Back on the road again…. .

So, as the title of this blog post suggests, we are back on the road again after having left the chateau last Sunday.  With things opening up again in France and people being free to travel outside their localities we thought the time was right to get back out into the world and have a change of scene.

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We couldn’t have asked for a better place to be ‘confined’.

In all we spent nearly eleven weeks in lockdown with our hosts and two other helpers.  Our situation couldn’t have worked out any better really and we are very grateful to Jenny and David for taking a chance on two refugees from Spain in our hour of need!  Ironically it was probably the most sociable time we have had in a long time.  With our fellow helpers, Bernice and Ronnie and owners Jenny and David we shared many evenings with meals, music and laughter together.  

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A Sunday afternoon to remember!

Of course there was a lot of work to do but we were free to get on with what suited us which is exactly how we like to work.  Tim was just starting to see the fruits of his labour in the garden with strawberries (when Bella the puppy hadn’t already got to them first!), courgettes, peas, spring onions and lettuce being sampled.

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Peas, courgettes et al.
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Spring onions are ready.

He’s a bit bereft at having to leave his ‘children’ just when they were doing so well but needs must.  Growing vegetables will definitely be on his agenda if we ever go back to being in one place on a permanent basis.  As will making music.  Being at the chateau Tim was able to get back ‘on it’ with his saxophone playing as he had the space and didn’t need to worry about upsetting the neighbours.  He’s experimented with some new types of music and surprised himself in the process on how much he has enjoyed it.  If you’d have said to me a few years ago he would enjoy playing Ibiza Dance Club Classics I’d have never have believed you.  But there you go.  When there’s no Big Band to hand you have to find alternatives.

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Free to play without annoying the neighbours.

 

So there ends another chapter of our travels and it’s on to pastures new.  Except, it doesn’t quite feel like pastures new.  We’ve spent the last week on an aire (which used to be a former campsite so has plenty of space) on the edge of the Loire a few kilometres outside Saumur.

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A former campsite, now aire 5km outside Saumur.

For our first week out and about we planned to do nothing. Which we have achieved with flying colours.  Other than a trip into Saumur by bike and a nosey around the former troglodyte village a short walk away we’ve barely moved from the campsite.

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Souzay-Champigny.

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The village was first founded in the 10th Century and flourished as a source of Tuffeau stone used for building houses.
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The old troglodyte village is being restored.

We were pretty tired and needed a bit of rest and relaxation before deciding what to do next.  Now feeling recharged and reenergised we’re in a dilemma what to do next.  If everything had gone according to plan we should have been arriving in Yorkshire today to spend the week on a CL site a mile or so from where my parents live catching up with them and frequenting any Wetherspoons within a twenty five mile radius.  With campsites still closed in the UK and anyone arriving from another country having to self isolate for two weeks we decided we were better off staying put in France.  Shops, bars and restaurants have reopened here and things are slowly getting back to normality.  Everything is pretty quiet though and not as busy as you’d expect but with this being quite a touristy area it’s not surprising.

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First stop: Lidl.

Until the UK government make a firm decision on the reopening of campsites we are in a state of limbo. Our job was due to start at Lanyons Holiday Park at the beginning of July but that is on hold until they know if, or when, they can reopen and what strings might be attached to that.  It might be that if they aren’t able to open the shower blocks, bar or pool then they may be able to run the site without two extra pairs of hands as it is just a small family run business.  Who knows.  We’ll just have to wait and see.  Also, as it stands at the moment, we’ll need to self isolate for two weeks on returning to the UK which is a bit tricky without an address.

Anyway, aside from those dilemmas our most immediate pressing issue is that we have a problem with our gas supply.  Since we’ve been back in the van we seem to have lost the pressure so the boiler won’t fire up which means no hot water and no heating (not that we need heating at the moment).  Yesterday the fridge died as the gas isn’t getting to that and today we can only use one burner on the hob as there’s not enough pressure to have two going at once!  It’s likely to need a new regulator but we’ve found a garage in Chinon that deal with that sort of thing so we’ll ask them to take a look tomorrow.

In the meantime I’ve been having cold showers telling myself it’s just a state of mind whilst Tim has gone down the boil the kettle route.

Today I’m doing a one pot cookathon as everything has defrosted in the freezer.  Fortunately it’s only a small freezer so we should be able to eat our way through it all in a few days without having to waste any of it.

Other than that all is well!

Bon Courage et à la prochaine!

Published by

bonvanageblog

We are Jane and Tim and we recently gave up our jobs and rented out our house to persue a life of travel across Europe in our motorhome called Ollie.

12 thoughts on “Back on the road again…. .”

  1. Happy to hear from you and read that all is ok, well apart from the gas problem . Hope you can solve it quickly.
    Continue enjoying La douce France!
    We’re stuck in our garden, a bit because of Corona but most because of having to care for my elderlies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi C&P, we’ve been very fortunate during this time and we’re very grateful for that. Thank you for reading and hopefully you’ll be able to get back out in your van soon🙂

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  2. Good to hear that you are both safe and well and now back on the move. Sites over here are ‘scheduled’ to re-open on 4th July subject to confirmation from the Government. We are being ‘unfurloughed’ on 21st June so that we can get on site and get it ready. I have a sneaky feeling that the 14 day quarantine period will also be dropped by then as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I expect your both chomping at the bit to get to your site, at least for a change of scene if nothing else! I sincerely do hope the isolation period is waived as it would make life a bit easier. Hopefully we’ll know more by the end of the week. I expect sites will be busy if they do open as I’m sure many people will be staycationing this year! Hopefully something can be salvaged for the season.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, what will have been 13 weeks on Mother-in-Laws drive, say no more…… lol Looking forward to getting to site, sea view and rolling Devon hills rather than old people’s bungalows in a cul-de-sac, no contest. From what we have been informed, in the 3 months that we will be open, we are busier than the whole of the previous seasons six month period.

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  3. Glad your both doing ok and back on the road . The Chateau you worked in looks interesting good place for lockdown. We’re still locked down in uk can’t stay overnight, campsites are still shut. We had to cancel our trip, so we layed the van up.
    The next tip we do will be a long one 😊 looking in to renting our home. It just depends on coved 19 and Brexit.
    The worlds gone mad x DP

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    1. Hi D&P, good to hear from you. We were very fortunate with how things worked out for us during the confinement period in France. Hopefully things are improving now and borders are opening up. We’ll get to meet up on the road at some point in the future I’m sure 😁 This next year will be interesting both in terms of Covid and Brexit! Keep sane and safe🌻

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