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Awaycation Summer Sun 2023

Looks like the west side of France!

That didn't take too long. We have decided that despite the whole of Europe before us, we would take in the western side of France. Of course, there will be opportunities to move about. I am looking at camping aires and also campsites in the ACSI books.

We became fans of camping-car parks on the last trip we did to France and Spain. I have been looking at alternatives as I saw some listed on the Motorhome Fun forum.

One of them is Réseau Airepark. The website isn't as clear as Camping-Car Park but seems to have options for sites. It's well worth bearing in mind.

We have 15 nights to stay and so we can work our way across from Eurotunnel to Brittany and back.

So now I have all the different apps and websites to plough through to get an idea of stops overnight. Of course there's a vet visit to sort out.

Posted by InvictaMoto 01:04 Archived in France Comments (0)

Awaycation Summer Sun 2023

Yes. I guess it had to happen. Thinking about a earlier summer trip and I was thinking about going to the Czech Invader Rally again. But decided that it would be better to go away in Suki with Claire and Reggie.

But where? I have no idea at the moment. I'd like to head more to the east. Germany? Austria? There's plenty of time to look more closely and to go somewhere where the roads are free!

Or simply head for the South of France. A few days to the Mediterranean and then loop back up? Annecy? Verdon?

The world is our oyster.

Posted by InvictaMoto 19:02 Comments (0)

Staycation Summer 2023

First Booking of the Year

I was checking the diary. Suki is in the storage at JC Leisure until mid-March. The MoT is due on the 24th March and it will be due a habitation check and also an engine/running gear service. It's booked in for the 15th.

So back to the first booking. We are off to to Back of Beyond near Ringwood in Hampshire, It's only 2 nights from March 6th but it's a start.

I will continue to look for other Staycations that tie in with the football tickets and of course other family events. And of course the UK weather!!!

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Posted by InvictaMoto 23:24 Archived in England Comments (0)

Staycation Summer 2023

With the only planned overseas "Awaycation" planned for late August and September next year my attentions are turning Staycations.

For any new readers. Staycations are all trips that "stay" in the UK. All Awaycations are trips that are "away" from the UK.

I am currently a season ticket holder at Arsenal in the English Premier League. Football. Some of you may know it as "soccer". As the game is mostly played with the feet to control the ball, football will suffice.

And that means that Staycations have usually been midweek trips or when Arsenal are playing away and we don't have tickets.

Suki needs her mot and services in March and is in storage until then. We can take her out whenever but it's all weather dependent for short trips.

The idea behind this Staycation is a longer trip. I would like to try some of the NC500 in Scotland. The start point is around 400 miles from home.

Or maybe the South West Coast 300. It's also in Scotland. But a lot nearer to the start.

Then again there is always Wales. Claire has a friend over in Wales and I have my niece and her children that live in Cardiff.

For the time being I am going to look at Scotland for the longer trip and maybe Wales for a midweek trip that could hang over into the non-football weekend.

The football season doesn't finish until the end of May. This is because of the World Cup taking up most of November and December 2022.

So this trip will be June.

More to follow.

Posted by InvictaMoto 18:52 Archived in Scotland Comments (0)

Awaycation Winter 2022 - Day 20 Part 2

Snow!

snow -2 °C

We set off from the boat first. As we set off onto land it started to rain then it turned to sleet. We had a coach some distance behind us and as we navigated the roundabout under the Western Heights he surged past us.

By now the sleet had become heavy snow. We were overtaken by a few cars.

After the Capel turn off it looked like the outside lane was getting covered in about 2 inches of snow. From the crunching under the wheels it was freezing into ice rather than powder snow.

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Then we saw the coach had stopped with hazard lights on. We pulled up behind with ours on.

We could see past the coach that there were blue flashing lights. He pulled across the lanes to part block the outside lane. This didn't stop cars coming along.

What don't these morons understand about half a mile of vehicles stationary with hazard lights on? So we could get past the obstruction I moved across. This also meant the hard shoulder (emergency lane) would be easier for emergency vehicles to get by. I still had a moron in a VW Passat almost scrape paint to get past me.

We were held for 45 minutes until given the all clear. The policeman controlling traffic held us back and told us to keep about 200m behind the coach. In case of a problem we had plenty of stopping distance.

Of course we barely got underway when the cars, vans and big trucks flew past!!

Obviously the sight of two mangled cars didn't affect them.... It wouldn't happen to them....

We eventually got home about 11.30pm. Unloaded some essentials, had a coffee and then to bed.

After 13 hours at the wheel I looked forward to sleeping in my own bed!

So another trip over. The van goes into storage on Wednesday and I don't know when she will come out next...

Posted by InvictaMoto 17:21 Archived in England Tagged p&o Comments (0)

Awaycation Autumn Sun 2023

This is actually renamed from "Awaycation Summer Sun 2023" as this trip will be in September.

