Friday, 26 June 2015

Only in France...



Something  one cannot avoid. Eating is one of those things and the result of that is every 3 -5 days the Ol, cassette gets to the point of needing to be emptied...
There are a lot of variations on the facilities that are provided to dump the Poo, some sure don't leave one with a pleasant memory but on the "hole" they're not to bad..

This is the legal way at this aires.....




Walk across the road and lift the man hole cover on the sewer....



Then dump the goods down the Ol,..... The crocs are getting a Free "Cammo" job......

Bubbles Galore.....

Next day... Hot again..
Got the scooters fired up and headed for a ride around the hills through the small villages and vineyards... Rode about 95km for the day...



Young vines with poppies for company...Moet & Chandon stainless vats all housed in a huge glass walled building behind...The vats seemed to be half below ground level...



And outside the entry gate...



Champagne grapes for miles... immaculately attended rows...

Then when everything was going swimmingly, like hot temp, awesome country side, scooters on song... STOP....

Whats going on now..



Not another Bloody message on Facebook....



OH well I'll look at the view... boring EH...



Stopped and ate our home prepared fresh bread rolls in one random small village... crowed as...
The scooters have been awesome and must thank Paul from NB/motorhome "The Manly Ferry" for his advice on having them...

Next day and a scooter ride into Epernay...
Walked along Champagne Avenue where impressive buildings house some of the big names....

 

At Moet & Chandon there was renovations of the building going on plus these under ground tunnels/cellars were getting some attention..



Inside the Moet "Shop" of bling their was plenty to chose from.... just had to tip the wallet....
'
Now thems what I call...



Doors... Oak??...



On Boulevard Champagne....



Champagne house Collard - Pickard...

We made our way to Mercier Champagne...



Delivery truck....
We paid for a tour of the cellars...
Monsiuer Mercier was a man of vision and way ahead of his rivals in many ways. For the up coming Paris world fair he commissioned a large wine barrel to be made, for advertising, and it was towed there by a team of Oxen. Trouble was it was upstaged by the opening of a rival attraction. The Eiffel tower... Nevermind...



150 oak trees over a 5 year period, during Autumn, were used to construct....

The tour through the cellars was on a remote controlled, laser steered train...
110 foot underground and 14kilometers of tunnels to house the Champagne...One celllar is 1 kilometer long.. all dug by hand...



On the train....



Champers resting at the perfect temperature... about 10c....



Cellars full... a 5 year wait....

Our tour price, 18 euro,  included  a couple of free tastings...



Pissed.. Not Even....

Outside and it was time to...



Pick some grapes and have a go at this champers thing....

Tomorrow??...

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Someones Gotta Do It...


Awoke to another hot day so unloaded the scooters and drove to the city of Amiens about 15km away. Awesome smooth roads and basically no traffic. The fuel guage on our scooter was showing low but theirs always plenty of gas stations in a city. Wrong, we found one but it was 24hr unattended, not a problem then just follow the instructions in French and fill the bike.No, when it came to squeezing the handle on the pump the screen says Card Unaccepted. Bruce says use his because his card has worked at a cash machine. No, same result. Bloody Hell 15 odd km from the motor home in a city with very little fuel. Googled petrol outlets and decided to try another about 2km away. Couldn't find it, fuel guage going off the scale now. Nat goes into a local small bar and using the French word for motor fuel that I advised her on, Gazoline , couldn't make anyone understand. Eventually her and one of the local drinkers emerged onto the footpath and using sign language, a waving of arms and moves that looked like a bad tango he explained their was one just up the road and around the corner. the word he understood was Petrol. Doohh..
Couldn't find that one either so a decision was made to ride back, risk running out of fuel, to the first stop and wait for a local using the pump then offer to pay for some for the scooter using their card. This we did and it worked. The first customer spoke a little Anglais and we exchanged 8 euro for some Petrol.Back on the scooters and into the city centre.


I'm over Churches, Cathedrale,  but this one is larger than the Paris Notre Dame and the inside was okay.




The height of the interior is impressive..



About 45 metres to the roof.... Wasn't anyone Scared off Heights in those days...

And......


How'd they get that freak'n Organ thing up there??...

If your going to do a stained glass window..


Do it Big....

On around town by foot. Nothing outstanding to view, nice selection of  shops,  as local shoppers went about their business..

Thinking maybe a small selection of tools for roadside repairs on the scooter, if ever, would be handy... I spied some..



Dammm. No good on a hot day or a hot exhaust... they're chocolate...



Along with the boots from Broke Back Mountain and the ties etc... Nice job...

Back to the motor homes parked and moved onto the next stop...

Were heading for the Champagne region...

This aires is at Mareull - sur -Oger...



Not a bad view out the front screen..  Canal Marne... About 12km from Epernay, home of the Big French Champagne names....

The whole region is busting with wine "houses"... in our village...


A local wine cellar... nothing flash to look and seems nobody around  but plenty going on behind the scenes.. No Maccas trash on the streets here.. or anywhere..



Along the road and each name on the sign is a producer and a place to visit for a sample... not free though...

Just next to our parking spot..



