10. May, 2016

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SUNDAY 08-05-16

We had a lovely hot shower in the motorhome this morning, this set us up for the day as well as using up some of the water we had dragged along with us. Unfortunately after breakfast I had a wander around the vehicle and spotted that we were leaking waste water on to the road. I had to conclude that it was due to the Chef seeing me back too far last night and the kerbstone catching the waste pipe under the vehicle. Never mind these things happen.

We dropped down to the water dumping area, got rid of what hadn't already leaked out and then pulled over to the side to perform an repair operation so skilful that it rates up there with cardiac surgery. I wound Gaffa tape around the waste pipe in the hope that it would stop the leak. As the day progressed it looked as if it had been successful, but just in case, I bought a tube of mastic of some kind or other at the local supermarket.

We drove out of Oradour-sur-Glane making our way southeast towards the Aire at Rodez, another 'brown' road on the road atlas. We had decided to give the village of Rocamadour a miss enroute and crack on with getting across country to the A75 motorway then heading south towards Montpellier.

This route was about 300km long, full of twists, turns, ups, downs, hairpins, you name it we got it. To complicate matters the whole of the kamikaze French motor biking fraternity were out on the road, each determined be the first of the day to embed themselves on the bonnet of a Ford Transit. As I said to The Chef "I don't mind them killing themselves, that's their priviledge - it's the damage they'll do to our vehicle that concerns me". 

Today must be a special day in France as there have been lots of services of sorts being held in the communities we have passed through. Basically it seemed that anybody that ever wore a uniform gets to stand still in the town square and look sombre. The French are about as good at winning battles as we are at winning the World Cup, or the Eurovision Song Contest, so it will be interesting to find out just what it is.

The wind had been increasing during the day and quite gusty at times. Coming the other way all day have been hundreds of Citroen 2CV's, both cars and vans, many towing camping trailers, so there must have been a huge rally for them somewhere further south. On and on we went hour after hour before eventually arriving at Rodez, only to find that its Aire was full. In fact it has space for six motorhomes and there were nine on there. I needed a break and so we pulled over for a cup of tea before taking a deep breath, ignored the fact that our fuel tank was getting very low, that it was Sunday when most of France goes back to bed after 12:00, and soldiered on.

Onward ever onward towards the A75. Luckily I spotted a petrol station out of the corner of my eye just as we entered a roundabout. That was it, sharp right and in we went refilling with very reasonably priced fuel. It was all done electronically in an unmanned petrol station. The proprietor was probably bedding his wife, it was after all Sunday.

We are now holed up at a VERY busy Service Area at the junction with the A75 motorway. It is manic here as it seems most of France has been away for a few  days, probably going to car boot sales, and were now making their way home. I believe it is the law here in France that HGV's are not allowed on the roads on Sunday's which would explain why they had taken up all of the car and caravan parking spaces, never mind we managed to spot one of their empty HGV slots and grabbed it.

We had a very nice evening meal of cheese salad and crusty French bread washed down with lashings of Rosé wine. I remarked to The Chef that we'd only been over here about five days and so, and had just seemed like hard work. She said that the only thing she'd really enjoyed so far was the two-hour walk we had along the bank of the River Loire, so two hours out of five days isn't a very good pain-to-pleasure ratio. Hopefully things will start to pick up soon.

There's always tomorrow................