Days 88- : Blimey – its hot!

88 – Wednesday:  Driving and France Passion

Made contact with a friend who has a house just west of Besancon… ‘yes come on over’.  But by the time we exercised, tidied up and put the Sat Nav on and set the settings against Peages, we decided we did not have enough time to get there in one day.  We basically drove.  Stayed overnight in a France Passion … nothing to do with our sex life!  France Passion are farms and small businesses with a bit of space around them who allow 3-5 motothomes to ‘park’ overnight.  We used them last year on several trips and nearly all were pretty fabulous.  This one was in a tiny village called Midreveaux on a small cow farm.  We had the parking to ourselves so got the table and chairs out.  Quick walk around the village and back for a glass …. gin straight from the freezer :).  It is warm.

 

89 – Thursday:  Blimey it’s hot!

With the heat starting, we staggered around our exercise … J made of more resilient stuff as K kept getting overheated and having to drop to a walk 😦

Sally Sat Nav took us down LOTS of VERY SMALL roads; fortunately little traffic.  Arrived at our friend’s house: offered and gratefully received a cold drink followed by a dip in the pool.  The pool has only been open two weeks and the surroundings are still work in progress.  But the pool …. 32C and the water like silk.  Just brilliant.  According to the thermometer, the afternoon reached 41C.  Blimey it’s hot!

We dined out in style at a restaurant called the Cactus … French chef whose Mexican wife is front of house.  Don’t know where we put it given our reduced stomachs from our meagre and healthy rations from travelling Scandinavia, but we all managed three courses and a coffee.

 

90 – Friday:  Thunderstorm and Hotter!

Having had a bellyful of food and wine last night, the exercise went awol this morning.  Started to feel humid and then a thunderstorm making it more humid.  We left about 11.00 just as the sun started with some heat …

Stopped at Beaune as James had not seem the Hotel de Dieu, a charitable hospital, still in use since C15. It has a very recognisable roof and is still part funded from its own vineyard sales.  Not sure how that works on the PC front … wine and health!  Absolutely boiling, airless and humid walking around the Hospital.  Our ice creams were melting faster than we could eat them.  Spot the Englishman abroad!  Note, no socks though!

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Drove onto a place called Digoin on the Loire.  We are in a large aire de camping car.  It has facilities and were able to empty the chemical toilet.  Attempted to pay for water using a variety of credit and debit cards, but the machine was not having any of it.  The weather app says it was 38C – think real feel must be higher as it is soon debilitating.  All windows and roof lights are wide open.

Maddy sent me a pic of her and her best friend on a camel; apparently it was very sassy … the camel that is!

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90 – Saturday: Vichy, funnily enough known for water!

Decided the aire was a rubbish place to overnight.  Not just the insect sort, but gnats (mopeds) and little boy racers used the large car park as a circuit until about 4.30.  And this on top of the noise and tannoy from the boules tournament going on below and, of course the heat.  We both slept in the nud, with all the windows open … serve anyone right, had they looked in.  But we were in good company as the other 13 ‘vans all did much the same, although i can’t vouch for their sleeping attire!

Not much at Digoin, but a rather pretty viaduct canal over the Loire river.  Both J and I used it for our exercise … as we were late up and it was starting to get hot, I Norked, but J ran.

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We lunched and a neighbour helped us with buying the jeton for 100l of drinking water …. he had rung the supplier of the point de service earlier and sorted out the problem I had the day before.  Both us and Chardonnay fully replenished, we set off for Vichy.

 

 

Vichy was the home of the collaborative government during WW2, but next to nothing is made of this.  It is all about the spa drinking waters.  And the waters came and got heavier as we started to explore  …. I am sure the droplets were twice normal size.  We sheltered in a coffee and cake shop :).

Then had a quick look at the park and the source of one of the springs.  We did not go for a prescription of waters … apparently you have to book the Dr 3 months in advance!

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We did not linger in Vichy as we would have been washed down a gully.  We found a France Passion about 40 mins from Vichy at a chateau in Vicq.  As we arrived, we were shown onto a proper hedged camping spot.  Offered water and electricity, which we did not need.  Asked if we would like to attend the theatre production this evening; which we declined a J has little French and I would also have found it hard work to follow.  By now the weather was on / off sun and rain, so we actually managed to get the awning out and sit out for our drinks and meal.  Bear in mind that France Passion are supposed to be a arrive with what you need, leave nothing and few facilities, if any … these camping pitches over looking the Charolais white cattle were quite special.

K even made a mossie / wasp trap, which sadly did not catch even an ant, but has brought it with us and is determined to show it works.

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First Nights of Gap Years Proper

Sunday.

After 4 nights imposing ourselves on the Aged P’s; eating their food and abusing the washing machine.  Chardonnay MOT: not due yet but you can’t get one in Euroland despite all the legislation for standardisation!  Weighbridge: Yippee.  Payload of 4.2 tons so can order loads of wine boxes from Calais Majestic for Scandinavia. 🙂

Left C2 house, where we parked Chardonnay whist away in Jordan; nearly could not exit the gates as one refused to open!

Drove to stay with the amazing Ian and Jimmy in Rusty.  Really lovely to see Ruth and Brian, who were very much around during my formative years.  Most excellent start to our travels.  Must make Rusty the UK exit and entry points.  BBQ, wine and hot tub, can’t say better than that and a chance to talk about Nicky.  Lovely to take Jimmy to school with Ian and then off.

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Monday

Left Rusty, somewhat dehydrated – Ian it was your idea to start drinking at 2.00!  Crossed to Euroland courtesy of Tesco tokens and the Tunnel – business as usual :).  Downloaded a budget APP and entered our £45 per day.  Immediately into deficit as collected 14 wine boxes from Majestic.  Sadly, it did not even look to be much and it has to last us round Scandinavia.  Saved on coffees as made these in Chard.  The APP does not seem to recognise the £8.00 I saved/did not spend!  What is useful is that it allows rollover and I can categorise budgets.

Over night at a France Passion (no, nothing to do with nookie – they are free single overnights on Farms / vineyards etc for an annual subscription ).  We have a view of rolling hills, fields being slowed and spotted a hare.  Despite this Passion being an Auberge and having a menu at EUR18, we refrained and saved / did not spend by eating a Sainsbury Chicken Tikka Masala tin!  made inroads into our first wine box 🙂