Stuck in France a bit

Monday 23rd  to Thursday 27th September – Angers 

We arrived at my brother’s house just in time for lunch. 

We then drove to the two caravan/motor homes shops. Both were fairly close of the house.

In the first shop, the tech guy did not work on Monday. In the second shop, the tech guy and full team were not around and not available for the foreseeable future. So we decided to see the tech guy in the first shop, if he decided by some miracle to turn up for work the next day.

Not much else was done that day other than to make the most of the WiFi to do some research. 

The next day we went back to the shop and explained our problem to the Tech guy. He said the vents were not strictly necessary but inside vents could be fitted. Also the leisure acid batteries were not great and he recommended better quality ones ( at 269 Euro each, we need two). He also recommended to upgrade the solar panel controller. We booked  the van to get the vents fitted for Thursday 3rd of October. We would have to hang around in France for that. 

Alistair decided to do some research and decided to indeed upgrade the solar panel and the batteries. We found the solar controller in amazon.co.uk for very descent price and with fast delivery arrived the Thursday morning.

Also, after speaking with some manufacturers in the UK, Alistair ordered the batteries, considerably cheaper than at the shop, from a French website. Should have known better. The batteries were ordered Wednesday morning with express delivery. They had to arrive Thursday by 1pm. 

The Thursday, at 1 pm, only one battery arrived. After few phone calls ( after 2 pm as they break for lunch between 12 and 2pm) I was told the second battery had been damaged and another would be sent, arriving Friday morning before 1pm. 

So on Thursday afternoon, we left, as our booking for fitting the vents were the following Thursday. We decided to drive to the coast. Could not abuse my brother hospitality for 10 days! 

We drove toward Nantes and St Nazaire and found a campsite by the sea. 

Friday 28th September

The campsite was the most luxurious I have ever been to. The shower block was a swanky building with automatic glass doors, indoor heating, luxurious swanky showers and facilities… it was jaw dropping. Apparently they have won prizes for this. 

We had plenty of space we but we did not put the gazebo up as it was way too windy. I mean insanely windy. We could sea the beach over the fence and it was a very popular spot for kitesurfing. The guys ( all of them guys) were going really fast while kitesurfing, the wind was insane when walking by the beach. 

In the afternoon my sister in law texted me that no battery arrived home. Once again I phoned the company, after 2pm because of the two hours lunch break. Once again I was told the battery would arrive today, tomorrow …..

Eventually a text said it would arrive on Monday. I think they miss the meaning of express delivery, even when you get charged  a lot for the pleasure. We live in hope!

After another long walk in the area and being nearly blown off our feet few times with the wind, and getting drenched from frequent heavy showers, we decided to leave the following day and find a less windy place. 

We made the most of the indoor heated pool though. It was amazing and we were the only ones there! 

Scruffy is not warming to life in the van, I am afraid to report. He gets very stressed when one of us disappears to the shower block or one stays in the van while he goes for a walk. Time will tell if he can adapt. If not, we have a problem. He is getting more clingy and also more aggressive, running away to bark at complete strangers walking across the camp. Not ideal and we have to control him. Let’s see how it goes. Maybe this is an adventure too much for him.

Saturday 28th September

We left our luxurious campsite and drove to the Isle or Noirmoutier, near l’Ile de Ré.

Noirmoutier is very popular with the French. 

Once again, we found easily a campsite. Before leaving I bought the ACSI caravaning club card. It comes with two books. It covers all of Europe and provides discount for all their campsites when showing the card. It is totally worth it as I only paid £10.50! We can find easily campsites and see facilities. It covers thousands of sites opened out of season, so is very useful. 

The weather was sunny and warm again with very little wind. We had a nice walk to town and the castle, along the salty marshes. This region is famous for its salt.

That’s all for now as we have little access to very poor WiFi. No photos until I can load them, next  Wednesday, at my brother’s house. 

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