He’s gone

Vincent has now been sold and returned to the UK.

Tomorrow the house becomes ours. We have some more French red tape to deal with after that and then will be free to begin viewing potential replacement motorhomes. Hopefully we will soon have news of a new snail shell and plans for trips around France. We really want to get off to somewhere new in the Autumn – possibly Champagne.

If you have a nice French-plated LHD moho currently for sale in France, why not let us know what you have on offer. We might be able to get together.

As for updating the blog, we do now have at least a dining table and chairs to sit at the table. So the laptop can come out and I can do some work at last. Things will be even better once the desk arrives. Connection and bandwidth remain issues for the time being.

Off the road

Just the briefest of catchups after a long silence.

We have been off the road since the 13th April, when moved into our rented property. Within days the brakes failed on the van. They are now fixed but we have also bought  a car. Vincent is now for sale. Serious enquiries invited.

Vincent cannot be replated here and the insurance will be invalidated once we become French residents rather than holidaymakers and so we need to part with him with some urgency,

Very sad to be parting with him. We have had some tremendous times together.

Two Snails will come back to life probably after we have said goodbye to the Roadtrek and then bought something far more boring (and acceptable to the French Government). In the meantime, I do hope to add some more details of our recent and not so recent travels.


Tonight we are in Montmorillon, the town that is closest to our new home in Lathus. it has poured with rain almost constantly since we arrived but we managed to get out and about for a first look. I even grabbed a few photos when the rain slowed to a drizzle…

It’s not often that we see an Indian restaurant in France. This one must be put to the test asap.

Like Hay and Wigtown, Montmorillon is a Book Town

The route into the Cité

La Gartempe

Ornamentation on the bridge… Book Town is everywhere

A peek into a very good looking restaurant ( we might try it out tomorrow)

Book Town

The Glass Key sells English Language books and is the ideal representation of a second hand book shop. It even has a ginger cat

In the Cité

These hand made screens attracted my eye (and reminded me of my school days!)

Amazing roof line.



Airvault Gallery

Yes, I am doing remarkably badly at the blog catchup thing but do not believe that I have no intention of filling the gaps. I just need time and space.

We have reached Airvault, apparently at the same time as Spring,  and are staying on a caravan site just outside the town. Nell is very happy here as there is ample off-the-lead walking for her and this in turn makes us happy too. Walks are a more pleasant task when the dog can run freely.

We are at Camping de Courte Vallèe, a former municipal site now owned by an English couple. The municipal leisure facilities here are a change from the usual swimming pool and football pitch neighbours. No, here we have a country park! Just out of the gate, a little way down a traffic free lane, and over the river and hey presto, doggy heaven.

After Nell’s morning walk today we ventured into town for lunch. It was raining but I took the camera anyway. Here are a few of the results.

Click any image for a larger view. Once viewed large try the PREVIOUS IMAGE arrow on the right of the screen to navigate to the next image in large size. Crazy, I know, but it works.

We move on to Montmorillon tomorrow and then back to Lathus for a while. There is no hookup at Lathus so the  laptop will stay in the cupboard – no updates expected whilst we are there. Instagram is the best to be expected.

Nous avons retourné

After a lengthy hiatus during which we returned to the UK, we are now back on our travels in France.

We left Yorkshire for Calais on Friday (a day early to avoid forecast snow) and stayed over at Cité Europe. Yesterday we changed plans and instead of going to the Aire at St Valery we drove over towards Abbeville and came to a site (Camping Château des Tilleuls) in order to have use of the laundry.  The site looked promising with the canalside walk along the Somme not far away. Poor Nell has been on leashed exercise for weeks now and really needs a good run so we hoped to do some long walks.

The weather is bitterly cold so I cannot claim to be too disheartened that the road outside is not at all suitable for walking! I can however bemoan my luck, once again in carefully selecting a site and paying for its facilities only to find the facilities are not in use. The laundry room door is screwed tightly shut and I am walking around in very dirty clothes. Not for the first time, as regular readers will know. I have very bad luck with laundry rooms.

I am very aware that the blog is in a real mess with months of catching up to do. I keep promising to sort it out but life takes over. How about I begin with a small ambition to make a few notes on what we got up to in the UK?

Tomorrow we think we will go to Honfleur, where the Aire has a few electric hookups. Should we be lucky enough to get one of those, I will try hard to make those UK notes tomorrow evening.

It is time to draw a line in the blog; maybe restructure. our life is changing and our travelling habits will be changing too, now that France has become our base.

Just for now, all that I am doing is waving hello and saying “We are still here don’t go away!”

Real Time Update 12th February

Blog Paralysis still reigns supreme but there is now a chance of catching up as we are stationary for a while.

The real reason that we flogged North was that we needed to be closer to the UK and closer to an airport with UK flights. We combined that with a perceived desire to revisit Limousin to see if we really wanted to live there as it had been possibly our favourite area on the trip down. We knew that there were flights to the UK from Limoges and so we mapped out a route to the area.

It was only when Mr Snail spotted a property advert that appealed to us both that we changed direction just a little and found ourselves in Vienne rather than Haute-Vienne. To be precise, we fetched up in Bussière-Poitevine, where we stayed for a couple of nights before needing to leave due to the borne being out of action. Thus we landed in nearby Lathus (more properly named Lathus Saint-Rémy) at the recommendation of our estate agent, and a lovely wee place it is too. A very neat and tidy aire with tree-lined bays for 8 vans sits by the side of a quiet road, with a park across the road complete with small (fishable) pond. The Village has two boulangeries, one of which is also a glacièr and chocolatier. There is also a small SPAR shop and other necessities catered for. Result!

Vincent on the aire at Lathus

Importantly, Lathus has a railway link to Poitiers so when the expected need to return to the UK arose Mr Snail was able to make the journey by train, leaving me, Nell and Vincent on the aire in safety and with convenience at hand. No EHU admittedly and no showers but at least I can get food and that is a big plus. So long as the sun keeps shining we have solar power and I can pass my time getting the blog up to date.

Today’s featured photo is from the walk that Nell and I took today. Happily the village is surrounded by a network of waymarked routes so walking is plentiful and safe. Better still, no sign of pine trees, pine moth or pesky processionary caterpillars. It is good to be free of that worry.

We can wholeheartedly recommend this aire, which will only score more highly when the village bar reopens shortly. (If it matters, it is going to be under English ownership.)

I have posts written on the road to inject here and the Two Snails Time Machine will be hopping all over for a while. I’ll post them under posting date for a while for the benefit of regular readers but later will move them into proper sequence  to avoid confusion for newer readers.

This blog is about our travels so I will document the house search elsewhere, for now I’ll just say that Bussière and Lathus will be our nearest small towns when we settle and that the house purchasing process has begun. Our time as full-timers has been much shorter than expected but we feel okay with that and perceive several benefits in having a little pied-à-terre.