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Awaycation Winter Sun - Revisited

"Head for the Med!"

I have seen on a couple of travel websites and forums that P&O have introduced a "pet lounge" onto the short Channel crossings. So I had a look. To use it requires an extra payment of £5 per dog and per person that want to use it, each way. For us that would add £30 over leaving Reggie to fend for himself for 90 minutes in the Van.

I have no idea how it will work though. How big is the lounge. Given that many dogs, and Reggie is one of them, that actually don't like many other dogs it could get fraught. How can we know if someone is taking a pug or French bulldog on the same ferry? He hates flat nose dogs! It's not just the little pig like snuffling sounds it is their lack of facial expression. Their little bulgy eyes don't help!

Food for thought. It still works out around £110 cheaper than going with Eurotunnel.

I am looking at late November to go across and stay away for three weeks. That would mean on a rolling six months basis that I will have been in the Schengen area for 45 days out of the 90 I am allowed when we return and Claire will only have chalked up 37. Reggie doesn't seem to have a time limit other than the 4 months his AHC will be valid for.

What are the limitations? I plan to be away during the farce that is the football World Cup being played in a country with little of no basis of football history. And it is being played in their winter and therefore cocking up all the main European Leagues. The last Arsenal home game is 29th October. So we could go the day after that. But. My first love and schoolboy team, Oldham Athletic, recently relegated out of the English Football League after 107 years, are playing locally in Maidstone. My brother Neill and I want to go. It's 19th November. So we could go on the 20th?

Maybe a day or two later. We need to be back for Christmas. It's not that we do all that much but it's hard to break the tradition of eating too much at home and then watching TV for 18 hours a day solidly. Maybe next year?

We also have the Marlowe Theatre Panto - Sleeping Beauty on the 23rd December. I'd hate to miss that as it is my "birthday treat".

Claire is more sceptical about the weather conditions in France on the way down to the Med and back. We saw a recent YouTube series of short movies from a couple that went for 8 weeks into Spain and they went in January. They encountered snow only on one day in central Spain as they bypassed Madrid. In Britain we tend to have the worst that winter can throw at us in January and February. Googling shows some fairly reasonable temperatures in France and Spain. I have been a few times in February (half-term) to Spain around Murcia and it has always been pleasant.

Of course the locals are all wearing hats, coats and scarves but for us previously sun starved Britons it's t-shirt weather! Okay, a jumper for the evening!

So what is my idea?

  • Crossing either P&O or Eurotunnel. I am leaning towards P&O simply because the money saved on the fare will buy a lot of diesel for Suki to consume at about 30 miles to every gallon.
  • A non-toll route in both directions unless there is a problem and we need to make up time.

Eventually get to Spain and spend some time on a site or maybe hop along the coast with 2 nights at any one place before heading home.

I still have to work out a few things and see how many days I can allocate to "getting there" through France. Also which route will be determined to some extent on where the Camping-Car sites are available. I expect that in November and December there may be quite a few.

Suggestions from the MoHo community on a few forums would suggest the "western" route south would be the best. As it will be warmer day and night. That is pretty much the way that my brother and I will be taking when we ride to Aragon in September for the MotoGP. I expect the route he has planned will be toll-free as well. I'll take a look. His route does involve a pass across the Pyrenees that will be open for definite in September.... but November? Mmmm.

So the drawing board is open for business.

Any suggestions for a route or campsites to visit welcomed. Leave a comment?

Posted by InvictaMoto 22:06 Archived in France Tagged awaycation_winter_sun_2022

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