I have been looking through the books that came recently to find places to go. Both books from ACSI and Stellplatze were mentioned in previous posts.

For this trip we are probably leaning towards the Loire and Brittany.

Originally I thought that a trip to Bavaria was on the cards. The Romantic Road to Castle Neuschwanstein?

There are so many places to go and after two trips and five weeks away this year, next year we are only doing two weeks.

Of course there will be more Staycations.

Posted by InvictaMoto 18:34 Archived in France Comments (0)

Merry Christmas Everyone

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Posted by InvictaMoto 18:26 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Awaycation Winter 2022 - Videos

I have an action camera. It's not one of the expensive Go-Pro cameras though, but a Chinese made copy. At £14 from eBay it was very cheap.

It has sat in the drawer after a few outings on the bikes over the years. So as we were away I gave it a few chances. And here they are!

This is a far longer version of a trip up the N340 from Alcossebre towards Peniscola! Be prepared it is quite er......

Anyway. If you worked through them, then you need an award.

Posted by InvictaMoto 15:22 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

More European Planning

More planning books have arrived. The Bord Atlas.

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The books are massive and we'll need to find somewhere to store them in Suki. Maybe in a trailer.

One book covers Germany and another the rest of Europe. Plenty of places to stay across the continent. I am sure between now and the summer they will get some heavy use.

Posted by InvictaMoto 15:02 Comments (0)

Awaycation Summer Sun 2023

ACSI?

Yesterday the ACSI 2023 books arrived. This contains a huge list of campsites with opening dates and an overnight discounted pitch price.

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Whilst away recently we thought that we might stay a little nearer home, France maybe. But that's not set in stone. After all, we aren't going to go away across the channel until late August.

I have flicked through the book and was attracted to the Netherlands and especially Zeeland. Claire and I have been there before on the way to Assen for the Dutch TT. We stayed in a really nice B&B. Many years ago I stayed with biker friends in a Youth Hostel in Domburg on the Zeeland coast. There are a couple of sites there and in the area. So that it a maybe

We have plenty of time to think about it. The channel ferry and pet lounge is booked already.

Suggestions gratefully received.

Posted by InvictaMoto 15:32 Tagged acsi Comments (0)

Awaycation Summer Sun 2023

So now we are back there is plenty of time to decide where to go on the "abroad" trip next year. We are both thinking with Reggie getting older and more nervous when getting out that maybe not so far would be better.

France? Germany or even Netherlands? It's so difficult.

Posted by InvictaMoto 15:32 Comments (0)

Awaycation Winter 2022 - Stats

snow 0 °C

Finally took a photo of the end mileage on the van's odometer.

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Miles covered: 2380
Fuel used: 409.927 litres
Avg mpg: 29.981

Days away: 20

Where next?

Posted by InvictaMoto 15:13 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Awaycation Winter 2022 - Day 20

overcast 0 °C

Day 20 should have been the short run north to Chateaudun and the CCP there.

After a night where the temperatures dropped to -2 °C and the forecast looking for more of the same we decided to call it quits and head home.

We made the decision on the A10 just to the north of Tours. I called P&O in Dover and for a fee changed Monday's afternoon crossing to tonight's 2105 CET crossing.

Temperatures ranged between 0° and a high of 4° all the way up.

The satnav said 303 miles to P&O Calais. We had one quick stop for Reggie to have a pee and have his tea. This has to be as near to 3.30pm as possible as he begins to whinge.

On the A16 after Abbeville it started to sleet and then the flakes got bigger for a short time. It made a change as it had been sunny for a while as we made our way up.

Also on this leg we saw 40000 miles one up on the odometer.

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I made one more stop where €100 was easily spent on a tank full of diesel just before Calais. At €1.649 it's the cheapest in France we have bought. It looks to have given us about 560 miles range. Thanks to Total Energies and M. Macron.

Checking in was relatively easy and painless. Even both French and UK passport controls were navigated easily. The French had one desk open and UK three.

Boarding simple and we are near the front by the lift. It should only be about an hour and forty minutes to cross. We should be home by 10.30pm.

We are also the only ones in the Pet Lounge! "Free drinks" included. The hot chocolate very welcome.

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Posted by InvictaMoto 20:55 Archived in France Comments (0)

Awaycation Winter 2022 - Day 19

all seasons in one day 3 °C

With Reggie having his vet's appointment at 10.30am, we were up and away in good time.

The route planned by the satnav was to go across country from Lussac to Cavignac. I had expected to join the almost motorway N10 long before the junction before the turn off for the Vet! I saw that there was a McDonald's opposite and so when we arrived we could have breakfast before going in.

So after 50 minutes of winding country lanes we emerged alongside the N10. Unlike the UK, McD doesn't open until 10am... We had a sit in the carpark before a bacon and egg McMuffin and a coffee could be bought and gulped down.

