France- May half term 2013 (6) Guerande – Honfleur – Whissant – home

Bluebell the motorhome is parked back up outside home, she’s all unpacked, clean, and is having a major rest after driving us around the whole of Brittany, covering over 1600 miles!

We had a long journey from Guerande to Honfleur, we had been unlucky with roadworks on this entire trip, but this journey in particular was road closed after road closed. We just got to Honfleur in time for our 13:30 vets appointment- despite leaving ourselves an extra hour and a half. When we arrived, we were in the horrors, the vets was totally empty, other than workmen! After a sickening moment, we realised we were at the wrong one! 5 mins later, we’d found the right one, and had parked up and were knocking on the door. A very French vet opened up, let us in and made us feel extremely welcome. 10 mins and €40 later, Jazz had had a full check up, some tablets (hidden in cream cheese!) and his passport was all stamped and up to date.

We had to find the back way into the aire as the bride was elevated so you couldn’t drive in the normal way. It was ok for us, as Honfleur was beginning to feel like our second home, we knew the back entrance in but during the afternoon we saw many motorhomes driving around looking lost and stressed trying to follow the non existent French diversion!

We had a great seafood meal overlooking the harbour and an earlyish night- although we made use of our electric hook up- we were able to dig our Keefy’s spare blu ray player out that we carry and watch RV. I love that film, its so so funny!

Next morning, after a lie in, we hit the road to Calais. It took just over 3 hours. We heard for Cite Europe, the massive hypermarket next to the tunnel, to stock up on wine and cheese to bring home. Somehow, we totally underestimated how much wine to bring home, we bought about 10 bottles of red home – we picks done €1 Bordeaux and cotes de Rhone. Shopping done, we headed to find the wire in Wissant. It was very easy to find, it’s just as you enter the town. We took the last space, pitched up for free, and wandered into town. Jazz loved the beach and we had a good hour or so wandering. We used our last few euros on some wine which we happily drank whilst watching the world go by.

Next day, we set off on the 10min journey to the euro tunnel terminal. We were sad to be leaving France, and were both a bit nervous about the pet passport terminal- would our stamps be the right thing? Had we done everything we needed to? Our fears were soon gone, as soon as you drive into the terminal in France, there is a big paw print you follow to a separate terminal. They checked Jazz’s microchip, his stamps in his passport and had a chuckle at his passport photo! 2 mins later, and with a special dashboard sticker, we were free to go. We had arrived over an hour early,in case of any problems, and the we were lucky enough to get on the next shuttle. We literally drove through customs, passport control and onto the train. We were the last vehicle on the train and within 5 mins we were on our way. Absolutely fantastic, we won’t ever use the ferry again.

We really enjoyed our time in Brittany, however I don’t think either of us are in a rush to go back to that part of France. We both had wanted to visit for a long time- and we saw some great places, but we had to work hard to find them. We were disappointed in the difficulties we faced in trying to park the van in some of the towns, as France has such a great reputation for being motorhome friendly.

Our highlights:
France Passion night at the orchard
Mont St Michel
Honfleur
Randomly finding the amazing castle round the corner from the France passion site near Vannes

Until next time
Lx

France- May half term 2013 (4) Perros Guirec (The pink granite coast) – Quimper – Concarneau

Bluebell the motorhome is parked in a 20 van aire at the back of a sports centre in Concarneau, overlooking a small wood and the Atlantic sea. Tonight’s aire is free which is even better!

We left our souvenir store car park at 9 ish this morning and made the 2 hour journey towards Quimper and Concarneau. Within half a mile of leaving the France Passion site we had found a motorhome service point where we could empty our grey water (dish water and shower water) and also our black water (the other not so pleasant waste…!) for free! If we had wanted we could have also topped up our water and electricity (for 55 minutes) for €3. The service point was unmanned, payment would have been made via bank card, and it was spotlessly clean. Britain- wake up!!!!!

We decided not to fill with water and to wait until we were closer to our destination so we didn’t need to drive with a full water tank. 2 hours later we pulled into Quimper looking for a car park. France cities and towns usually present no problems when trying to park a motorhome there. Aire de camping cars (motorhome parking) is usually sign posted as soon as you approach the town. Not in Quimper- we drove round at least twice, getting caught up in one way systems, narrow roads, traffic jams- you name it. After over an hour and still no luck we decided to call it a day. The bits that we had seen on our detour around hadn’t gripped us, there was lots of graffiti, and we were both getting grouchy. So we switched on sat nag, programmed in the aire at Concarneau (15 miles away) and did a U turn to get the hell outta that place.

