The next day we stayed local and used our bikes. There are many opportunities for cycling around this area and numerous cycle paths (we tend to make up our own routes!) We first headed right out of the campsite, finding la Gola, where the River Ter meets the sea.
Unfortunately, due to the recent storms, the beach area was a bit untidy. However, there were people there busy clearing it all up.
We then headed back up towards the campsite and the other way towards the marina. This entailed cycling through the floods (we weren’t meant to, but I followed Calv – although I but managed to hit a large bit of debris and ended up jumping into the water to stop myself from falling off completely! It was deep enough to come up to my ankles, so the rest of our ride was completed with me in sodden trainers….)
We moved on towards Tours after leaving la Ferte-Vidame. This route was chosen after much deliberation regarding our route – resulting with us eventually, and reluctantly, deciding to abandon our plan to cross the Millau Viaduct (boooo….); mainly due to the seeming lack of campsites open for us on that route 😦
Having decided on Tours, I thought that we might actually stay for 3 nights, having seen a weather forecast suggesting full sun and a high of 21C on Monday. Sadly it turns out that there are several towns called Tours in France, and my app had decided to provide me with information for a different one, rather than the main town of Tours located in the Loire Valley. So we just stayed for 2 nights after all.
We could have hopped on the cycle path and ridden into Tours to visit the old city (about 4 miles away, with the cycle path passing within about 50m from the site – albeit across a busy road); but we didn’t…
We paid 14 Euros each to visit the castle and gardens – other attractions within the grounds include a maze, wine cellar (caves), gourmet restaurant, tea-room, self-service restaurant, 16th century farm with carriage musuem and donkeys 🙂
6th November was the day we left home for our next adventure. We said our goodbyes and waved to the house, with barely a backward glance.. except we had to go straight back before we made it to the motorway as Calv had left his phone behind…!!
1st stop Brighton for an overnight at the Caravan Club site situated just inland from the marina. We had a bite to eat in the marina; a first ever visit to Gourmet Burger Kitchen, and later in the afternoon (although it felt like the evening by the time we came home (by which I mean ‘van’) at about 6.30pm, as it was so dark), we headed into town to visit the Pavilion and the ice skating rink.
We drove around for a while trying to find somewhere to park for less than £10 for 2 hours; on the seafront you will pay £6 for 2 hours closer to Palace Pier, but we parked nearer to West Pier where we paid ‘only’ £4.20 for 2 hours.
I’m glad we did though, as it was just a 15 minute walk back to the Pavilion which looked perfect all lit up for the ice-skating. We didn’t partake (we didn’t want to risk either of us breaking a leg before going away!) but it was great fun to watch. (We have no idea who these lads are in Calv’s photo – but they seem very happy with themselves!!!
Starting to prepare and get excited for our next trip. This will be recorded as we move on Polarsteps so if you follow us you won’t need to wait until I get round you writing up my blog to see where we are 😊
See also our reviews for each site we stopped at on the way.
Finally I have been to the British Grand Prix!! What a wonderful early birthday present from Calv 🙂
Therefore I am writing this post before I tell you about our first stint in Lincolnshire & Rutland while it is all still fresh in my mind.
I am including several photos, but will also do a separate post in the Gallery, so keep an eye out for that in the coming days.
We did the whole thing – camping from Wednesday (although apparently there were some who arrived on Tuesday..), practice on Friday, qualifying on Saturday and, of course, the race on Sunday. Plus all the entertainment and the after party. On Thursday we discovered that we could have gone into the circuit that day as well – only we hadn’t taken our tickets with us, and we were too shattered to walk back over later on!
I have to say that the camping, whilst packed in and with basic facilities, was brilliantly organised. I have written about the campsite separately here.
I do have to tell you though that many of the drivers and teams were actually staying in the hotel, including Jackie Stewart who, we were told, emerged to speak to fans at about 9pm one evening.
That first evening I stepped out of the van to be confronted by the wonderful sight of a hot-air balloon really close by.
,Neither of us is actually too well this week. Calv doesn’t seem to have shifted the cold he caught whilst in Ibiza, and I have definitely now caught it.
Despite this though we have loved our time back in Kent 🙂
We didn’t book anything before arriving but had a couple of sites in mind. Arriving at the 1st, at the end of a long narrow lane, we found the site deserted and nobody around or answering the phone. As there was nothing really giving us any reason to be desperate to stay we headed back to our 2nd choice, Hampton Bay, here in Herne Bay. The SatNav took us to the wrong place (into a private housing estate with very narrow, unadopted roads – not suitable really for the van – we had already unhooked the car, luckily). So we asked a postman who pointed us in the right direction and off we set (just in the van). What a lovely find! (I will be posting a review later).
Once settled we walked back to collect the car, and ended up exploring along the Herne seafront. Debbie, I found this picture of Edmund Reid (Whitechapel) – I didn’t realise he was real!! It looks like he retired to Herne Bay 🙂
The main photo is of one of the pebble, driftwood and shell sculptures that we found further up the promenade – they were really rather lovely.
I was really surprised to feel so at home when we stepped back into the van after flying in from Ibiza. It just goes to show how comfortable we are in the van. This is something that we don’t think people understand – we constantly have, very kind, offers of a room when we’re in home territory, as everyone seems to think we might like a break from the van. It’s very sweet of you to offer but we really are very happy and comfortable thank you (and we’ll soon ask if we want a room!!)
We were quite busy over the weekend, including helping our friends out so that they could stay on the same site as us on Saturday night. They had a courtesy car without a towbar so we towed their caravan for them…
Yes – we did get some looks!! (We didn’t, of course, use the little car on the road – that would be illegal..)
After a night out on Saturday we had a long lie-in which was desperately needed due to our self-inflicted ‘tiredness’.
On Tuesday we set off again for Herne Bay. However, the beauty of having no particular plans (i.e. bookings) is that you can change your mind whenever you want. In this case it was when we saw that Steve & Denise, who we had met in Spain, had finally returned to the UK and were staying overnight at a Caravan Club site on our route.