Tuesday 6 March 2018 - Day 1 & 2
This is the first full day of our longest ever trip, following our retirement last year. We're planning to drive down the west coast of France, into Spain at San Sebastian, then decide our route depending on the weather - 'run for the sun'! We've three months to enjoy our time away, so plan to visit different parts of Spain and Portugal, plus some new areas of France. We're SO looking forward to it.
Nido's parked at an aire in Forges Les Eaux. I hadn't realised until we were close, but we've stayed here before, on our way back from a holiday trip. It's a quiet spot and fine for a night stopover, as we're aiming to drive south until we reach the better weather.
We left home early yesterday, heading for the aire at the Canterbury park and ride. On the way down we stopped at A&E Leisure (who converted our campervan) to get a small leak fixed on one of the water push-fit connectors; I'd noticed it the day before when filling up the fresh water and priming the Truma boiler. The boss - Roger - was manning the service desk and he came out and quickly fixed the problem with a new o-ring and trimming the plastic water pipe. No charge and free water top-up too! They really are a great company if you're looking for caravan or motorhome maintenance and repairs in the North West of England. They also have a large accessories shop.
We continued our journey to meet our daughter - Nicola, and her husband - Chris, at the Milton Keynes stadium 'mall'. They're moving to Washington DC next month (Chris has a job at the British Embassy) and had just returned from a week's visit to check out the area and look at potential houses to rent - they were very excited. We enjoyed lunch and a chat before saying our goodbyes - see you next year hopefully!
Next stop was the 'aire' at the Canterbury park and ride. This is an excellent facility - parking for about 30 vans with water and waste dump, all for £4 per night including a free bus into the city. It was dark when we arrived and we were tired from our journey, so a quick cup of tea and an early night.
This morning we left and arrived at the Channel Tunnel a couple of hours before our booked departure time. We were able to get an earlier train free of charge, so were soon on the other side and pulling into the motorhome parking at Cite Europe in Calais. Euros extracted from the ATM and a quick zip around Carrefour for some groceries, we had an early lunch before driving off. We're heading towards La Rochelle/Niort as our first major stopping point, so for now just finding places to stop over once we (meaning me!) are fed up with driving. Tonight's dinner was prepped at home so it just needs warming up, then I think we'll crash out early again once it's dark, ready to head south in the morning.