We soon arrived in Concarneau, at the aire at the train station. There was another service point and it was 5 mins walk to the walled town. We had a quick cuppa, and had a wander into the town. The walled town of Concarneau is really pretty. The Main Street is wider than other walled towns we’ve been to, but it still oozed character, and there were some lovely little bars and restaurants dotted along the Main Street. We nipped into the tourist info and realised there was another aire that was a) FREE and b) right next to the coast, so decided to move Bluebell to check it out- if it weren’t very nice we were going to head to a France Passion site out of town.

When we pulled into this second aire, there were already a few vans there, and we decided after a little wander that we would stay here the night. We filled with water and took Jazz back into town, along the coastal path 10 mins and then you board a boat (called the bac du passage… Haha) which crossed a short stretch of water and dropped you off at the back of the walled town. We found the fish market (hurray!) and picked out some fresh off the boat fish (we still aren’t entirely sure which fish) and some languistines. Once I got over the shock of them still having their eyes and feelers on, I decided I was going to man up and help Keefy prepare them for tea!

We enjoyed a beer on the Main Street of the walled town and got our boat back to the aire. We’ve just cooked the fresh fish with risotto and fresh veg- yum yum yum!! 😀

Tomorrow we are heading for Carnac and Vannes. The weather is unsettled to say the least, one min it is raining the next glorious sun. We are both looking rosy cheeked though! Must be all this cider and wine

Until next time

Lx

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France- May half term 2013 (3) Cancale – Dinan – Perros Guirec (The pink granite coast)

Bluebell the motorhome is parked up around the back of a large souvenir store, overlooking fields and next to a Spanish motorhome. The weather was lovely earlier, however this afternoon has gone more overcast and chilly.

We had a lovely lazy morning sat outside the van on the aire in Cancale. The sun was everso hot, we had created our very own private sun trap. About 11 ish we hit the road for an hour and arrived at the pretty town of Dinan. There was a fabulous aire just under the viaduct and below the walls of the town, however we were only visiting for a couple of hours so parked in the central car park. Luck was on our side as we arrived at 12:00- the exact time that it was free parking until 14:00. We soon found the tourist office and got ourselves the free map with a walking tour on so we could see the best of the town. Dinan itself is very pretty. It reminded us of a cross between (a small) Edinburgh and Lincoln. There were lots of old houses that were made of timber, and cobbled streets. We enjoyed walking around part of the ramparts and there was a fab view of the river, viaduct and the aire.

We found a cafe on the main square and sat and people watched for a while. Keith wasn’t allowed a beer in the cafe as he wasn’t eating a crepe?! Weird rule, but I think he enjoyed the coffee in the end!

I had read lots about the “pink coast” so suggested we headed on the 2 hour journey. We had a good journey and arrived at Perros Guirec about 3:30. We had a bit of an explore, stocked up on lots of very cheap Bordeaux wine in Super U, followed the coast road back to Lannion. We were heading for a France Passion site (we actually had 3 to choose from in this area). We soon found it, but both weren’t sure we liked the look of it. It’s always our number 1 rule wherever we go, if we dont feel comfortable, move on. So we did, and ended up at the third one!

We’re going to try and have an earlier night tonight, we’ve been going to bed way after 11, unlike us, and rather merry!! Tomorrow we wave goodbye to the English channel for a few days and head to the Atlantic side of Brittany. First stop Quimper for lunch,then Concarneu for the night and I’m going to attempt to buy some fresh fish from the fish auction….

Until then

Lx

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France- May half term 2013 (3) Cancale – Dinan – Perros Guirec (The pink granite coast)

Bluebell the motorhome is parked up around the back of a large souvenir store, overlooking fields and next to a Spanish motorhome. The weather was lovely earlier, however this afternoon has gone more overcast and chilly.