 
A Petanque or Boulles game was in progress.. That Fella having his shot was "Deadly" accurate. He would land his with a direct hit on one of the opposition and "smashem" out of the way... An entertaining watch...

 But all good things come to and end...


Time to get out the washing machine... two clicks for auto....



Nat, had her share to do as well......
Looking for tomorrow....

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

OHHHH.. So Hot.....

Arrived in France via Calais and the temperature went from 10c in Oxford to 26c...
People swimming at the beach and soaking up the sun..
Had trouble with having no net of late. Those "Bastards" that control cyber space sent a free message to our phone when we logged into our "Free" tethering site...NO NO NO...

One late night at a Macca's allowed one blog and now a very limited German data supply might allow more...

Drove off the ferry and immediatly got separated from Nat & Bruce supposedly following in their motorhome. They were on a different deck and were last off. We pulled over about 3 km at first opportunity from the port and tried to call or message them but our phone hadn't switched over from the UK and, Bloody Hell, then, there they go past up on the motorway. We set off up the slip road onto the motorway and gave chase, allbut on the wrong side of the road, Freak,n freaky when your first taste of driving up the wrong side of the road is a "Give it shit" motor home chase. Anyway after about 6 km we saw them ahead so kept the pedal to the metal and finally got behind to flash headlamps.
We carried on at a slower pace to Merlimont - Plage, about 40 miles south of Calais on the beach and stopped the night at a free aires in a carpark.
Next day we drove to Montreuil, a once walled city. the temps, were over 26c and felt good.





Immediately impressed by the simplicity of the buildings... A basic structure but many fine details added....



Streets litter free and flower arrangements everywhere...






14th century this one....



 




It had just passed high noon and basically the town had shut down... Along side streets shops, signs out, doors shut and  nobody around..

We found one patisserie open though..



It didn't take long to try some of the local tucker.... not bad either...
 





After a good look around we headed on passing through small villages...




We pulled over to take a stroll around Douriez....




 
 

Corner store.....

 
Bar & restaurant.....nobody around...

Drove to a Aires at conty... 8pm and still over 24c.....



Been a hot day so tried out the barby with some local wine....

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Goodbye Cornwall.. UK... Bonjour France...


Across from Teignmouth is Sheldon. Lovely sea side village. We stayed the night in the motor homes outside our good friends Jackie & Peter, NB Imagine,  whom we meet last year on the K & A canal. We spent some time travelling with them and better company would be bloody hard to find
Next day we had a walking tour of the village, such a Cool place...


This little beauty overlooking the harbour cost.....



A meer 200,000 quid... Yep what you see is what the new owner got... Although apparently soon after the hill side behind came down... more costs.....

There's an easy way to cross the harbour... about 500 metres....


The local ferry... been doing it for years... Just walk the plank to get on and off....

After a look around and the sun finally warmed things up...



We sat on a Cafe deck overlooking the harbour with Peter & Jackie....

I've covered Cornwall before with pictures but hadn't been to St, Michaels Mount....
The Castle you walk out to at low tide.....



Standing on the cause way that appears at low tide....

On to places like St Ives, Padstow,.....



The narrow  roads requiring more care be taken not to damage the motor home than last time when in a rental car... Never Be Gentle With A Rental........

Then new ground.....



A look at Lands End.....most South Westerly landfall in the UK....

More narrow road with....



A river to ford for good measure....

Been here before but worth another look.....




Port Isacc... Home of Doc, Martin....

And then I saw it.. Like a Beached Walrus sunning itself with contentment and dreams of a past life forfilled and  a  "I don't give A Shit" about the rest of the world. And it goes to prove.....



If "You Wear Crocs" your a trendsetter.... Thats four of us now.......

Up the top and into Sommerset and theirs a big climb, real low gear stuff, in fact the road is so steep that in Bruces motorhome, halfway up something fell from a locker above the driver and smashed him across the head. With no barriers and about a 400 foot fall to the sea he had to continue driving yelling obsenities for Nat, to hear. Nats reply was that it could have been a bird flew in the window. "They're closed you stupid B-t-- was the reply. Anyway it turned out to be a travel iron they had been given. since been binned....

Found a toilet block to empty the cassette. Put it back in the motor home in position under the crapper. A short while at the next stop Leonie asks, " did you put blue in the cassette after you emptied it"?..
"No, I'll do it now" I say...
"OH I 've just had a Tu Tai" says Leonie....
"Jesus Christ"...
Only one answer for that...



Just need to don the appropriate gear.... Motor cycle googles and hold ones breath....

And then it was time for....


A beer... bout 10c with a wind chill, felt like 2c..... That's Wales in the background....



Next day was warmer.....

Down at sea level and called into Minehead.....


At the train station.... Old school drinking tap......

Then called and had a Geeko at the port of Watchet.....



Seems to be an world war 11 torpedo boat.....The tide was out but get this,,,, It rises 11 metres... 2nd highest tidal movement in the world....

And in the museum....



A life jacket made from cork.....

Back to Oxford for a few days stretched out like a Shanghai getting things sorted and then...




Drive to Dover and onto the ferry..




And entering the Port of Calais.......