Travel StoriesFrance 2013
France Day 19 - Campsite Conundrums
By Sharon Parker
I wake up at 7.30 am to the sound of bird song. After all that is the name of this campsite. Unfortunately the birds are Cockerels and their cock-a do-doodling is not sweet on the ear. Despite the early wake up I decide against a shower. This is not an appealing site and neither are the showers and toilets.
The plan for today is to look for a camp site near Calais so we will be close for Fridays tunnel crossing back to the UK. As we will be staying for 2 nights at whatever campsite we come across I am hoping we will find a nice site. I do not wish to return to the the site we stayed at on our first night in France, L'Eglantier in Ambleteuse, because I was not too impressed with the outside shower/toilets.
The start of the journey is pleasant and we pass through quaint, pretty villages. As we near Le Touquet the green leafy roads are lined with some stunning houses. However once we pass through Bologne the wind really begins to blow and the sky turns grey.
There is money about in these parts
We stop at several campsites but I do not like any of them. They are either too far away from the nearest town or windswept. Quite frankly I am sick of wind and hope to find some shelter from it at some point. The next campsites we come across are Municipals and I do not find any of them appealing. Maybe I am just not in a good mood today or maybe I am just dreaming of a pretty little haven for our last nights in France but nothing is coming up to scratch. Eventually we run out of coastal road and campsites to look at. So we turn around to go back to one site I had begrudgingly said looked okish. How wrong can you be. On closer inspection the site turns out to be another caravan graveyard. Only much larger and more expensive than last night's. Nope, one graveyard was enough for any one holiday so we move on.
We then spot another sign for a campsite that we missed first time we passed and go to investigate. Oh sweet delight it looks most promising. We enter the barrier and we are all smiles. This is more like it. Very smart indeed. We both agree this is the place for us. We decide to book in. Because it is so nice we expect it to be a little more expensive but when we hear the price of €30 for one night we stare at each other in amazement. Surely the receptionist lady has misunderstood us. We are not in a camper van for god sake. So we explain again just a motorbike with one small tent and 2 people. The lady clicks away again on her calculator. Ahhhh she is all smiles she had made a mistake. Well thank goodness for that we are all smiles back. Yes indeed she had charged us for electricity and now she realises we do not want that the price is only €25. WHAT!! Now maybe just maybe if it was for 1 night only we would have paid the sum requested. Bur seeing we need to stay for 2 night then at a total of €50 despite being as tired and desperate as we are we have no option but to say no and climb back on the bike. Oh ffs.
Looking for the perfect campsite is not always an easy task.
We are now completely out of options and time is also running out. So the only thing to do is for me to agree to go back to the original campsite at Ambleteuse. As we come into L'Eglantier it surprises me by suddenly appearing rather appealing. After all the rubbish campsites we have visited over the last few days I guess my views have changed about this place. However the €15 per night price tag plus an extra €1.80 for a hot shower token is still rather steep for what it has to offer but it seems sites nearest to Calais are able to charge premium rates.
To make things appear even more pleasant the sun finally makes a rare appearance. The chill wind still prevails however so once the tent is erected we take shelter inside of the porch area to keep out of the wind. We have chosen an area this time closer to the main toilet blocks and sheltered on all sides by hedging. With the door open on the side opposite to the wind direction we enjoy looking out at the sunshine in relative comfort.
We take the short stroll to the shops for supplies for tea. After bacon butties and cookies we can finally relax. It has been a rather stressful day today and Ren is tired and he is soon fast asleep. I can't sleep however tonight. I have a lot on my mind and keep myself awake with over-thinking. A total waste of time of course because no answers are forthcoming or solutions found. I really must learn to find the off switch to my brain when it goes off on one.
Forming a Plan
The formulation of a cunning a devious plan to take on Europe is formed in the tiny mind of our intrepid explorer...
The GF Question
Do I take the gf with me to France? Can she come? Will she like it? These are all very difficult questions...
France...I wanna go but can I...??
Can Sharon make it to Europe? Will the kids survive? Will the bf behave? Is there any space for makeup? All these questions and more...
Getting everything we NEED and a few items we WANT onto a motorcycle can be a problem. Now I have to work out how to get 3 WEEKS worth of gear onto the poor donkey(aka bike)
Camping In Cambridge
The start of our Epic Adventure...or bike holiday around France. Cambridge is surprisingly nice really.
France - Day 1
Sharon's first day from her point of view. Cushy Cambridge and dry weather...what more could a girl want?
The Chunnel, I'm excited but also stressing because the bike's already broken before we leave the UK. I worry too much...
France - Day 2 - Bikes, Trains and Tents
Sharon leads us through sunshine, hair issues, the Channel Tunnel and into France. But France is eerily quiet...
Here Comes The Rain
Bike fixed...bike broken. Rain, endless dull roads, miserable towns and more rain. Oh the joy of travel! At least Epernay welcomed us with a huge smile :-)
France Day 3 - Crying Through The Rain
The rain plays tricks with Sharon's spirit but a stiff upper lip and giving herself a good talking to see her through.