We had a lovely lazy morning sat outside the van on the aire in Cancale. The sun was everso hot, we had created our very own private sun trap. About 11 ish we hit the road for an hour and arrived at the pretty town of Dinan. There was a fabulous aire just under the viaduct and below the walls of the town, however we were only visiting for a couple of hours so parked in the central car park. Luck was on our side as we arrived at 12:00- the exact time that it was free parking until 14:00. We soon found the tourist office and got ourselves the free map with a walking tour on so we could see the best of the town. Dinan itself is very pretty. It reminded us of a cross between (a small) Edinburgh and Lincoln. There were lots of old houses that were made of timber, and cobbled streets. We enjoyed walking around part of the ramparts and there was a fab view of the river, viaduct and the aire.

We found a cafe on the main square and sat and people watched for a while. Keith wasn’t allowed a beer in the cafe as he wasn’t eating a crepe?! Weird rule, but I think he enjoyed the coffee in the end!

I had read lots about the “pink coast” so suggested we headed on the 2 hour journey. We had a good journey and arrived at Perros Guirec about 3:30. We had a bit of an explore, stocked up on lots of very cheap Bordeaux wine in Super U, followed the coast road back to Lannion. We were heading for a France Passion site (we actually had 3 to choose from in this area). We soon found it, but both weren’t sure we liked the look of it. It’s always our number 1 rule wherever we go, if we dont feel comfortable, move on. So we did, and ended up at the third one!

We’re going to try and have an earlier night tonight, we’ve been going to bed way after 11, unlike us, and rather merry!! Tomorrow we wave goodbye to the English channel for a few days and head to the Atlantic side of Brittany. First stop Quimper for lunch,then Concarneu for the night and I’m going to attempt to buy some fresh fish from the fish auction….

Until then

Lx

France- May half term 2013 (2) Nr Granville – Le Mont St Michel – Cancale

Bluebell the motorhome is parked on our own private glade in a beautifully landscaped aire overlooking the bay of Michel, and Cancale, amongst about 20 other continental motorhomes. As far as we can see, we are the only Brits.

We had a fantastic evening on the France Passion site last night, and slept like logs. We didn’t wake up until after 9:30, and the sun was beating down on us already rather hot.

We made our way to Cancale, stopping at Le Mont St Michel for a couple of hours en route. We had both seen pictures of Le M ST M, however they don’t do it justice. It is truly spectacular. We were lucky to be visiting on a glorious day, the blue sky backdrop made the rock stand out even more.

We paid the €12:50 to park (ouch) almost a little bit begrudgingly, and not knowing whether we would have to pay entrance fees once we had walked the 40 mins up the causeway. We were also slightly concerned whether we could even take Jazz in, as we saw signs for kennels on our route. However, we carried on anyway, hoping for the best. Once we got to the entrance we happily discovered a) we didn’t need to pay anymore, and b) Jazz could come on with us!

The island itself is a maze of tiny streets, with bars, restaurants, shops, hotels and absolutely oozes character. It reminded us Carcassonne, and we enjoyed wandering the streets for an hour or two. It was lovely and warm, and we felt like we were a million miles away from England – despite only being 20 odd miles across the channel!

After lunch, we hit the scenic route towards Cancale. It took about 40 mins, and we passed through some lovely pretty French villages.

We easily found the aire in Cancale, and were impressed to see it was only €6 for the night, with services. We settled in, had a nap and then walked the short distance down to the town. The town itself isn’t as pretty as we had anticipated, however it is famous amongst foodies for its oysters. We had a beer in a bar overlooking the sea, and I debated whether or not to try an oyster whilst here. They are selling them everywhere, in restaurants, bars and also on market stalls fresh off the boats.
I’ve tried an oyster before in Sheringham about 13 years ago and it didn’t go well, but I decided that I would give it a go whilst here- Keefy on the other hand was not keen at all so passed!

I asked in my best French at the market stall how much one would cost to try there and then. The kind man took pity on my dodgy French and said I could have one as a gift. He prepared it and off I went. I tried to be brave, and I almost got it in my mouth 4 times, however in the end it was just too much and I ended up vomming it out! That’s me and oysters done, if I can’t do it here, in oyster country then there’s just no hope for me!

We’ve had a great evening chilling in the evening sun outside Bluebell, Jazz is completely zonked out and behaving incredibly calmly for him!

Tomorrow we are heading for Dinan, and we’ve heard the weather forcast is good again. 🙂

Until next time
Lx

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