France Loire Valley 2017
As last year its about three weeks before we go, we are booked in for a week at Les Alicourts Resort in a mobilehome. As last year we are booked to go with young Ralph and his girlfriend Fran but this time taking Amber with us, so we need my car this time. Also with us this time are Fran's daughter and her family, in another car of course. As last year we are going through the tunnel to save time, so we got Eurotunnel tickets with the booking, the whole thing cost around £451 for all of us, in my car that is. I am driving in England and young Ralph is taking over in France to drive down to the Loire, well that is our plan anyway.
Fri 2nd to Mon 12th of June
Day One, Friday 2nd June
We were all sorted and set of to Fran's just after eleven in the morning (the Tunnel tickets were for early tomorrow morning). On the way down, we stopped off in Thirsk and popped into Spoons for our dinner, we both had the all day breakfast, we were just too late for the normal breakfast.
From there we drove on to Fran's but didn't get the car packed until just before we left next day. Amber was already there and later Fran got home from work. Early that night Ralph and I popped out for a couple of drinks before going back for a pizza take away. We were setting off at about 01:30, so Ralph went to bed fairly early, he had decided he was driving for some reason. The rest of us went not too long after but still only got a couple of hours sleep.
Day Two, Saturday 3rd June
Got up at at 01:00 and set off around 01:30, with it being that early the roads were nice and quiet. One problem on the way down was near Cambridge, where we were diverted because of road works. The car just cutout as we turned, eventually after about a minuet (it did seem much longer), it started again and was alright the rest of the way. It has done this once before last year, when we travelled more than one hundred miles, we have not travelled that far for a while.
Arrived early for the crossing but only had time to go to the toilet before our number was called through to the train. The others had not arrived at the tunnel yet and when they did, going to the toilet meant that they missed the train.
It was after seven when we arrived in France but we just drove to the first petrol station to wait for the others off the next train.
The drive through France took quite some time as the others, Tim and Zoe, were having overheating problems with their car. We eventually arrived arrived at Les Alicourts Resort at about three and booked straight in, well as soon as we found the reps.
We decided we could survive until Monday by just getting a few things from the site shop or by using the takeaway. So that meant we could just relax and start drinking.
We wandered over to the pool and bar for a look around and had a beer in the bar, we actually sat inside as it was a bit cold on that first day. On the walk back we got food and beer from the site shop, we even got chips from the cafe, to have with the sandwiches we had left from the travelling down.
One surprise that first day was that there was only going to be Me, Dot and Amber in our van, Ralph and Fran where staying with the others in the other van.
Day Three, Sunday 4th June
Today I though I would get the satellite working but I couldn't get any reception for the trees and then the tripod broke, so I just gave up.
I let the others wander of to the pool while I had a rest, my hart was ok but it was only a couple of weeks since it last went funny. I just sat and read my book in the sun, one change this year was that I was using an iPad for my book for the first time. It worked well, looks like this is the way to do it, it took up a lot less space than several books would.
Eventually though Ralph texted me to say that he was in the bar so I set off over to see him in there. We sat in the hot sun with a couple of Amstel's but two was the most I could do and changed to Edelweiss for the next one. Dot and Fran noticed Me and Ralph in the bar and joined us for a couple before we wandered back via the shop to get food for tea.
Tim did the BBQ cooking for tea, as that's what he wanted to do, so that was a nice rest for me. I did do the chips in our oven though. Then we just sat out after eating until it was time for bed.
Day Four, Monday 5th June
Today the men went off for the shopping to Aubigny-sur-Nère, it was about 25k each way and we spent about €160, quite a lot but we did get lots of beer. Tim also found a Tabac for some tobacco but had to queue for ages. I took this photo while we were waiting.
When we arrived back it was dinner time, so we had something to eat and then made our way over to the pool area. Where we spent the rest of the day, Me and Ralph in the bar and the rest in the pool. Eventually Dot and Fran joined us for a couple.
Back at the van I cooked supper for us all, we had pizza and chips, not special but easy, and we had plenty of beers to try, well I did.
Day Five, Tuesday 6th June
Time for a day out, so we all set off to Orléans, it was a little bit overcast today anyway. We drove straight to Orléans via the A71 and parked in a multistory in the town centre. Ones we found the others (we got split up in the car park), we headed of to find the Cathedral.
