To Brittany…and Beyond!…

04 Jun

With any luck, I should be picking Old Red up this Thursday! This relies on him being ready, and on my boss allowing me time off…and both could be major stumbling blocks, but I remain hopeful! Planning our future trips might be a bit ambitious seeing as I don’t have him yet, but my cousin, Lesley, is getting married in France at the end of July and so that means the opportunity for a European road-trip with my little sister, Steph. How could I say no?!

We’re going to Brittany, so the most sensible ferry option is Portsmouth to Saint-Malo (or similar)…but that’s also the most expensive ferry option. Just my luck! Dover to Calais is less than half the price, but it does mean that, once I’ve factored in detours, our 6 day trip is going to be somewhere in the region of 1,200 miles! I’m more than a little nervous, but I never really was one for the sensible options…

Redditch to La Fontenelle via Calais

We’re going to leave Dover at lunchtime on Wednesday 25th, and then travel down the coast, arriving in La Fontenelle on Friday for the wedding on Saturday. Then we’ll start heading back on Sunday morning to catch a ferry on either Tuesday or Wednesday (annual leave permitting!).

We’ve got a three hundred mile drive between La Fontenelle and Calais so it seems silly to travel the same route twice. On the way there we’ll travel down the coast (ish) and stop off at Bayeux and the beaches, but what are we going to do on the way back if not go through the same places? Steph said she wanted to see Paris and I said no to begin with, thinking it’d add hundreds of miles onto our journey and not really be worth our while. It turns out that it’ll only be an extra hundred miles of driving and we could be there by Sunday afternoon, giving us a day or two to explore. It’d be rude not to, really…

Redditch to La Fontenelle and back again…via Paris…as you do!

It’s really exciting but I’m scared on several counts…

I’ve never driven so far in my life…the most I’ve done in a day is the three-hundred miles from Bradford to Exeter. And this will be in a fairly unfamiliar vehicle and on roads where the traffic is all on the wrong side!

Breaking down is a very real possibility…and that could mean either missing the wedding or missing our return ferry. Stressful on both counts. I need to find out about breakdown recovery on the continent as well as buy a whole bunch of tools and a Haines manual!

Puke is also a very real possibility…Steph suffers from really bad travel sickness and I’m not very good on choppy water. With over twelve-hundred miles to travel we could have a problem on our hands! Hopefully, the fact that I’ll be driving like a snail with a limp will help Steph feel better, and at least we can pull over and brew a cuppa whenever we want one!

All we need to do now is sort out a few camp sites along the routes I’ve chosen and figure out the places we’d like to see once we get to Paris itself. It’s a list-maker’s dream and I think I’m going to enjoy the planning more than I’m going to enjoy the trip itself!!

I’d have liked to take Fletch with us, but it’s not even an option. Besides the fact that we’re attending a wedding and he’d probably trash my van if we left him alone for long enough, he is also lacking a passport. I’ve never gotten him one before because there wasn’t the opportunity to take him and you need to meet different specifications for each country you want to visit so there’s been no point getting his vaccinations done without a destination in mind. He’s already chipped, but it takes a few months to get all the necessary jabs and there’s less than two months to the wedding.

Besides all that, it seems like a hazardous enterprise really. I wouldn’t like to run the risk of being turned away at the port (on the wrong side) or Fletch being stuck in quarantine for six months! He’ll have to stick to the UK for the time being…


Posted by on June 4, 2012 in Camping, Travel


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

4 responses to “To Brittany…and Beyond!…

  1. Astrid | Pohutukawa PhotoGraphic

    June 4, 2012 at 2:06 am

    Sounds like a really exciting trip 🙂 You’ll be fine! You’ll do a few weekenders before the big trip so you’ll be over the teething issues and be 100% in love with your van.

  2. sariofthepie

    June 4, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Wow. Well jealous! Would the cost of additional petrol not balance out the cost of the more expensive ferry?

    • onegirlandacampervan

      June 7, 2012 at 11:04 pm

      It was going to cost around £350, while Dover-Calais was only £100…but that’s all moot now…I’m being very slow writing the latest update!


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