Adriers August 1st – 3rd

We had our first outing to try out the Hymer, keeping close to home in case of problems. 

The site details are here together with many photographs.

We stayed only two nights but will be happy to return in the future, just when the weather is not so hot.

A few snags were evident:

  • the catch on the overbed roof vent is broken
  • the grey waste decided to leak all over the aire
  • the bathroom door decided to lock me in 

Apart from these niggles,  the van is pleasing us. The over cab bed is surprisingly comfortable and the lounge seating area is very much so. The table, which I had initially liked for its size and sturdiness, is as big  pain as other B524 owners have mentioned. It makes getting in and out of the bench seats very difficult and because it doesn’t fold flat it cannot be stowed out of the way.

I particularly enjoyed the good fly screens on the windows and life was more comfortable than at home, with so many flies annoying us.

We attempted no cooking, so reserve judgement on the kitchen facilities. We were however impressed that the fridge kept up, with internal temperatures in the van exceeding 35°C and the van  not parked completely level. Also impressive was that internal temperatures remained tolerable  despite the heat outside. The breeze moving through the large windows was a great help but we think that there must also be excellent insulation.

As for Adriers – the presence of a leisure lake with fishing and swimming, plus a bar in the town doing a 4 course Menu de Jour with wine for €12, all topped off with many miles of good walking… We will be back for sure.

Our next anticipated trip will take us a little further afield, to the far side of Poitiers. A vineyard stay, a brewery trip and a good meal should all add up to an excellent break. Before we go we will hpe to fix some of  the snags with the van and civilise Cat, such that she may join us.

Snail Spaces: Camping de la Maye (Caravan Site)

A peaceful caravan site on the edge of Rue, conveniently located opposite a Carrefour supermarket and a short stroll into town. Rue is another pretty town, though not in the same league as nearby Montreuil.

The site is ACSI approved and a member of the ACSI Camping Card discount scheme. Touring pitches are interspersed between static caravans and are on grass, which is not particularly level or smooth but are pleasantly screened by hedges.

The whole site has an air of gentle neglect, with the grass being quite lengthy and the hedges not in the least manicured. This is not necessarily a bad thing in my book… so long as the important facilities are in good shape.

Electricity is 6amp. We paid 30 Euros after discount for two nights with a dog plus a 3 Euro Tourist Tax.

The facilities block looks smart enough at an initial glance  but a broken skylight and damaged floor in the dishwashing area might be taken as hinting to a general lack of upkeep.

There are separate Male and Female facilities, with special provision for Disabled and Babies. External dishwashing facilities and a laundry room with one washer and one dryer. Both are sturdy high capacity machines. A wash is 5 Euros, with detergent supplied and a dry cycle costs 4 Euros. My washing took 36 minutes. The dryer gave more than the 30 minutes that we were told when we enquired. I think perhaps more like 45 minutes. Sufficient to dry a king size flannelette duvet cover with two pillowcases and some othe ritems. really dry. Snuff dry. My best ever camp site drying experience in fact, so perhaps not as expensive as it at first seemed to be.

Showers are push button delivery. The water was just about hot enough. The shower trays are sunken within the cubicle but there is no curtain to protect clothes and shoes from wetting, just a narrow screen which offers a shelf for toiletries. The floor became very wet and with nowhere to sit down, it was impossible to dress without getting trousers soggy,

The toilets are of a seatless type and somewhat off-putting to an English bottom. Toilet paper is not provided so be sure to take your own supplies. The toilets themselves were badly stained and not at all pleasant to those of  us used to squeaky clean club sites.

Dogs on lead on site but there is a green lane close by where we could exercise Nell off the lead. In town there is a green avenue by the Lycee where she could also have a good play.

Last Visited: September 2017 (unlikely to return)

 

Snail Spaces: Montreuil-sur-Mer (Aire)

An 8-pitch purpose built Aire with hard standing and attractive planting is situated just outside the town wall in a quiet residential area and adjacent to the car park that supplies the Motorhome servicing via a single borne and a superloo.  The car park was previously the Aire and now acts as an overflow area as the location is an extremely popular one. There were over two dozen vehicles in total on our first night.

 

the overflow on Saturday morning

The car park does double duty as the school bus station and there are large and clear signs prohibiting Motorhomes in the  car park between 16:00 and 18:00 hours and at lunchtime on Wednesdays.

They mean this!

It is easy to see why there is a prohibition, there are large numbers of children milling around and perhaps 8 buses using the space, Yet so many drivers seem to find themselves immune to the notice.

On both days that we were on the Aire we saw the local Gendarme turning vans off the car park. Where drivers were not at home, tickets were issued.

The Aire is a short stroll from the main square in town, where Bars, Boulangeries, Charcuteries etc. abound. There is a Carrefour Contact store and a wonderful Fromagerie. We found a Launderette within lugging distance and a lovely Salon du Thè specialising in marvellous patisserie.  There is a Saturday market in the square and this also applies pressure to the overflow parking area.

I could happily have stayed forever but the Aire is restricted to 48 hours parking.

Free but drinking water costs 2 Euros.

Last visited September 207

 

Snail Spaces: Les Vergers de Brunembert (France Passion)

Les Vergers de Brunembert is a small Orchard and Dairy farm, producing cider and cheese products. Up to five vans can be accommodated in a small orchard area, parked beneath the trees. A farm shop is open 09:00 to 19:00 seven days a week. Some English is spoken and a warm welcome given.

The location is highly rural and  very quiet. The farm itself is very pretty.

Our spot for the night was in a small orchard, parked beneath the apple trees, where we were joined later by a van from Belgium.

We bought Cider and Cheese for our supper

There was plenty of walking on quiet lanes for Nell. 

In the morning we returned to the shop to say goodbye and to purchase some honey.

 

Snail Spaces: Le Moulin Wibert Boulogne-sur-Mer (Aire)

Municipally-run, the Aire at Boulogne is situated on the clifftop. The whole site runs down the hill and seemingly all of the pitches are on a tilt. Many ramps were in evidence. 

Vincent at Boulogne

One bourne, in a layby on the site road system.

The site is divided by hedges into small areas taking a handful of vans. The hedges provide good screening from the wind. 

We found it pleasant. Not noisy despite proximity to road. Very busy, with motorhomes coming and going all day long. Caravans strictly not permitted – and this is enforced.

Dog walking on the cliff.

Friterie across the road,

Nearby Friterie. Chips not bad. Mayo, delicious!

Bread delivery at 09:00 (in season).

Bus service into town (Beethoven line)

Last visited: september 2017 €7 per night for first 48 hrs), €9 thereafter.

Camper Contact: 12572

 

 

 

Snail Spaces: Cité Europe

There is an area of car park outside Carrefour at Cité Europe that has the height bar removed. It is signed for motorhomes, which by convention are permitted to park overnight for sleeping purposes. The location is ideal for those coming or going on the shuttle at early or late hours.

The location is extremely popular, do not expect to be alone there.

The car park is very well lit and did not feel unsafe in any way. There was surprisingly little overnight noise though some loud hammering at 4:30 am was a little surprising and quite unwelcome.

The supermarket opens at 09:00 and we went over to get some supplies. Most of the small shops and eateries do not open until 10:00 but we found a takeaway with a few tables where we had a croissant and coffee for breakfast before engaging with our wallets.

Last Visit: September 2017