Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Holiday in France, The Journey Home

Tuesday, 6th October
Morag spent 10 days in the garage where some sort of repair has been carried out costing €1499! Looking at the worksheet from the garage it seems that the water pump, timing belts and glow plugs were replaced and the fuel injection was modified so that the "anti-vol" is disabled. Not what we expected but at least Morag starts reliably now.
I spent some of the past two weeks in the UK via Ryanair because of various appointments and events that had been arranged earlier, while Lyn stayed, with Button, at our friends' house in Villeneuve-lès-Béziers, and, after Morag's return on the 2nd October, in Morag at Boubals.
I flew back to Béziers today and Lyn met me at the airport. Back at Mostyn and Christine's in Boubals we had a simple evening meal in Morag followed by some more rugby watching with M & C.
Immodest Button relaxing in Morag!

Wedenesday, 7th October
We spent much of the morning getting Morag ready for our journey north tomorrow. Andy and Sue collected us to go for lunch at "Au Fil de l'Aire" with Chris and Caroline, the couple who had purchased our house in Lamalou. After another good lunch and chat we went back to Boubals to finish getting Morag ready. I did a trial engine start with no problems.
At Au Fil de l'Aire with, Sue, Andy, Caroline and Chris

For our last evening in Boubals, M & C had invited us to supper along with many of their friends from the local walking and social group, Lou Recantou. Thirteen sat down for a supper of Bobotie, followed by gateau and fruit tart.

Thursday, 8th October
We said goodbye to Mostyn and Christine and left Boubals at 10:15 calling at the vets to get Button her required pre-travel treatment.
We began our journey home by climbing up to and along the Escandorge ridge. The light and the views were superb.We joined the A75 at Le Caylar and headed north. We stopped for a cuppa at the Millau Bridge and Lyn took over the driving as we headed on towards Clermont Ferrand.
Approaching the Millau Bridge

George, driving across the bridge
Lyn, after the stop at the Millau Bridge aire

La Butte de Suèges, north of Millau


Tunnel de Montjézieux

There were several roadworks and contraflows on the A75 which caused us no problems until, shortly before the main services in Lozère, Lyn dozed off and drifted over the cones on the offside! We pulled over into the services and realised that one of the cones was wedged under the bodywork. It was very difficult to remove but I managed after a while but found that it had damaged the step which now won't open properly. We had a strong cup of coffee at the Aire!
I took over the driving and we reached the campsite, "Camping Municipale de Chanset" near Ceyrat, with no further incidents. We were allocated a pitch at the site which had a lamp post half way along the front which made access quite tricky. There were plenty of other, more easily accessible pitches. We had a much needed G&T and Lyn cooked a chicken stir-fry for our evening meal.

Friday, 9th October
We set off again at about 9:30. We stopped for fuel and lunch near Vierzon then took the amazingly straight D road as far as La-Ferté-St-Aubin. Near Chartres and Dreux we hit heavy evening traffic that slowed our progress. We eventually reached "Camping Etangs de Marsalin" at Vert-en-Dronais at about 6 pm. The campsite was small, with many resident families, but the owner was very welcoming and friendly.
Morag, George and Button at Camping Etangs de Marsalin

Saturday, 10th October
We had a fairly leisurely start as we had decided that yesterday was too long a day and we would just make for a campsite near Wissant, staying overnight before getting the ferry on Sunday. We made steady progress towards Rouen stopping at a McDonalds so that we could use their wifi. This is one of the only two good things about McDonalds, the other being their clean and well-maintained loos! Unfortunately, we managed to choose the only McDonalds in the world with no working wifi! The loos were OK though.
We reached the campsite, "Camping La Vallée" at Hervelinghen in early afternoon. The campsite is smart with good facilities, large grass pitches and an attached bar. We used the wifi at the bar to catch up with emails (and have a beer).

Sunday, 11th October
We sorted out Morag for the final phase of our journey back to the UK and left for the ferry port before 9:30. It was an easy and quick journey along the autoroute to Dunkirk where we booked in for the noon ferry. We had breakfast in Morag while we waited in the queue.
Waiting for embarkation

We arrived in Dover at 1:30 UK time, about 30 minutes late. The journey to Bob and Lucy's house in Kings Sutton was uneventful but the traffic was very heavy, as usual, on the M25.
After a nice salmon and pasta supper and a family chat, we watched France vs. Ireland in the Rugby World Cup. Ireland won quite convincingly. We slept in Morag on the road outside the house.

Monday, 12th October
We had breakfast with Lucy and Rowan, our granddaughter, then drove to Kenilworth to visit Lyn's sister Gillian for a coffee. We finally got back to Leek at 2:30 and, after a very welcome cup of tea, set about emptying everything out of Morag and sorting out 5 weeks washing!

Friday, 2 October 2015

Morag returns

Friday October 2nd
Well, Lyn has collected Morag from the Peugeot garage. It now starts without any problem but we aren't yet sure quite what the garage has done. Apparently he did some work on the fuel injection system which allows the car to start even without an "anti-vol" device (immobiliser), but hasn't done the job that we wanted, which was to replace the anti-vol. He still charged us the full €1500 though. The French are SO frustrating!