Stage VIII has come to and end and the next stage of our exciting adventure has begun, we will be taking a very meandering wander down through France heading for the Mediterranean coast and onward to Spain for a touch of winter sunshine and to warm old and aching bones.
Leaving Leek we headed east to visit family before starting the slow journey south to end Stage VIII and take the train back to Coquelles
Sunday found us spending the night in Horningsea (52.2451475, 0.1929980), actually a quiet lay-by just outside the village with plenty of room to spend the night. No services obviously as it’s a simple boondocking spot, but there are bins and lots of good dog walking areas.
Monday morning arrived and after a quick consultation we decided to head for Johns Cross to pick up a few essentials for the Trundlebus and meet a good friend for lunch before heading back through Ashford to Canterbury New London Road P&R (51.2616035, 1.1001167) for the night. There is a dedicated Motorhome area with services and for £3.50 a day it’s a bargain, overnight will cost £7.
Tuesday started so well and just got better. We headed back through Canterbury stopping at Morrison’s for shopping and fuel before taking the scenic route through Ashford to the M20 and a lunch stop at Stop 24 Folkestone Services, where we took full advantage of the 2 hours free parking before jumping back on the motorway for the short trip down to the Euro Terminal at junction 11a. We arrived well ahead of our booking slot, two hours to be accurate, but were pleasantly surprised to be offered a crossing at 15:20, an hour earlier than our booked crossing. A quick pass through British Customs and the usual Gallic Shrug from Douane before being pointed in the direction of Aisle 16 and a brief wait before boarding. We were even given the once over by security, not that I thought much of them, they didn’t even wear a HiViz jacket or have a clipboard.
The crossing was as always brief and without incident and we were disembarking onto French soil before we knew it. As we had already decided to overnight at Cite Europe it was a 5 minute drive from the terminal to Boulevard du Kent (50.9328764, 1.8120957). A spot was selected and we settled in for the night just before nature decide to put on a show welcoming us back to France to start stage IX.
Wednesday found us beginning the slow meander south as we aimed for La Mailleraye-sur-Seine (49.4832892, 0.7739313). It is still 6€ per night plus 40 cents person tax with views of the river and the numerous boats that pass. Jetons for the services are available from several of the shops in town and the Marie, a list of suppliers is available at the service point. Tokens cost 3€ and provide access to fresh water and if required electric. Unfortunately the only hook up outlet is built into the borne.
After a night of torrential rain we woke to a calm showery morning, beautiful sunshine and an inspection from several feral cart, one of which found it’s way into our engine bay. The local council decided that a morning chorus of lawnmowers was a good idea. Well I suppose it’s better than the sludge gulper cleaning the drains at the water treatment plant.
We decided to continue our southwards journey by heading for Guilberville (48.9872510, -0.9504213) to find that not only the services were free but so was the hook up. Well it would have been rude not to have taken advantage of the facilities wouldn’t it, so we had a night charging everything we could lay our hands on.
Friday found us heading for one of our favourite stopovers Paimpont (48.0228770, -2.1710120) via Super U in Prélan Le Grand for a spot of shopping before the weekend. The Aire at Paimpont hasn’t changed even the price is still the same. 4.70€ per day, service and WiFi included. We arrived to an empty space and settled in for a very long weekend or rest and relaxation and to decide where we head next on our wander through France towards the sunshine.