We left Le Mans heading for Portbail on the west coast about an hour from Cherbourg ferry terminal. Friends are house sitting there and she makes beaded bracelets etc. I made the mistake of showing Nikki pictures of the stuff she makes. Mandy and Nick have stopped at the house for the last five winters. They don’t have access to the house they just park up on the driveway, use the electric and water. It suits them as it’s a cheap winter break. The driveway is huge, you could get twenty campers the size of ours on it.
Just after leaving Le Mans we got onto the motorway and within half an hour the cars and lorries coming the other way were all covered in snow and the sky ahead was not looking good. Sure enough it started to snow and boy did it snow. I have never seen snow like it, let alone drove in it. The snowflakes were like tennis balls. Well maybe not that big, but they were big and it was snowing very hard. The lorry in front of us was about 100 metres away and the tracks he made were filling in with snow before we got on them. Everyone was slowing down and we just hoped no one stopped otherwise we would have been stuck on the motorway.
After about half an hour it was easing off and we had got through the worst. All the fields for the next 75 km were still covered in snow but the roads were clear and the sun even made an appearance. We pulled into the driveway of our friends and set up. Mandy was cooking chilli that night and we washed it down with some French red wine. Very nice it was to. And yes Nikki bought some bracelets, luckily before she started on the wine.
The next morning was a really hard frost, so we waited until about 11 30am before heading out on the last lap to the ferry. There was a threat of snow but we got to the ferry port with out any snow. It started snowing about an hour before we got on the ferry. We had been looking at the weather because when we get off the ferry we were booked on a campsite in wareham. We normally go to another site but that is not open yet. We are a month early in coming back this year. The weather reports were all saying of loads of snow in Devon, Cornwall and all along the south coast. Just what we wanted to hear….NOT when we get off the ferry we can sleep on the dockside if it was really bad.
Off the ferry at 10pm and all looks ok. We could see it had been snowing but not as much as last year when we got off, so we headed out on the highway towards the campsite. About a mile down the road it started to snow heavy again. I don’t like driving at night, it plays tricks with my eyes and then with the snow coming down fast and being tired I was so glad when we pulled into the campsite and parked up. Again being late we made the the tyre tracks in the snow. Getting a bit of a habit this. Engine off and into bed. Awoke this morning at 7 .30 to everything white. Looks nice but we need it gone because the forecast is for -2 and tomorrow we have to go to Gatwick. As I type this it is melting but not quick enough.
So that’s us back in the UK. We have had a great winter but all that sun seems a long way off now and the tans are fading fast. Some facts of our trip.
We have covered 2759 miles from leaving Devon to getting here at Wareham.
We have spent £518 on fuel. We still have half a tank good for a few more miles yet.
We have stayed on six Aires, two in France, and four in spain. + one driveway.
We have stayed on six campsites. Four in France and two in spain.
We have spent £280 on tolls. Not doing that next year. But it’s easy and better to get from A to B faster, especially in the snow.
Other costs are weekly shopping, about €45_€50
Eating out and shoes and bracelets.
Wine and beer. Undisclosed amount.
We still have a lot of running around to do before starting our new jobs so will keep the blog going. Thanks for reading it and hope you have enjoyed it. Soon be November and we will be off again.
We’re planning to head off mid February but only for six weeks. Can’t wait to get on the road again. Glad you got back safely – hope your van heating is efficient!