The vet bit went off well. The vet was a young Spanish guy and after 20 mins he had done the paperwork on the AHC and we were off. The cost was only €8.80. He didn't charge us a consultation fee. Would recommend them for anyone on this route.

We then slogged 93 miles up the N10 to the truck stop near Peyre. It was getting on for lunch time. Samosas and a pain au raisin later we were off to the campsite called Le Futuriste. It's the same truck stop that we stopped at on the way down this route in September.

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Our earliest check in of the whole holiday.

On the way up the temperature reached a high of 5 °C. As I write this it's around 5.30pm and down to 2°!! It is forecast to be 0° overnight. Thank god for the EHU! Thank him for LPG!!

The site has loos and showers, but neither of us are inclined to go over there! A visit earlier and they are unheated and freezing! Our walk meant that I had three jumpers on! It's that cold. We did manage a few photos. Out the front window we can see the pools. Both empty! Even the covered pool is decommissioned!! Beyond that is Futuroscope.

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Tonight for dinner we will have the Toulouse sausages and potatoes leftover from last night's dinner plus a tin of Fabada Asturianas. No beer 🍺 tonight. It is simply too cold for ice cold lager!!! It's not "Ice Cold in Alex" weather. It's ice cold in Poitiers!

We aren't going to escape the cold. Tomorrow we move up country to Chateaudun unless I decide otherwise in the morning. We have nothing booked so we can be flexible....

Posted by InvictaMoto 16:12 Archived in France Comments (0)

Awaycation Winter 2022 - Day 18

semi-overcast 7 °C

Here we are in the Camping-Car Park (CCP) aire at Lussac. It's a change of overnight location. The aire we aimed for looked terrible. It was at the side of a huge industrial zone and next to a school. Libourne aire access was through the front of the school where the buses pick up the kids!

As we came around we could see the entrance was blocked and workmen doing something with the barrier. We both decided "nah" and I drove up the road to check the CCP app.

We decided on Lussac. It's right in the middle of the vineyards that make up the St Émilion wine area. It's a little bit further away from Cavignac and the vet's in the morning, but as long as we are away nice and early it shouldn't be a problem.

Suki on Pitch 1

Suki on Pitch 1

Once again we struck out at Picard for Reggie's Dogador raw food. So as the tinned food seems to be affecting his belly and increasing the quantity of his wind problems, we bought beef mince. The pack when mixed with biscuit and sliced carrot should keep him.going until the next supermarket stop.

Today all we have done is drive up from Mimizan, after a look at the beach, to Libourne. I did stop to fill the diesel tank again. This time at an Intermarche. We had only used a quarter of a tank since the last fill-up in Spain. But it was €1.739, the cheapest since we came into France. Including the hassles in Bayonne's traffic jams it was the best tank for ages at 34.5mpg. 😀

On the way up we crossed the Garonne and then the Dordogne rivers. Both wide this close to the Atlantic. Claire took a couple of photos.

The Garonne

The Garonne

New driverless motorhome

New driverless motorhome

The Dordogne

The Dordogne

We arrived in the CCP around 3.30pm. It's a nice site that is supposed to house upto 16 vans. The layout poster is right by the entrance. Three where we are and another ten fanned around overlooking the vineyards. But. The three vans here are parked long way on taking up most of the ten spaces. Should be fun if other vans arrive.

We had a walk. The site is quite rare as they also provide a loo. Well, one for hommes and another for dames. Save any #2 in the van!!! It also has the best free WiFi of any of the CCP sites we have stayed at so far.

Lussac is not far but Reggie not keen. Took some pics before it got dark and the rain came. There is a signed dog walk area that he liked better!!

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Dinner tonight is Toulouse sausages cooked in the pans from Go Outdoors and tinned peas and potatoes. Of course. Beer.... The sausages are really nice. Firm and all meat.

Toulouse Sausages

Toulouse Sausages

Tonight we have found the EHU tripping the RCD in the post outside when we have had the kettle plus other things on at once. The solution is to shift the heating and water heating to gas. It's tripped twice so far. Of course we could try to draw less than the 6amps it provides.

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It's going to be 3 °C overnight if we are lucky and we will need some heat. I don't like having gas on all night, so we need the leccy to run on low all night or at least when it gets very cold.

Tomorrow? Firstly the vet for Reggie's worm pill and the completion of the AHC to get him back into the UK. And then a slow run up the N10 to Poitiers and the overnight campsite. I'd like to see if we can find the truck stop where Neill and I stopped at on the way down in September on the way to Aragón... maybe lunch again?

The site for tomorrow night is Le Futuriste. It's near to Futuroscope and not far off the N10. Hopefully it won't be muddy as some of the reviews on Tripadvisor claim.

Reggie sleeps through all this activity.

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Posted by InvictaMoto 16:36 Archived in France Comments (0)

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