We’re now in ‘La Rochelle’, I love this place; I spent a week here when I originally lived in a van about 20 years ago.
We decide to eat some miles up for a couple of days, we’ve got great weather and better countryside, without wanting to sound like a pompous twat, I really enjoy seeing the pre-war architecture, the old houses with wooden frames are amazing, they just look so, well, French.
We decide to try the toll roads one day just to get to where we we’re going as quickly as we can. This day it absolutely hammers it down. I have never driven in such fierce rain. The wind screen wipers are on full and I still can’t see 6 feet in front of the bonnet. To add to it the gears are starting to crunch between 3rd & 4th, we decide to cut the journey short and find an aire nearby. There just so happens to be an Ikea close by too. As we still needed a couple of bits for the van we detour there for a couple of hours, home away from home, how sad is that?
The toll road costs 31 euros (!!!) and is horrible, not just the weather, but the motorway mind numbness you can get. I don’t think we will do the toll roads again; I’m enjoying the country roads too much, even if it does take a while longer. I have a quick look at the gear selectors and linkage on the van but can’t see anything obviously wrong, I have a funny feeling this is going to be a problem, me and gear boxes don’t always get on.
A couple of aires later and here we are in La Rochelle. We meet a lovely couple from Ireland, Austin & Jean, who have shared some great info about where to stay, Austin even gives us a print out of all the aires they have stayed at in various countries with his comments on each one. I’m well impressed with how organised he is.
|No idea what it is, lets climb on it!|
|Believe it or not, i had hair like Tom once|
The weather is still nice so we have a couple of days here. We cycle from the aire into La Rochelle which is an 8km ride, the cycle lanes are great and they hug the coast all the way, an absolutely beautiful ride.
We buy a baguette, some fromage, ham and tomatoes and sit on the harbour edge tucking in and watch life slip by. This is it, this has been what all the stress has been for, we’re only about 10 days abroad and I feel fully adjusted to this life style already, Tom is also just taking it in his stride. Beth & Rooster are still making little adjustments but I don’t think it will take long.
|Tom is in there somewhere|
The forecast is dubious for the next few days so we decide to head more south to Bordeaux, then off to Perpignon, it should be warmer down there.