Wednesday, 26 April 2017

To La Ferte Beauharnais, and then to Neufchatel-en-Bray

Tuesday 25th April 2017

For the first time in several weeks, we wake up to find the sun is most definitely not shining! Dull, grey sky, and a rather chilly 7C. The sun struggles to break through in the course of the morning, but, never quite makes it. By 16:00, it is raining steadily.

Kathleen's plan of leaving the Aire at St Priest Taurion, before breakfast, and then break our journey at the first service area we come to on the A20, to have breakfast, may be a very good plan, but, it is thwarted by an accident on the A20, which has closed the northbound carriageway for several junctions.

After a diversion of some 10-15 miles, which is extremely busy, with all of the traffic off the A20, we eventually come to a grinding halt, about two miles from the point at which we can rejoin the A20, the hold up appears to be just sheer volume of traffic.

Kathleen leaps into action, to prove that she is more use than the sat-nav, and we take a detour, off the ring road, which is traffic bound, through the centre of a small town, and emerge at the entry point to the A20, having "queue jumped" a couple of miles of standing traffic.

We have an Aire chosen for tonight, it is one I got of the Facebook, Autotrail Owners Group, at a place called Mennetou-sur-Cher.. 

Neither us, or our sat-nav could find a way to access the supposed parking spot, the bridge over the canal was only had a width limit of 2 metres and a weight limit of 2 tonnes, we are 2.2metres and 3.650 tonnes. There may be a way, but, we could not find it.

We head on, for our "fall back" option, La Ferte Beauharnais (N47 32.655' E1 50.937').

This Aire, is on the edge of the village, adjacent to the village fishing lake. I am sure, on a sunny day, it will be a delightful spot, but, when we arrive, it is raining steadily!

Despite the rain, it is popular, by 18:30 there are five vans there.

Although the Aire is just off the road, there is little traffic, and it is pleasantly quiet for a good nights sleep.

Wednesday 26th April 2017

The weather forecast says rain for La Ferte Beauhamais today, so, it is a pleasant surprise to find it is just cold (5C) and dull.

In the course of the day, we have occasional glimpses of sunshine, but, the temperature never struggles above 10C, and, by the time we reach Rouen, we have alternating hail and sleet!

We had originally planned to fit in another stop, at an Aire, which had been recommended to us by Motorhoming friends John and Carol. 

The Aire is near Rouen.

Given the weather, we decide to give that a miss and head straight for Camping St Claire, (N49.73781 E1.42803) at Neufchatel-en-Bray.

Camping St Claire is one of our favourite stops, the owner keeps the place absolutely pristine, and, it is only 15Euro per night (it used to be 12Euro, when we first started coming here ten years ago).

If the weather is kind, there is an excellent cycle route, and, it is a relatively short (20 minute) walk into town.

The added advantage is it's proximity to Calais, only a little over 100 miles, and, there is a selection of supermarkets for last minute wine hoarding, and, diesel fill up.

So, it makes an excellent last stop, before Calais or Dunkirk.

The weather has improved, from hail and sleet at Rouen to Sunshine and showers, but a cool 8C, at Neufchatel-en-Bray. 

Kathleen has spent the journey shouting at the sat-nav, because it did not calculate precisely the route she would have done, although, in fairness: 

  • it did follow the major roads Kathleen would have taken (N154 etc)
  • it took us through Rouen on a new (and better route) to our usual
Once we are here, Kathleen cannot resist a clothes washing frenzy, so that she does not have have to take home dirty washing.

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