travels with our van 2011

Set off for Dover end of March heading for sunshine after long dull winter. Catch late ferry and overnight at the channel tunnel, pets check in now a regular stop for us secure and free.  

 Leave early next morning heading South East, no route planned and no destination in mind, only criteria no toll roads, and minimum motorway mileage. Find ourselves skirting along the Belgium France border heading for Charleville in Champagne Ardennes, sat nav says there is a nice camping municipal here.

        Arrived at Camping Municipal du Mont Olympe this is in the Rogers guide on DVD which loads into your sat nav.

 Site which is  ACSI registered for those who are members, is on the banks of the river Meuse and has its own marina. There is an Aire outside the gates with electric if required. Adjacent to the site is the rowing club with plenty of activities to watch. Town is typical French provincial and worth a visit. We only stayed one night .

 Set off next morning 10:15 heading for Beaune arrived at camping municipal Les Cent Vignes at 4:00 this is also an ACSI registered site as are nearly all the sites we stay at, we have stopped here many times it is a very pleasant site close to the centre of town. We were delighted to find the shower and toilet blocks were undergoing total refurbishment to a very high standard. The weather was hot and sunny so we decided to stay a couple of nights and explore the town  This is an historic town in the centre of the champagne region and well worth a visit . As an extra bonus site has free wi-fi or weefy as the French say


Left Beaune. heading South Decided to stay at Camping De Tournon Promenade Roche De France Tournon Sur Rhone. A cheap site on the banks of the river Rhone very short walk into town also with an Aire just outside the gates, plenty of shops and things to see, but site a bit run down and facilities have seen better days, but OK for a night or two. Left here 10.00 in the morning, do you see a pattern here? we rarely leave a site before 10 am and stop again around 4 ish. Still heading South towards Montpelier and ultimately the Spanish border.


Heading  South no particular destination just want to be in and out of Lyon before the evening rush hour. So on approach to Lyon join motorway system lots of converging motorways couple of tunnels and lots of typically French horn blowing tyre screeching and hand gesticulations, . A busy multi lane French motorway is one place where having the steering wheel on the wrong side can be an advantage when changing lanes to pull over to an exit etc. Even outside of rush hour this is an exhilarating and breath taking half an hour But soon over with and back onto the rural French roads.

  Stopped just outside Beziers at Le Mediterranee Plage. A big sprawling site on the beach with lots of first class amenities. They had just joined the ACSI scheme, and commented that it was quite rare to have any English staying on site, but that I was the 5TH one today. So obviously a good investment.

 Carried on next day just a short drive to the Spanish border. We always cross at Le Perthus a very busy border town with the French buying cheap Spanish Goods and cigarettes and the Spanish buying cheap French goods and wine. This town is worth a visit for the shoppers among you with 2 large free car parks that will take the largest of vehicles. From here its just a 50 mile drive to the Costa Brava, originally we were going downt to Carthegena and then returning to the Costa Brava when the temperatures rise, but as in Britain the Spanish summer came early so with the thermometer hitting close to 30 degrees. We decided to go straight to Camping Solmar in Blanes and stay the next three months or so, this is a regular stay for us and we have lots of friends either on site or in the town. I wont bore you with the details of our stay, but Blanes is a busy little town with a weekly market a thriving fishing industry, and lots of colourful fetes and celebrations throughout the year.

 Left Blanes on 25th June After stocking up with food and drink at Aldi and Lidyl. Crossed border and headed for Camping Les Berges de canal at villeneuve, a site I had seen in Rogers guide, and wanted to have a closer look at, especially the canal. A nice site on the side of the canal lots of British boats moored here semi permanently with a few narrow boats, very close to the small town centre just a short walk to the shops. A bridge and some lock gates with good views for the dry land sailors. Good campsite in good location recommend to anyone.

  Left next day heading North and home went to Flower Camping la Roseraie in the Auvergne the volcanic region of France this is a steeply terraced camp site with large level pitches cut into the hillside. A split level reception and toilet area with one of the best dish wash areas I have seen free Wi Fi like the majority of French sites I wish the English and Spanish would follow suit. Very rural location need transport for shopping etc, but bread available from reception as on all French campsites, also restaurant and bar and small swimming pool. Stayed 1 night and left next day for Beaune went to same site as on way down and stopped for a couple of nights, all toilet refurbs now complete and a once very good site is now perfect. This is a very busy site with people arriving and leaving every day travelling north and south, but if you arrive early there is always plenty of room to pitch, weather is now scorching, but central France in mid summer is always like this.

 Left on 29th June travelling north to Troyes, we stayed at camping municipal Troyes a large very popular site with average amenities and a supermarket on the doorstep. We have stopped here many times, but never in high season so were quite shocked to find this was the most expensive camp we have ever stopped at in France. At 27 Euros we normally only pay 15 Euros here because we use ACSI card low and medium season, but we had now strayed into high season.  

By comparison the next site we stopped at was the cheapest we had been to at 8 Euros a night inclusive of electric this was Camping municipal de Saint-Quentin a spacious site with first class facilities and very good security, on the side of the canal, but we did need the scooter to get into town. Left here 11:45 am arrived Calais 5:00 pm for 6:00 Ferry to Dover

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