Friday, 25 November 2016
Thursday, 24 November 2016
At all the other places we have stayed over the years, US and Europe, we have never had to pay for the amenities; pool etc.
There is always a swipe of the credit card to cover "security" and deposits for keys, usually apartment and parking garages, but never to use the pool or a lounger.
However, this seems the "norm" for Orlando. I'm sure most of the people going there are headed for Disney and the other parks and spend less time at the resort than they might at other places in other parts of the country and even the state. So I don't think that $10 a day per apartment is appropriate to use the pool at all. So that ruled a few out. I found one that was charging $1 a day? It must cost more to collect it in receptionists time than they bring in.
In the end I booked us into Silver Lake Resort. It has good reviews and close to the parks should we want to go to any.
Sunday, 20 November 2016
Sunday, 16 October 2016
Monday, 10 October 2016
The last day.
We had to be up early as the mobil-home had to be cleaned and the floor washed before we could get one of the staff to come over and check that we hadn't broken or stolen anything....
We had checked the inventory on arrival and they check it when we leave. Many of the FB and TripAdvisor comments seemed to find this strange.
We hadn't used any of their bedding as we had taken sleeping bags and our own pillows, plus throws to stop Reggie leaving hair or mud on the furniture.
We brushed round and then I washed the floor with the sachet of hospital cleaning grade cleaner they had left.
We eventually left about 1015. First stop the recycling bins and then off towards home.
A coffee stop again a Baie de Somme. Reggie had people laughing as he was looking in the water out back when a huge carp swam towards him. He jumped in the air like his legs were springs. After that he wouldn't near the edge, not even to bark or growl at the ducks.
And then we were off again. Cruise control at 70mph and we passed maybe one other car in 60 miles.
Before pet check-in we went to the Auchun to fill the tank with cheap French diesel. The price was €1.119 a litre. Today's exchange rate about 1.159 to the £. So less that a £ a litre. At home the same in £'s at Tesco.
And then to the fiasco that is border controls.
Pet check-in was easy and Reggie and his passport sailed through. ANPR picked us up and we joined the relatively short queue to French controls. Slowly edging forward through empty booths. The French not bothering to check the passports.
The slowness was because UK Border Agency, or whatever pseudo US name they have given themselves now, had only three booths open. Plus one for coaches only. There was one coach...
We edged forward and then it was all done and dusted. Only 45 minutes from checking in and getting 400 metres up the tarmac.
It did mean we could go straight onto the train. A miracle that it left on time. The first time in many years
And 40 minutes* later we arrived at Folkestone for the short journey home.
Holidays for 2016 over.
* you don't believe all that 35 minutes advertising spiel do you?
Sunday, 9 October 2016
|Noyelles Chinese Cemetery from front|
|Rear of Lutyens gate|
|Only a number....|
Tuesday, 4 October 2016
After another affected night we awoke to bright sunshine. Again Reggie and I went to get the bread. The cats that live near reception kept a low profile.
After breakfast we drove into St Valery and parked up. Pay again.
As we walked along the pedestrian area Ali guide the bay the tide was us starting to turn. We had a coffee at La Terrasse before walking to the end where the river opens into the marshy bay.
The tide was rushing in quickly and in less than half an hour the beaches on the far side of this inlet had gone and it was lapping up against the concrete sides on the town side.
We stopped in La Terrasse again. This time for lunch. A goats cheese salad for Claire and a blue cheese burger for me. Amazingly I could eat all the chips/fries.
We called in a Lidl for some supplies on the way back and noticed a McDonald's as well.....
After Reggie's dinner we went into Cayaux for another walk as it was still bright and sunny.
Tonight's dinner is fish soup and bread bought in the Carrefour.
I mentioned that Reggie can be protective but what I really meant was overprotective. It rained heavily overnight and as well as that there were strange animal noises to keep him busy at intervals all night.
The beds are okay and the sleeping bags are similarly okay. But having a dog having mental barking fits is not so good.
Luckily being off season the four similar units we drive past to 136 are all empty. At least no one for Reggie to annoy.
The people in 137 across the roadway are in their own caravan and they seem to talk loudly all night until gone midnight. Reggie does not like that either.
So Day 2 dawned a little dull and we had a walk to reception to collect our bread order. The French love their fresh baguette every morning.
Once breakfast was over we set off for Cayaux and after a walk and coffee we went to look for the tall chalk cliffs that extend from Ault almost to Le Tréport. We found them.
Le Tréport is a very lively town on a Sunday with free parking everywhere after 30th September.
Something other places might like to note to attract visitors to spend money rather grubbing about for €1 an hour parking.
We had a walk around the harbour and coffee and gauffres before setting off back to the campsite.
A long day ended with Carrefour couscous and a beer to wash it down.
It is easier with the dog to eat out if need be at lunchtime and in for the evening.
From the Baie de la Somme services it was a short run to the campsite at La Mollière.
We checked in quite quickly and drove round the one way system to emplacement 136 where our mobil-home is placed.
As Reggie takes ownership of anywhere he stays, he gets protective and defends. This means there is liable to be barking. I asked for a spot with little passing traffic. That's what we have.