It wasn't far from the car park, we just followed the tram lines up to the Cathedral and all went in for a good look around. When we came out we wandered around the outside, just as we finished it started to rain so we popped into the Musée des Beaux Arts Orléans (Musée des Beaux Arts Orléans, cost me and Dot €3.00 each to get in as old age pensioners, I think the others payed twice as much. We were in there for about an hour and when we came out it was sunny.
We walked down to the river but the weather started to change again, so we didn't stop long and wandered back to the car park, to set off back to the site.
We took the D2020 on the way back instead of the A71 and stopped off when we passed a Chateau, the Château de la Ferté Saint-Aubin. We had our sandwiches in the car park next to the Château, before we walked over for a look.
We all called into the Supermarket a Intermarché Super, in Lamotte-Beuvron on the way back, for some fire lighters for the BBQ. But the others had stopped at a garage in town and got some. We did all go into the Intermarché though and bought plenty more food and about three new beers.
That evening it pored down again and we had lasagna to eat.
Day Six, Wednesday 7th June
Today it was glorious and we did nothing at all, except go to the pool, the bar and had a BBQ. Although Tim was up early and off fishing in the lake, the rest of us just had a quiet morning, Me and Dot just reading. After lunch though we set off to see how Tim was doing, not too good but he was enjoying himself. Me, Dot Ralph and Fran went to the bar from there, big surprise.
Again Tim did the BBQ on the evening for us all.
Day Seven, Thursday 8th June
Today was going to be a day by the lake, so after a morning reading at the van we set of to see what the others were up to. They were sat by the lake with the little ones playing in the water. After a short while Me and Dot wandered off around the lake and out of the site, to look at the bridge just outside. Not that anyone knew it was there, well not with us anyway.
When we got back to the bar, Ralph was already in there and the others had moved into the pool area. I joined Ralph for a beer or two, and the girls joined us later.
Back at the van we had chicken and spaghetti for supper and we all had a fairly early night.
Day Eight, Friday 9th June
Well everyone was up early to go to Disney, that is all but me, I have been to Disney in Florida and didn't fancy it. Anyway they were all up on time and set off, it was about 220 km to Disney. None of the young ones knew they were going until the morning and they were very exited.
I had the full day on my own, read, sat in the sun (when there was some) and watched films. About seven I wandered over to the bar to ask if they had the football on tomorrow but they didn't, I only had the one beer and then walked back over to the van.
The others however did have a very good day and Dot took a camera with them.
So I thought I would put some photos on here.
Some more from Disney
And finally the parade.
That evening I was watching films from the laptop when I got a call to ask me to do some food for them getting back. It was very late as I cooked burgers for everyone and got some beers out for them. When they got back they were very tired but they had had a fantastic day.
Day Nine, Saturday 10th June
We should be off home today but we had booked an extra night on site so we had plenty of time to enjoy ourselves. I even went in the pool, not for long though, I had a couple of rides down the water slide but that was about it.
By about three thirty Me and Ralph were in the bar, its were we belong. I did keep taking photos though, some zooms to the top of the slide. Later we were joined by the others for a couple more beers, before heading back for the last BBQ.
The BBQ was nice and the kids seemed to be happy, shame it was the end of the holiday. The kids even got my camera and took the photos below, plus many, many more.
Then it was time for the football, we managed to get it on Ralph's iPhone, so the pair of us sat up close to the table and watched. It was England v Scotland, anyway we managed a draw but it was in the last second of the game.
Day Ten, Sunday 11th June
We were up early to get ready to leave, Tim and the others set of as early as they could, as their car was still overheating. We set off about two hours later and didn't have to rush at all, we even stopped for a picknick on the way back.
Again the car cutout a couple of times on the way back, that was about four times now, it did start each time but is was worrying. We did catch up to and pass Tim and family but they caught us on our first breakdown. The next time was just as we got to the tunnel but we managed to get it going again.
Back in England the car was ok, it took some time getting through the river Themes tunnel but as soon as we got out the traffic flowed ok. I took over driving somewhere near Cambridge and after dropping Amber off in Peterborough, it was strait back to Wath, where we stopped the night.
Day Eleven, Monday 12th June
Fran was up early and off to work, Me and Dot just took our time driving the rest of the way home. One thing was though, we drove home on one tank of petrol, that was 666 miles, we would have had to fill the van at least twice.
Well that was it, roll on next time.
By the way we got nearly 700 miles from that full tank before we filled it up the next day.