8. May, 2022

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SUNDAY 8-05-22

We've given the data SIM in the Mi-Fi a bashing over the past couple of nights by watching the last two episodes of Masterchef on BBC iPlayer. Eddies Scott was a worthy winner, I had thought all along that Pookey would win, but I think she spent a bit too much time on the theatricals of the cooking, and the young lady who was also in the final was just terrific given that she only started cooking eighteen months ago. She's a face we'll be seeing more of in the future I'm sure.

This morning we were woken at about 07:00 by a number of voices outside. I popped my joggie bottoms and flip flops on and went to investigate, and there on the large grassed area behind the motorhome was a hot air balloon laid out ready for inflating. Needless to say we both got dressed and went for a closer look. It wasn't too long before the balloon was inflated and the passengers airborne, which I captured on my pocket camera with disappointing results when it came to taking a couple of short videos. The camera seems to struggle to remain in focus. I think I might try using my smartphone and see if that does a better job. Failing that I'll have to dust off the video camera, but then that's something else to drag around.

Thanks to our early morning call we were ready to hit the road in good time. First we drove the short distance to the dump station where we got rid of our black and grey waste whilst filling up with one hundred litres of fresh water. The attitude to motorhomers is just so different over on the side of the English Channel. We'd enjoyed two free nights parking plus free dumping facilities and in return we'd spent money on tickets to the chateau, two visits to the supermarket and a top up of the fuel tank before setting off for Brancôme (the first and last time I'm searching for that stupid little 'o' with a hat on). The journey was to be about forty miles, and it felt like it. We were out in beautiful rural France with the fairly minor road continually twisting and turning whilst we went up hill and down dale. That's not too bad but then you have to throw in the effort needed to make sure you're travelling at the right speed. Limits over here are up and down like yoyo's, sometimes you'll get just a hundred yards of 50kph before up in goes again, or maybe not, ,maybe it will drop to 20kph. I fully understand the need for speed restrictions, but over here I feel they're a distraction from concentrating fully on keeping us and other road users out of harm's way.

By late morning we had arrived at our Camperstop (N45.360509° E0.648473°) (I'm just going to call them all Camperstop's as an all inclusive word for anywhere that allows parking, usually overnight by motorhomes. In France they call them Aires, in Spain, Sosta's and in Germany Stellplatz, but they're all pretty much covered in the 'Camperstop Europe' book, with more besides.

To my surprise we had to pay to park there. I'd read it as paying for water, but no, for 24 hours parking it's costing €8.60 which is fine because it's next to the river and we have grass under our feet. It looks as if it was once a campsite but perhaps the local council took it over and created a reasonably priced parking area for all motorhomes, no matter how long or short their stay. We still have no electrical hook-up but we seem to be managing ok at the moment by generating power to the habitation battery whilst we drive along with a little top up when we're parked up from the small 60W folding solar panel I sit on the dashboard.

After lunch, eaten outside sat in our reclining chairs, it being such a lovely day, we made our way in to town. The touristy bit is an island, not very big, but big enough to make tourists want to come and visit.