2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Looking for information on a place in Andalucia or simply asking for advice on somewhere to visit? Post here and someone out there may know the answer.
1bassleft
Resident
Posts: 404
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:00 am
Location: Benalmadena Costa

Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby 1bassleft » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:12 am

Hi again Olive. We don't fly until next week because of the timing and the wishes expressed, but thanks for your kind words.

Apologies: much of this I wrote in this thread earlier in November (distant memory, or I'm getting old). Rather than hack it up, I've just italicized the boring repetition so you can skip past those bits - 1BL

Last bit first. We have stayed in hotels right in Sangatte and it was edgy, with migrants clearly being shepherded by spivs in suits, but that was many years ago. Still, too close to allow a last, pleasant drive before dreary Blighty and the wrong side of the road. We have since stayed in Cambrai, which is easy to park centrally and we found a jolly good creperie, but I was a bit resistant to a Paris route again (despite being the scene of the first proper tank battle). As I mentioned in this thread (I think), we stayed in Bethune where my great-great uncle's memorial is. Our excellent idea (having realized that good food after 9 is a rarity) was to stop for late lunch in Rouen about 4ish. Wonderful cathedral city with a highly recommendable creperie almost opposite the cathedral. Terrible roadworks (Nov) and parking (in desperation, I turned for an underground car park but my roof box would not clear it. Fortunately, a local hero stopped the traffic so I could reverse out and rejoin the main streets). Still, outskirts parking was ok and not a huge walk into the centre. If the Carrefour pump hasn't put you off, I enjoyed it.

We would have stayed in Biarritz but for lack of a suitable room and took Bayonne instead. Our hotel was another commercial park off the main drag but Bayonne itself, next day, looked impressive. FWIW, we prefer a room for three which is sometimes a scrunch but Bethune Ibis Styles (a bit outskirty, again) was a proper suite with a near-as separate third bed section so sproggy could noodle the night away on a laptop without gloomily illuminating all of us.

I mentioned in the other thread - a 1st poster asking advice - that the diesel was shocking in France and someone contradicted, saying it was cheaper than UK. Definitely not on my Nov run; a real hunt to get close to €1.50 even in supermarket forecourts (>€1.60 on the a-routes) and I was glad of the Redex to compensate for the unfiltered maize sweat I was probably pouring in. We cheapskated by avoiding paying tolls which led to numerous trundles through 50kmh villages but it wasn't so bad once north of Tours.

We also noticed a lot of twitchy fingered border guards on the way down (both at the Chunnel and, surprisingly, after Perpignan at the Spanish border) but we crossed in the dark on a minor road on the way back near Bayonne and I nearly crunched my suspension driving over the abandoned Douane bump there. Still plenty of routes for security risks to slip away if they desire. Oh, and I'm fine with rare but I order well-done or even cremated for my son who's more of a medium-steak man.
Last edited by 1bassleft on Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
peteroldracer
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 7131
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 5:56 pm
Location: Los Alcázares, Murcia

Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby peteroldracer » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:27 am

" I couldnt remember the word artichole " so they still have ladies that service the lorry drivers?
The saddest people are those that cannot laugh at themselves

olive
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 3216
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 7:13 pm
Location: Poniente, Granada

Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby olive » Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:54 pm

Part One. Superb nights sleep at the Hotel Gardenia. Room was as near perfect in design as possible. Smallest niggle was the green light from the LED on heating panel.

Just a day driving today on toll roads and motorways. Didnt fancy any sidetrips. Too cold and the days are too short.

Having laughed the day before at basic tractor fuel at 1.50 a litre, i had to fill up on the way to Tours at 165.9 . That and the toll of32 euros saw off the El Gordo winnings.

Near Rouen on the A28 ( elbouef? ) we fancied a coffee. We pulled off for the aire with coffee services. The worst I have been to for many a year anywhere. The hot food and drinks was little more than a wooden summerhouse. Plastic cups and notices explaining all the items not available. Outside as a two stall wc . Both occupied. In between was a *beep* with two tiny bat wing doors. I.e.noprivacy. No one about so in I went. Hadn't seen the one inch of water on the floor. Urgh. I shall never go there-again.

Onward and upwards. Coming offthe toll road at Rouen there was a huge police presence. Nice gendarme asked us where we were going and waved us on with our bootful of illegal immigrants when we said Calais.

olive
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 3216
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 7:13 pm
Location: Poniente, Granada

Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby olive » Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:25 pm

Part 2

Navigated inner Rouen fine. Done it times. Saw Esso diesel at 132 cents but passed it by. Nearer Montrieul it was clear we needed yet more fuel so next motorway services. 165 cents. Got enough to get to Ashford with certainty. Good supermarket there just off the motorway.

Booked online Best Western Hermitage in Montrieul using mobile. Didnt get a confirmation email which we thought strange. Found the place and no record of our booking or the money leaving our account. Front desk most helpful and a dog friendly room was 20 euros cheaper than online.....

