On departing the ferry we waved bye to Heinz and then set off on our way. In an attempt to avoid the motorways we popped into Belgium saw some pretty nice windmills, did a massive circle and after 5 hours only ended up making it to Lille. Stayed in some classy motorway establishment with a bunk-bed and port-a-loo esque shower cum toilet.
The next day, we decided we will try to get out of France as quick as possible as it’s expensive, cold and to avoid spending the next month here we are going to have to drive on the motorways.
Travelling on the motorway means eating at service stations and finding the nearest town with somewhere ok to stay, which actually isn’t too bad as the coffee is good , baguettes fresh and the sun has been shining. Last night we camped at a pretty nice holiday park in forest d’orient– much to Paul’s disappointment we arrived too late to use the pool and waterslides so relaxed with a beer instead and got to put our high school French to use.
We woke up this morning pretty refreshed as we splashed out on our camping gear – vango mats, down filled sleeping bags and Paul chose a pillow as his luxury item. But the weather turned. It has rained the entire day, we started off by packing everything away in the toilets then ate lunch in the same toilets to avoid soggy bread. We also now only have one rain suit, as in a panic Paul told me to ditch one to lose some weight.
We finally succumb to the rain and decided to call it a day [failed attempt to reach Geneva] we’re in a little traditional French village just off the motorway and found ourselves a farm style Gite to stay in. Our hosts are Lillian and Jean-Pierre who are looking after their grandchildren. After only one night of bread and cheese Paul is already excited at the prospect of a cooked dinner. Lillian also gave us some slippers as everything we had was wet.
We were called to dinner by the youngest boy ringing a little bell. The boy’s parents have arrived and speak fairly good English so holds most of the conversation over dinner as our French is certainly not conversational. We are treated to a 4 course home cooked French meal of Verte Soup [garden veg mainly] with sour bread, omelette and salad, a selection of Alp cheeses and fruit all washed down nicely with a red wine.
It was definitely needed after riding the entire day in the rain. Paul, the eldest proudly spoke some English, we learnt than martin the middle child is an aspiring tennis played and has grandeur dreams of turning pro and the youngest was quite shy and peek-a-booed over the chair/fort he had built. After dinner we said our goodbyes, the children who very sweetly [and unexpectedly for Paul] all gave us a kiss on the cheek – we are in France after all.
The rain did not let up the entire night and even when we woke, but thankfully it stopped after breakfast, which was again beautifully prepared by Lilliane and Jean Pierre.
Definitely recommend staying here, the alternative was the dodgy motorway hotel for the same price [50 Euro] with no breakfast, no dinner and no company. Plus the young’uns on reception looked like they had been up to no good just before we pulled in.
Lilliane and Jean-Pierre – it’s 12km from Louhans and is sign posted from the road and the full address is No 2360 Beaurepaire-en-bresse, Les Morest, 71580 Beaurepaire-en-bresse – Tel: 03 85 74 13 20 and email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.