Rain Into Dijon
Rain, rain and more rain. Just how long can it last? Would we be better off with a Jet Ski? Can we continue to keep our Great British Stiff Upper Lips?
France Day 4 - We Are Mustard We Are
Dijon is the destination and we're surviving the rain...that makes us well mustard!
We're happy in spite of the rain but how long can we keep smiling?
The Joy Of Being Lost
As we head south the rain lightens but will it ever stop?
I get lost which is no surprise, but lost turns out to be the best part of travelling.
Are things finally taking a turn for the better? I do hope so...
France Day 5 - Biker's Paradise
Sharon's day 5 in France starts out rough but improves considerably.
What delights can put such a joyous grin on her face?
The Stunning Alps
We are both facing a very strange situation...that of sunshine, warmth, beauty and pleasure.
France Day 6 - Magnificent Mountains
Sharon shares the delights of the Alps. Sometimes life is good!
Highs And Lows
From the stunning Alps to our ultimate destination...MONACO!
Is it all I expected? Will it be as I imagined?
France Day 7 - Scooter Mayhem
Sharon describes the best and the worst France has to offer.
Ride on the back with her from the beauty of the countryside to the mayhem of Monaco
Resting And Deciding
Today we stop to take a breather and recuperate. It's also time to make a decision about the rest of our journey.
I used to be indecisive, I'm not so sure now.
France Day 8 - Chilling In The Pool
A day off from the journey sees Sharon and Ren doing something very silly, breaking things and achieving very little.
What a splendid way to spend a day!
Day 9 sees us heading west from the coast. It's finally dry, but it's still windy so not too hot. The gf's not well and Ren is relentlessly lost.
Overall not a bad day then!
France Day 9 - Poppies, Vines and a Wet Lettuce
Feeling poorly rather spoils Sharon's day today. Still on she must go on and survive what might have otherwise been a good day.
Biggest Bridge In The World
In glorious sunshine and fine health we make our way from Nimes to Millau complete with it's Viaduct.
Sometimes life is good, occasionally it's great!
France Day 10 - Deflated to Elated
Today is a good day for Sharon. Today the sun shines, the scenery is beautiful and the people are pleasant.
Join her as France puts a smile on her face.
The Wettest Bridge In The World
The Millau Viaduct ought to be impressive. It is, but nowhere near as impressive as the amount of rain falling from the skies.
France Day 11 - Grim
Not every day can be filled with sunshine and smiles, even on holiday. This one certainly was not for Sharon!
False Hope Part One
Ren would like to invite you to a joyous report about the delightful weather in the South of France!
He'd like to. Instead it just rained and rained and rained and rained...
France Day 12 - It's Gloomy Inside And Out
Sharon freezes her butt off during the night then is treated to a cold and wet ride.
The Ren sure knows how to spoil a girl.
False Hope Part Two
Is this the end? Has Armageddon arrived? Is this the Apocalypse? It sure as hell feels like it.
France Day 13 - Quietude For A While
Sharon's report on another day of mixed weather. There's peace and beauty then there's mud and cold.
Adventure...no-one said it would be easy!
Sunshine After Rain
A night of rain soaked delirium. Will the day be any better? Will our travellers ever dry out?
France Day 14 - A Bit of 5 Star Luxury
Sharon has a much better day on the road and a luxurious 5 star campsite. It's amazing what difference a little dry weather can make.
Back Into The Flatlands
A quiet, simple and easy days ride through France for Ren. Pleasant enough but the flatlands are getting a little boring now.
France Day 15 - A Bit Of 2 Star Delight
Sharon has an ordinary day and a frustrating battle with the weather.
Not Far To Chinon
It's a short, easy and peaceful ride this day in France. Ren gets all philosophical too.
France Day 16 - A Historical Walk Around Chinon
Sharon enjoys a hint of sunshine and the history of Chinon, France.
Shopping To Mamers
Ren's airbed's leaking now. No problem, find a shop and buy a new one...easy? I don't think so...
France Day 17 - The Gift Of TIme
Even though the weather is cool Sharon's heart is warmed by the people she meets in France today
Don't Go To Ault
Ren has a grim, long, dull and uninspiring day in France. The accommodation doesn't help.
France Day 18 - Is This Misery Or Joy?
Sharon finds sunshine, ancient caravans and ponders about hapiness.
Looking For Luxury
With time on their side Ren looks for the perfect campsite for the next to night. Not finding it makes him a very grumpy boy.
France Day 19 - Campsite Conundrums
Although the wind blows the sun is shining while Sharon looks for the perfect pitch.
Resting In Ambleteuse
Ren philosophises too much on the final day of his trip around France.
France Day 20
Sharon's in a reflective mood on the last day of our French trip.
Back Into England
Ren recalls the final day of the French Adventure. It's all over far too soon.
What Did We Learn?
Ren sums up his thoughts about France and the French trip.
France On Reflection
Sharon sums up her her experience of the French Trip. Damn those Alps.
shirley said :-
Lovin the blog, think it is well written and interesting.
Sandy Shoar said :-
I think I know the campsite and the area you looked around. Thanks for sharing x
16/9//2016 6:44:03 AM UTC
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Travel StoriesFrance 2013