Didnt like sparse hotel restaurant menu. Plenty of other places open. We went to the Darnatel which got good ratings on Trip Adviser. Very nice.

Eurotunnel tomorrow after we have dropped our car off. ( Peteold racer please note. No point taking an uninsured , no tax or Mot UK plated car over. Hire car much safer!) i wonder if the gendarmes will pull us again? Single £169 is my target price.

Really like Montrieul . We will see how the sleep fares.....

1bassleft
Resident
Posts: 404
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:00 am
Location: Benalmadena Costa

Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby 1bassleft » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:42 am

Have the Rouen multiple roadworks cleared up now, Olive? I really like Rouen and will do it again but my satnav was telling me numerous times to go places blocked with plastic barricades and dug up. TBF, we were trying to reach an almost completely pedestrianised area and passing through wouldn't have been difficult, but I'd probably like to make it my brief stop again, rather than just go through.

The aire you describe is rather a common thing. I am actually struggling to remember one where both WCs were functioning, except for a deliberately basic pull-in where I was able to wave at the occupants of parked trucks, motorhomes and highish vehicles with my free hand. I remember the last aire somewhere between Rouen and Bethune had, yet again, only one of the WC blocks open for business. Mrs Bass just wanted a quick handwash but I was, er, almost medically inconvenienced by this time. The far-too-pleasant ~20 y.o. girl doing some cleaning was only too happy to make enquiries of my well-being every 30 secs and equally happy to shout into the adjoining shop/cafe to my wife on how she thought I was progressing. A moment where it would have been great not to understand French.

I thought it was my bad luck, but yes - the diesel in mid-France is eye wateringly priced from my experience too. Have I read you right? Have you hired a car in Anda to drop off in Calais and continue with a RHD hire car? I'm intrigued. Also, does that mean you are Chunneling without a vehicle?

olive
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 3216
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 7:13 pm
Location: Poniente, Granada

Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby olive » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:57 pm

1bassleft , that was a joke about abandoning an untaxed etc UK car and hiring for the uk leg. We continued oneard n our Spanish reg car.

I forgot to say that yesterday there were numerous yellow jackets protesting. First lot were on a very large roundabout in Rouen. Lots of burnt debris and tainted kerbs. The last group had braziers that were well fuelled, on a roundabout on the entry to the delightful Montreuil sur mar. Roadworks in Rouen ? Nomore or less than the last time.

Liked the Best Western Hermitage in Montreuil. Lovely town with lots of nice restaurants and other hotels. Ours was pet friendly which was a plus. Didn't find out till nex day that they had a big secure courtyard for parking behind the hotel. Our on the move online booking “ failed” but the hotel price was cheaper. Breakfast was excellent for continental.

Eurotunnel was 169 plus 18 for the dog . Pet check in was a breeze with 380 animals done that day by midday! We were pre booked on the 1.40 but they put us on the 1.20 which was good.

What a shock to get on the UK motorways. Lots and lots of vehicles and 50 mph sections. Nice just changing km to mph and lights adapted for foreign driving! By menu.

Dartford crossing. That was a shock. Got to pay online.

1bassleft
Resident
Posts: 404
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:00 am
Location: Benalmadena Costa

Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby 1bassleft » Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:33 am

Yes, I got the reference to summary execution for drivers of yellow-plate cars d'une certaine age (I have tap-proof windows fitted to my 02 EuroCrosser) but I misread and cross-wired your hire-car bit. I wasn't sure if you were of the 'no car >5yrs old can reliably cover 2k miles' opinion sometimes expressed here.

You cleared up a few of my Qs: why the police presence on the Aroutes (Gilet jaunes hadn't started up in Nov) and why £18 for something only slightly hairier than my son (additional admin, I guess). Thanks for the Rouen update - some major surgery was going on in Nov but I'll aim for pulling in again next time.

In the past, I'd used the Dart online to pay either just beforehand or same day when visiting Kent (the average Londis or Spar shop in NW England has to be guided through step-by-step). When I bought my EuroCrosser car in May, I found out that a block pre-purchase was a big saving. IIRC, £2.50 was reduced to not much more than half that. The downside was £20 minimum to plonk down and it automatically DDed another 20 once your account dips below a tenner. Still, seemed worthwhile but govts and Quasi Autonomous Cash Cows seem to personally hate me. Before my Nov return, they'd reduced the saving to a piddling 20-odd pence. I tried to extract my £20 after this breach of contract but Dart sends you in circles that even Paypal hasn't invented. I finally requested it back by email but got the reply, "Nope, you have to use our broken-link-request form, hardehar". The only thing I could do is kill the DD and now I'll wait a couple of years to see if they try to insist my sub-£10 still held by them isn't valid unless I top up.


Return to “Travel, Tourism & Destinations”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest