Wednesday, 30 September 2009

The Snails do France in a Motorhome

THE FIRST IN A SERIES OF ENTERTAINING ARTICLES BY GUEST BLOGGER "MRS SNAIL" ON HER "FIRST TIME" IN FRANCE IN A MOTORHOME

FRANCE IS EASY!! There! I have said it, because it was. We wanted to go to France but, I was worried about all the sleeping motorhomer’s who have been gassed and robbed. I was worried about all the motorhomer’s who had been stopped by bogus officials and robbed. I was worried about all the other nasty things that I had heard of happening to motorhomer’s. I was scared that any of these bad things might happen to us, in a foreign land far away from home. But I needn’t have been.

We have just returned from 2½ brilliant weeks in the most motorhome friendly country in Europe. As well all the worrying, I did a lot of Planning and Preparation which, as I often tell Mrs. AvailablePitch, Prevents Poor Performance. So I will share my planning with you and hopefully if your motorhome wheels have not as yet touched foreign soil, you will have the confidence to go. As go you must.

We knew we wanted to go the first two weeks in June as it was a significant birthday. We knew we wanted to go to Epernay (for some Champagne-tasting), and the Ile de Re off the west coast, via the Loire region. France is a big country with huge distances to cover, so firstly, you need to establish where you want to go. If you do not have to go during school holidays, avoid the period end of June to end of August, as this is when all of France goes on holiday and it will be busy in the popular areas.

We checked out the ferry costs and found that booking with the Caravan Club was best for us. We booked Dover/Dunkirk with Norfolk Line and upgraded for half price to the Executive Lounge. Early booking is recommended to get the best deals. Our sailing out was at 0600 hrs Thursday, returning mid-day on a Friday. With that booking we received the Clubs’ book of recommended sites, from which we booked one near to Dunkirk for the night before our return sailing. We also booked our Recovery Insurance with the Club, just in case. Camping Cheques are also available; you pay a set price in £’s which covers your site fees, inc 2 adults, and can use them at listed sites off-peak. Details are in a book supplied by the Club. We didn’t use these so I can’t comment on them.

So the plan was starting to come together………….

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