Start of The Road Trip To Spain

Road trip Spain 2017, started with 2 days in Worthing West Sussex, staying with a bicycle mechanic friend Nigel (And campervaner). With a Sunday morning 60 mile bike ride with the local CTC who are all retired! I managed to cycle 37 miles, so we parted at the proper cycle cafe after our lunch. Nigel and I cycled back to Worthing passing the South Downs.

Click on any image to see full size.


The Proper Cycling & Coffee Stop



On the way back in Worthing I met Peter who's in his 80's with a shed full of bicycles. That reminds me of me growing up after taking over my Dad's shed after he bought me my first toolset 31 years ago.
We had tea, cake, and a loverly chat. 


Peter in his bike shed

That Sunday afternoon I got a surprise phone call from Juliana (Who I have known for 14 years and is like a daughter to me) asking to come along to France. So with last-minute arrangements, she took the train to Brighton from High Wycombe on the Monday morning, where I collected her and we took the 5 pm ferry crossing to Dieppe. 


Whilst on the 4 hours crossing 3 cheeky boys come and sat in front of us and gave us some entertainment. 

After a 4 hour Crossing to Dieppe, we drove for 1 & 1/2 hours just past the city of Roven and stopped at a rest spot on the motorway. The next day continued to just past Le Mans (45 Euros on the Toll road) and continued the rest of the trip on non-toll roads visiting the real France meeting the real people in the small towns. (Averaging 80 km/h and getting 38.7 MPG)

Loué

First, stop at Loué where we used the showers in the local swimming pool for free. Unknown to us was that Tuesday 15th August was a public holiday and all shops and restaurants were closed from 12 noon! Lucky we brought our French bread and croissants that morning. We then drove onto the small town of Montreuil-Juigné where we stayed at the Camping municipal Les Rives de Mayenne- L. Delanoue (12 euros)
Here the river La Mayenne passes right past the campsite making a beautiful stop, for a great place to relax, cycle and canoe.

Camping municipal Les Rives de Mayenne- L. Delanoue


Sunflowers - one of the many views while driving


Some of our stops along the way

The next day we drove to La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast, a lovely old city with small streets with bars and coffee shops. We continued 8 K's south and found a campsite that comes with swimming pools and big water slides. The campsite was full, but they let us park right at the back, next to a big pond full of mosquito's and snakes (Vipers about 500 mm long, you could see in the water early mornings before anyone comes along and disturbs them) After parking up we went straight to the sea, less than a kilometre away. But Juliana and I was a little disappointed with the sea, reminded me of Southend on the mud! We stayed at the beach for the beautiful sunset.
The next day was a little overcast but was warm, so we hit the swimming pools and slides.

Muddy Feet

Doing the washing up Next to the snake infested pond

After two nights here our camping neighbour's had told us about Cap Ferret, and said was the best beach they had visited while traveling in France.
We headed off, with a coffee and croissants stop after only 5 minutes driving, it's hard to pass a lovely French village without stopping! We also brought some French cheeses and more French bread.

Campervan cooking

Shopping for fresh local products , where cooking is daily life and part of the fun while campervanning

On route, we stopped for lunch and a walk around the town of Rochefort. Lovely old town and river port.

Rochefort - with the L'Hermione French frigate

Rochefort - in the main town

That afternoon we continued to Cap Ferret and we made the night stop at a small town Pont-l'Abbé-d'Arnoult. We used the free Municipal overnight camping spot, where no more than 200 meters away was a disused campsite. We walked around the grounds and you could see it had only just been closed and two of the fixed camping units were in use. The toilets and showers were open and we made use of them.
The next morning we got our French bread and croissants before doing the 3-hour drive to Cap Ferret.

Cap Ferret Beach

I picked a campsite on the sat-nav, close to the beach. Which turned out to be a great spot, right in the middle of a pine forest. If a little overcrowded of tents, campers, and motorhomes but it had a relaxed feel, with bar, restaurant and mini supermarket!
After parking up we walked the short distance through the pine forest to the beach. A long sandy beach with hot sand and a cold refreshing Atlantic Ocean. On return to the campsite, stop at the bar for a cold beer and pizza.

The next day we drove up the coast a few kilometers to explore the other side of the peninsula the "basin" the large bay, where the water is a little warmer and calmer. We first stopped at the local morning market close by that sells fresh fish, shellfish, meats, cheeses, and wine. We bought some local products and had lunch on the beach, while the tide comes in for an afternoon swim.

Wine, cheese and grapes on the beach

The next morning was packing bags day for Juliana and a return flight to Luton. A little sad day to see her go.
Near to the airport, we found a spot to stop and rest that we discovered was in fact, a restaurant (Lulu dans la prairie) that was full and had a great atmosphere. So coffee soon turned into lunch, before heading to the airport. Steak and french fries was the meal of the day and served rare!

Menu - Plate of the day

After saying our goodbyes and drop-off at the airport, I then made my way to my cousin Serge close to Ribérac in the Southern Dordogne region who greeted me with a beer.
That evening we sat in the garden having dinner, we could see and hear the noisy birds flying around getting ready to nest for the night, the sky was clear and could see many stars before getting in my campervan for a nights sleep.

Some of the music "playlist" we listened to while driving:


The important information; Todays temperature is over 31 deg c

View MAP for all my camping & food stops in France & Spain

Juliana made a great travelling companion and my Road Trip to Spain continues with another week in France...............................

Martin 

Comments

  1. Sounds great Martin, wish I was there, and looking forward too part two in Spain. You know how to live boy good on ya...

    ReplyDelete

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