After unpacking we had a walk across the road to the dunes. We had imagined the sea to be there. Wrong.
We also climbed this 60 foot sand dune when a walk along to the west would have seen us walk through a gap on a path....
It was good exercise and we were the only ones daft enough to do it.
For dinner we ate in on Carrefour supermarket microwave lasagne. Yum.
Sunday, 2 October 2016
A bit of a fraught start with the car seemingly needing to be bigger than it is. In the end the Tardis effect worked and the boot/trunk was full and half the back seat not occupied by Reggie was packed too.
Once we had filled the tank and checked in to find we had an hour delay we had time to let Reggie have a run about in the dog exercise area.
Our original departure time was 1020. The huge board by where I parked said it was now 1050.
We rushed into the terminal to get a coffee. Huge queues so made do with a crappy machine.
We should have bothered. We sailed through passports, UK and French, and into Lane 12. It was 1014.
Our place for the next 50 minutes was that queue. It rained a few times and that 1050 crossing faded.
Almost an hour was up and we moved up to the next queue, tantalisingly close to a train.
On the down ramp we could see another train loading in parallel.
1120 came and went. At 1141 we finally wheezed out of the station.
Delays of over 30 minutes on UK railways are eligible for compensation but not Eurotunnel. The lack of information is the main source of frustration.
Finally in France and the exit from the train was to turn left and out of the back entrance rather than the usual right turn and out past the petrol station. Who knows why. No one bothered to explain!!!
The run down the A16 to Abbeville tested the new toll tag I got from SANEF the French autoroute operator in the North. You just drive up to the toll, it peeps and off you go. Pay later.
First stop the Baie de la Somme services for a coffee and sandwich. It's always a reliable stop and plenty of parking.
Friday, 30 September 2016
Packing and sorting had begun.
From the reviews it looks as though the units are quite sparsely furnished so I have emailed to check what we need to take.
A bit late but I didn't expect to take essentials like kettles with me.
I knew we had to take our own bedding and we have sleeping bags plus half the car will be taken up by Reggie and his paraphernalia; food and bedding.
We take throws with us to cover furniture.
The vet in Abbeville is booked for Reggie's passport. So that should ensure he gets home again.
Monday, 12 September 2016
Since we were married we have tried to get away for our wedding anniversary and this year we have booked a week in France with Reggie in a mobile home.
We tested the water last year with a weekend away and with a week to Scotland with him. He was generally very good on both trips.
This year though we'll need to have his pet passport kept up to date with a visit to a French Vétérinaire before he can come back. I have located one not far from where we are saying and he is booked in on October 6th in the afternoon.
The mobile home is in a seaside town at Cayaux sur Mer.
Sunday, 14 August 2016
Pepe is ready to roll, only needing a top up of petrol before heading off to the Shuttle on Wednesday morning.
Before then I have a day at work, a day work from home and a visit to the hospital to see about a hearing aid.
Then I need to pack.
The weather forecast looks pretty good so I'll need to get out the sun screen. And the insect repellant.
Clothes? I like the idea I read about in a magazine of simply taking old stuff and binning it rather than carrying it about. I'm sure I have pants and socks that could fill that role!
The Saddlemen bag is pretty huge for one person so the panniers can be used to carry heavier low down stuff.
Our Czech hosts like wine and live in a wine producing area. So taking English eine might seem like selling sand to Saudi but I am sure with enough bubble wrap I can get a few bottles safely 800 miles across Europe. It might need a few days or weeks to settle before drinking.
Wednesday, 27 July 2016
Monday, 4 July 2016
Friday, 1 July 2016
Monday, 20 June 2016
We fuelled up in Williams and then set off along Route 66, a trip on the interstate and finally a short stretch into Seligman, then Truxton, then Hackberry and finally into Kingman. We stopped in all of them to take in the kitsch or the abandonment.
The photos as far as Hackberry are in the Flickr link below.
From Kingman it was onto the Oatman Highway arriving a bit too late for many of the shops who had called it a day. The donkeys were out. More photos will be added later.
Photos from Flickr
Sunday, 19 June 2016
Tuesday, 14 June 2016
We arrived at the visitor centre with less than an hour to spare for the return train and so we got an iced coffee to cool down and then the shuttle bus back to the depot.
A quick look in the El Tovar and then back to get on the train. There was time for Claire to have her picture taken with the Train Senior Conductor.
On the way back we were in the Pullman Class car, no aircon! But opening windows. This car has the seats that can all face the direction of travel of forms small groups. A simple mechanism lets passengers move the backs to face either direction.
|Seats all facing forward|
|Some seats forward other backwards|
I took a few pictures out of the open window. I also took some videos that are downloaded to the computer. If you like trains, then you might like them. I'll post the link when I have uploaded them to YouTube.
At one point we had the accordion lady again, but not before the train was stopped by train robbers and they came in to rob us. Luckily they didn't take anything other than a few people's dignity with their jokes! Then the sheriff came to chase them off.
And then we arrived back in Williams. Journey over.