don't seem to think you might need any power points at the front of the van, they only supply 4 singles which are all amidships. The inverter (300W) is now mounted in the garage near to where the leisure batteries live and there are now power points in the rear bedroom, middle cupboard and front lounge, the latter being able to run off mains or inverter. The whole inverter supply can be turned off from inside the van via a switched relay.

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