So off we go again. This time it’s to be 5 weeks touring those parts of Eastern France we’ve never fully seen before.
Although we began this new journey a week ago, I’ve only just got round to writing about it. My plan is to enjoy blogging without it distracting from the enjoyment of the trip, so let’s see how we get on.
On Day One we were supposed to make some serious progress through France in a South-easterly direction. However, due to our refusal to use toll roads, given our lack of time-constraints, we found ourselves on our favourite backroads. This meant ambling along at our new top speed of 80kph (previously 90kph, before the speed limits changed). I’d convinced myself that 80kph would drive us onto the toll roads, but actually it’s a surprisingly comfortable speed on our preferred roads, although it is interesting to note that not all the French have fully accepted this new limit.
This has been a long way of saying that we didn’t really get that far on our first day. We ultimately found ourselves a little North-East of Le Mans, which I appreciate is not a massive journey on fast roads. We knew of a couple on the same boat as us that morning, who were sat in their Bruges hotel by the time we’d stopped for the night.
Another feature of this first day was the very small amount of photos taken. Clearly Sophie hadn’t got into her normal frenzy of clicking yet, which I’ll put down to her being virtually forced out of her bed at 6ish that morning, a time of day she is not overly acquainted with.
As is a normal feature of a first day, we winged it a bit, driving off the boat with a rough idea of the general direction we’d be driving, but that was the extent of the planning we’d undertook. Even my SatNav wasn’t fully loaded with the usual vast array of possible stop-off points, but that was remedied later in the day, as I felt a bit like I was driving blind. So our lunch break was a chance discovery of a modest motorhome stop in the small village of Juvigny-sous-Andaine, where we had the place to ourselves and a very impressive view across the countryside.
Given the fact that I’m now writing about something we did a week ago, I’m very dependant on Sophie’s photos to prompt my memory. Even the photo from Juvigny rang no bells with me at all and Sophie had to remind me about the place.
All I can say about the rest of the day was that it was a very lovely drive, but the photos move from one at lunchtime to the rest at our final stop for the night, so sorry about that.
Anyway, Gamages proved to be an excellent night stop. Using our trusty Park4night app, we found a small country carpark that served a dolmen in a forest, our ideal sort of overnighting place, ie away from civilisation, in the country, very quiet, and no neighbours. Sophie may not have slept very well that first night, but it was a great venue, and I’ll put her difficulty in sleeping down to being so excited to be on a new trip, and being somewhat overwrought from being up so early and all those hours travelling.
We survived Day One, and were very much looking forward to the adventures to come.