France to Spain 2019

Currently traveling
Motorhome adventure to northern Spain via French Atlantic coast
Currently traveling
  • Day1

    Ideas above our station

    May 26, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    And we are off!
    After a slight hiccup when our long awaited ferry to Santander was cancelled last week (engine fire + rudder not working ....) we switched to Cherbourg. Good old Brittany ferries gave us a cabin upgrade for the journey, half our fare back and an allowance for the days needed to get to Santander, as well as overnight stay allowance of £80 we booked to stay in a castle in Cherbourg!
    When we arrived we were treated to drinks in the bibliotheque. We parked the motorhome outside the front door for the benefit of the other guests.
    We smuggled in two tuna salads and an apricot tart that we hid in a sick bag from the ferry (unused) and a bottle of wine and had a picnic in our palatial room. The bathroom alone was as big as our lounge at home.
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  • Day2

    Back where we belong

    May 27, 2019 in France ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    Slept so well in the supercomfy super quiet castle bed, but woken by three cockerels at dawn. And they didn't stop....
    So we got up to our homemade jams and yogurt breakfast with lovely fruits and croissants. An old dog kept us company as well as 6 noisy budgies in a cage.
    We headed off after breakfast having been given a picture of St Christopher by the owners to keep us safe on our travels.
    Onward to a châteaux just south of St Malo. This time camping in the grounds where we should be.
    Steaks on the Bbq and bike planning for the morning.
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  • Day3

    Brittany biking

    May 28, 2019 in France ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Sat out the morning rain and then set off on the bikes. Routes galore round here. Mostly called the voie verte but lots of different options. We added a couple of loops together and followed a route showing lots of churches, châteaux and an intriguing blue granite garden. The only traffic the whole day was the postman in his yellow van.
    Back in time to catch the evening sun.
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  • Day4

    Tartelette temptation

    May 29, 2019 in France ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

    Second days riding from our base in the châteaux grounds. Dull day but lovely route, along the canal to a wee village having its weekly market. Coffee and tartelette Normandie (apples, yum). Too hard to resist.
    Then on out around lovely rural villages. Picnic by a pond.
    More 16th century churches than you could imagine in such a small area. Religion must have been big back in the day...
    Had a Normandie cidre for an apertif tonight.
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  • Day5

    South we go

    May 30, 2019 in France ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Long drive today to La Rochelle. We have always wanted to cycle on the Ile de Ré, so tomorrow it will happen. We are camped in a quiet place just south of La Rochelle near a huge plage where half of France seems to be. It's a bit like a posh Weston on a good day...
    We rode along the front, spotted Fort Boyard in the distance and then retreated back to quiet base for beers and a BBQ.
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  • Day6

    The itch was scratched

    May 31, 2019 in France ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    It's been so many years that we have wanted to visit here. Started when the kids were small and never went away. So today we struck out on a 60 mile ride over the bridge from la Rochelle to the Ile de ré.
    There is no doubt it is a beautiful place. And we have never been anywhere with so many cycle paths... Nor have we been anywhere with so many cyclists. ...families , tandems, tag alongs, stabilisers, trailers with kids/dogs/ provisions...
    All a bit frustrating to get past ..... We were both glad when we got back to the bridge to get off the island.
    It was a beautiful sunny day so shouldn't complain...
    Nice omelette and a glass of wine when we got back to tranquil base.
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  • Day7

    Maritime meanderings

    June 1, 2019 in France ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    It was hot enough to melt the tarmac today but we set off on the bikes for a 40 mile loop. Shunning the beach front where everyone else on the planet was going we headed off inland on a lovely route along waterways and marshes. We reached the banks of the Charente River and then followed the river upstream to Rochefort. A rather splendid transporter bridge from the 1900s on the way, and then we cycled into town via the Royal rope works. This was a big naval base in Napoleon's time and the buildings in the rope works were very long so they could make 300 feet long ropes for the galleons. The town was low key and quiet- a refreshing change from yesterday. We had a picnic in the shade. On the way home Ian overheated a bit so we had to pour cold water on his head. Made it home in one piece but realised we were quite dehydrated. Rookie error. Went for a cold swim in the campsite lake and settled down to watch the Champions League final.Read more

  • Day9

    Shhh France is asleep ..

    June 3, 2019 in France ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

    We had a long drive south yesterday. Lots of "at the roundabout take the second exit" stuff and then some busy busy motorway round the Bordeaux peripherique. We were glad to get to the relative quiet of Landes. Nice campsite with a grand wee pool and a bar. Very laid back.
    We set off this morning for a gentle bike route through the forests to visit a couple of the surrounding villages. So quiet it felt like everyone was asleep with their shutters down. The coffee stop was a challenge but we rose to it although we had to add 5 miles to our loop as as a result ....
    Picnic in a churchyard - often the best locations - and then back home for a swim and a rest. Spent an hour or two planning our journey into Spain (2 weeks after we should have got there) but the journey has reminded us how much we love camping in France.
    Today is world bike day so it is good that we were out on 2 wheels exploring.
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  • Day10

    Where is everyone?

    June 4, 2019 in France ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    We set off in the sunshine for another 30 mile loop around the pine forests of Landes. Even though our route passed through a few small towns virtually the only person we saw was a nice lady opening up a small cafe who agreed to make us a coffee. Then we found we had forgotten to bring any money.....
    We picniced by a small lake and then flew home along deserted roads. We have never ridden anywhere as relentlessly flat as this. Never thought we would be longing for an undulate ..
    Moving on tomorrow to the Pyrenees. Should be plenty of undulates there....
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  • Day12

    All for one and one for all?

    June 6, 2019 in France ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    The rain fell in torrents yesterday. We knew it was coming so we made it a travel day. We had a brief stop in a town called Orthez famous for a 12th century bridge with a big tower in the middle.
    On to Aramits. One of the three musketeers was supposedly born here but he is fictional....
    Sun came out after breakfast and we had a splendid day on the bikes. Some climbing yes, but no complaints. Pastures and picturesque villages, rushing rivers and snow capped mountains in the distance.
    Spent a happy hour exploring a Roman town Oloron-ste-Marie where two rivers meet. Had a great picnic spot.
    Then lovely quiet undulating route home for a beer in the evening sun. Great day. What motorhomes were made for.
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