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Dylan’s dash to Normandy

You may be aware that we recently brought Dylan, the 1972 Dormobile conversion on board. He’s not quite ready for his public yet, so we took some time to road test him – to Normandy, France and back – the long way.

The first leg was a dash to the Channel Tunnel. Our VW camper vans are classed as larger vehicles, Tip! You don’t have as much flexibility on Channel crossings, but they do give you a two hour window each way. Once we were in France we started off to Normandy, using a mix of toll roads (peages) and minor roads. It wasn’t long before Kev mastered the art of lining me, his rather short wife, up to the ticket/card machine on the Peage. Although, there were a couple of Forward! Back! Closer! Bloody seatbelt!! moments.

The great thing about camping holidays in France, is that you can sleep in many of the “Aire” service stations. Park spaces that give you privacy, with basic facilities such as toilets. Some even have electrical hook up. Now, not all toilets in French service stations are the same. Some are still a hole in the ground with two feet marks to show where to stand/squat. Tip! Make sure it’s not an automatically cleaning one – shimmy back too much and you may get an surprise akin to being “douched” by an errant garden hose on sprinkler!

We finally arrived at our destination – Le Chateau de Monfreville. This is an idyllic French campsite, run by our friends Paul & Zoe. Once a year we visit, offer our menial labour in return for food and alcohol. If you would like to find out more visit www.chateaumonfreville.com.

Kevs Kampers Blog Photo

Four days later and we’re touring France in Dylan again. Considering we hire our vehicles for 10 months of the year, we rarely get the opportunity to spend any quality time with our VW camper vans. But Dylan was a dream. It rained, thundered, shone, blew – some days there may have been more than 4 seasons in one day….. Yet, we were warm and dry. In fact, the weather makes the experience more enjoyable.

Once back in Blighty we visited Jimmy’s Farm (www.jimmysfarm.com) and Tiptree Jam Factory (www.tiptree.com) Then finished off with a trip to Southend on Sea.

A couple more tips:

  • Buy decent sleeping bags!
  • Get at least a 3 season one
  • If you have old sleeping bags give them to a homeless charity such as www.launchpadreading.org.uk
  • Take a tea towel!
  • Egg boxes are ideal for holding fiddly things in place such as eggs… lemons, bits of change etc.
  • Write a holiday journal – it will help you remember the happy times you had

Over a thousand miles in 9 days… we lost count of the smiles per mile 🙂

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