Goodbye England, Bonjour France! Motorhome Life Starts Now!

The day I have been preparing for and anticipating for 6 months has finally arrived! This morning I left the UK and I’ve now started my new life – travelling France in a motorhome 🙂

An early start

Last night I was so tired after having had several nights of very poor sleep that I went to bed at 9.20, and thankfully I slept very well. I was up at 6am which gave me plenty of time to tweak my route for the day and to get everything ready for the journey.

Getting to the tunnel was uneventful and I was very early so they put me on the 10.36am train instead of the 11.50am. In hindsight it’s just as well as I didn’t actually arrive at my final destination until 6pm, so if I had been on the right train, I would have got here quite late!

A friendly goat that I met on an industrial estate in France! Yes, really 🙂

A long, slow drive with a near miss!

I had an incident when I was in Rouen. I wasn’t actually supposed to be right in the middle of it, but I’m going to save that for another blog post as it will probably be best expressed with a video!

Aside from that, the drive was fine but very slow going in places. Naggy does not like hills, even very slight ones and when I’m on a long autoroute going uphill it will eventually slow down to 40mph and I’ll have to drop into 4th gear.

As a result, the whole journey took way longer than I expected and I did not arrive until 6pm (French time) – around 2 hours later than planned.

4 days to the South

I had started to work out the details of my route yesterday. At first I was planning to do it in 3 days but when I looked closer at where I would stay each day, and how much driving would be involved, I decided to make it 4 days.

Considering how long I’ve been driving today, that was a good decision for me! Some people will drive all day and all evening but I find it too tiring. I was pretty tired when I arrived at 6, but I feel a bit better now I’ve had some fresh air, some water (I didn’t drink enough en route) and some time to chill.

For the next 3 days, my maps say I’ll be doing around 4 hours driving. Taking into account the speed of the motorhome, that might push to 5 or so but that’s still a pretty relaxed pace.

The Aire

I saw a great many Aires along the autoroute. I stopped at a couple but they were nothing but car parks (full of trucks) with a toilet. Useful when I just needed to stretch my legs and get some air but not somewhere to stop overnight.

For tonight I’ve chosen an Aire which has electric hookup, full motorhome services, and a locked entry barrier for security. I will most probably be staying at these kinds of Aires for the next few days.

You need to swipe a security card to get in, for which you must pay of course!

The location is not great – it’s a small industrial estate. So, no nice views. However, it’s quiet! I have been staying on an incredibly busy road for a few weeks where the traffic never stops, not even in the middle of the night.

It’s nice to finally have some peace! When I got here it was empty and now there is one other motorhome. I think these kinds of Aires are not usually crowded in the off season because they cost a bit more.

All alone at my Aire for the night.

One very random thing I encountered here though is a very friendly family of goats! You’ve already seen dad in the pic above, but you gotta check out the little baby! I spotted them as I drove in and I walked over to say hello.

The little goat family 🙂

They were adorable and I took a few minutes of video – you should really watch it if you like baby goats lol 🙂

What’s next?

Over the next three days I will be heading down to the south coast, near Montpellier. I won’t go right into it as it’s another big city which I dislike. All I really have on my agenda other than getting there is to get myself hooked up with a French gas bottle.

Other than that, I will chill, and catch up with some work. I’m not going to do blog posts and videos every day as that would be too much but I’ll probably do one in a few days.

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