Sunday 29 July 2018

Piccadilly Camping, Lacock (Again)

Another weekend trip to the rather good Piccadilly Camping at Lacock.  As it's a long way, we stayed the previous night at the Travelodge at Hellingly with dinner and a few drinks at the White Hart in Lower Horsebridge.

Early start the following morning and soon on the road, with a stop at Nick the Butchers to get BBQ supplies.  GPS was warning of traffic problems on the M25 so routed us a different way.  Also spotted lots of road closure signs for Prudential Ride London cycle event on the Sunday - the day we were coming back.  Soon hit the traffic and crawled onto the M25 where it crawled again for miles to the M3 junction.  After that it cleared.

We arrived at Lacock some two hours later than expected due to the heavy traffic. 


Parked up at Lacock

Soon were booked in and got the BBQ fired up.  Another very hot and sunny day.  Clouds were starting to gather as I walked into Lacock to have a pint or two at the Red Lion pub

Following morning, a late breakfast and laze around in the sunshine. 


Few clouds around and it even started to rain - soon it was plonking it down.  When the rain calmed down, we all headed off to the Red Lion for a few glasses and some food.


Lacock and the Red Lion Pub

Rained overnight so things were a bit wet when packing up the following morning.  Breakfast then on the road again.  M4 was a bit busy and warnings came up about the M3, M25 and the M23.  A lot of roads were closed due to Ride London, the weather was terrible with heavy rain and strong winds so soon the traffic jams started.  Miles of solid traffic on the M3 and M25, then we hit the M23.  Even worse due to weather and the roadworks and the surrounding road closures.

Finally got there, parked up and headed for the White Hart again for a bite to eat, then back to Bromley.

Terrible traffic, heavy rain but Piccadilly Campsite is really good and Lacock is always nice to visit.

I'll be back again sometime.

Saturday 14 July 2018

Loire, Brittany and Tour de France

This was a trip primarily to see two stages of the Tour de France in Brittany.  As getting Hebe to Dover takes a while we stayed at a nearby Travelodge with dinner and a few drinks at the White Hart in Lower Horsebridge.  Early start the following morning and off to Dover.


On the Ferry

Final destination was the Loire Valley but traffic in Rouen was bad so didn't arrive till after midnight.  Very long and tiring journey.  Don't think I'd do a journey in Hebe this long again.


Parked up in the Val du Loir

After a few days to recover it was a couple of hours driving to Camping Le Deffay at Saint Reine de Bretagne on the route of the Tour de France.


Camping Le Deffay

As we got closer to the Tour route, the decorations started to appear.  Also the parking spaces were beginning to fill up with Camper Vans and Motorhomes.  Soon set up at the Campsite and ready for the race the following day. I needed to visit the shops to get supplies so cycled part of Stage 4 of the Tour de France


Tour de France – Stage 4 at Saint Reine de Bretagne

In the morning it was bit of a walk to the road, so claimed a space at the side of the road as the roads closed at 11:30.  Deck chairs set up and a box of wine in the coolbag ready for the couple of hours until the Tour de France passed by.  There were various race cars and police on the road before the Caravan turned up This was a spectacle of floats and decorated vehicles from the sponsors of the Tour - basically an advertising campaign but great fun as they starting throwing items to the spectators. 



About 45 mins later the cyclists turned up.  There was a breakaway group followed by the Peleton.  There were going really fast and tightly bunched together and passed within a few inches.  Then it was all over, pack up and back to Hebe for a refreshing glass or two before heading to the campsite restaurant for dinner.


Camping Le Deffay was OK but is was a bit too "English" for my liking.  I don't see any particular reason to go back there.

Following morning off to Camping de la Rivière d'Argent at Huelgoat.  As before, set up ready for the race the following morning.


Camping de la Rivière d'Argent

This time it was a short walk to the route and were soon set up in a shady spot.  This was more French and the (French) party next to us invited us to sample what they were drinking - still don't know what it was but it was certainly potent.  Better organised this time with a picnic as well.  As before the Caravan came along but was a bit more spread out as it was further from the start. 


The whole thing seemed to develop a bit of a party atmosphere with the campsite owner turning up to wave at the helicopters. 


Again a breakaway then the Peleton and this time they were going even faster as it was a slight down hill.  Some people started moving away, then the second stage of the Peleton came along.  Again the speed they travel at while bunched tightly together is quite something.


That evening, the Campsite had laid on a dinner of Sangria and roast pig.  Before this, I cycled into Huelgoat to get some cash and to ride a bit of Stage 6.  On the way back I lost my Fitbit but despite searching i couldn't find it.

Dinner was great washed down with the bottle or two of wine.  I liked this campsite, there was a good atmosphere, Huelgoat and the forest around it is a very scenic area and it's a very nice place.  I would go back here.



Huelgoat and the Enchanted Forest

Following morning, pack up and head back to the Loire Valley - a four hour drive.

Following morning a very early start for the drive to Calais.  Despite driving fast (and using a lot of fuel) we only made the Ferry as it was running a bit late.  Too close for comfort.  Then it was drive from Dover to Hailsham, park Hebe up, get out the car and drive back to Bromley.  Again a very long day and not something I would probably do again.

Tour de France was great.  Fantastic atmosphere and quite a spectacle.  I'll be back....

Hopefully next year they will have stages in Northern France.

Veulettes sur Mer

This was Hebe's first trip on the Newhaven - Dieppe ferry route.  Much easier to get to than Dover or Portsmouth. We stayed in a Sheph...