We're on the free aire at Wissant, just 20 minutes drive from Calais. We stayed here before as it's handy for the tunnel. It's been a sunny although very windy day - in fact it's been windy all year.
I was up first this morning and bought a baguette and two croissants from the bread van which arrived at the air at about 0915. We enjoyed our last breakfast outside this trip, then secured the van and moved over to the service point to empty the loo and grey water and top up with fresh. That all done we hit the road, heading for Wissant. I'd also plugged in the coordinates for Leroy Merlin, a large DIY store, as I wanted some special hose fittings for a new type of water fitting on some aires. We stopped off on the way for some lunch and a brew and arrived at Wissant at about 1520. There weren't any spaces in the official pitches, mainly due to other vans selfishly taking up space for awnings and chairs or parking diagonally. This isn't the idea of an aire; they're mainly parking stopovers, definitely not replacement campsites! But because Nido's small we managed to park up at the side by the fence.
We locked up and walked through the village down to the beach. The tide was out but not too far so we walked across the sand for a paddle to cool off our travel weary feet. On the way back up we stopped for a beer then back at the van had another sat in the sunshine (although the continuous strong wind was a pain). Both showered and changed, we walked back to the village square. Chez Nicole, which does great Moules, was fully booked, so we tried anothe place, but they had run out of Moules! We ended up at a small café that did have Moules frîtes and they were very tasty. We took a longer walk round back the van and I dug out our passports and papers ready for the trip home, then we had a hot drink before an early night. The 0600 alarm tomorrow's going to be a shock to the system!
So ends our last full day in France this trip. We've had a relaxing time with some great weather. Our time on Oleron was our favourite, but of course for me it was topped by seeing Stage 7 of the Tour de France on my holiday. We could happily keep going for several weeks, although we'd need to find a laundry fast, plus top up the CaxtonFX card with more Euros. This has been a relatively cheap fortnight's holiday, although when we take far longer trips our budget will be far smaller. But then we won't be on holiday - we'll be living our life! So it'll be cheap meals, far less alcohol and finding the cheapest (free!) stopovers.
For those interested in budgets and stats:
We spent 15 nights away, broken down as follows:
- 10 nights on aires, two nights of which were on EHU and all but 3 nights were free
- 4 nights on a campsite with EHU
- 1 night wild camping
- £8 - Channel Tunnel (mostly covered by Tesco vouchers)
- £210 - Diesel
- £61 - Campsites
- £27 - Aires (majority were free)
- £22 - Clothes
- £263 - groceries and alcohol
- £148 - eating out
So a total of £739 for two weeks' holiday, enjoying good food and wine and not scrimping. When long-terming our monthly budget will be about £1000, so we'll definitely need to make savings, but that's easily done.
In all, door to door, we travelled 1,909 miles at 32.4 miles mpg.
|Winging it on an unofficial pitch on Wissant aire|
|Snoozing on Le Shuttle - blighty bound|