Airports don’t feature in your travels … the summer hasn’t been all about motorhomes for us, we’ve had a couple of trips by air to Europe, and it’s made us appreciate again how civilised it is to travel abroad by motorhome. We’ve been twice to France by ferry in our motorhome, no hold-ups, drive onto ferry, eat / drink, watch the sea for a little while, disembark and off you go…
It’s effortless to transport back your purchases … mainly alcohol and food in our case! Our first trip to France in late spring was a return trip to Epernay in the champagne region. We stayed again at Camping d’Epernay as it does regular tasting tours to independent champagne growers. We immediately signed up for every tasting available during our stay. You would think it could be repetitive, 8 tours of champagne vineyards, but each one was different, from the slick professional tour at Moët and Chandon to the mother with her young child in tow who gave us an excellent tour of the family vineyard. Looking now for some celebrations so we have an excuse to drink the champagne we brought home!
Mustard was obviously the chief purchase during our brief stop in Dijon along with some yummy saucisson. And just because we were in France, it didn’t mean we couldn’t visit an Italian market in Avignon and stock up on parmesan.
You get to see a multitude of stunning places … after our delicious trip to Champagne, we returned to France at the end of the summer, stopping first at Lake Annecy, with its stunning forest covered mountains and clear blue waters, then we travelled on to Provence and the Côte d’Azur. Using first Antibes and then Grimauld as bases we visited Cannes, Monaco, Grasse and Saint-Tropez. What a range of beautiful places, beautiful beaches and beautiful people… and have to admit to feeling a little under-dressed at times 😘
In between our French trips, we continued our tour of the UK coastline, first Southwold in Suffolk in early spring and then in summer we visited the amazing Mary Rose in Portsmouth (Henry VIII’s flagship, sunk in 1545 and recovered from the seabed in 1982) and then toured Nelson’s HMS Victory, the ship on which he died during the Battle of Trafalgar. We then travelled along the pretty Hampshire and Dorset coastline taking in Chichester, Lymington, Christchurch and then into the New Forest.
How else but in a motorhome can you see so many interesting places?
You always have your home with you… we obviously still adore our lovely liner for two, longer trips away from home mean our large comfortable bed is particularly important; the well designed lounge area ensures rainy days aren’t a chore, and Ray can keep up with all the football and F1 ⚽️🏎 and there’s lots of options for yummy homemade meals with 3 gas rings, a gas oven, a microwave and a BBQ - thank you Ray!! Overall, it really is home from home for us.
We like to keep up with “all things motorhome” and go to at least one or two motorhome shows each year. In the spring we had the added bonus of meeting some of the Carthago team again at the NEC and then had a fun time with a number of other Carthago owners at the Peterborough show.
There’s plenty of opportunity to exercise … and boy do we need it given how much we love to eat and drink!! We do lots of walking and our bikes are everywhere we are. We’ve done some fab bike rides this year through the New Forest, along the coastline of Hampshire and Dorset and the shores of Lake Annecy and the Côte d’Azur.
Your friends are always welcome to join you … we were excited that a couple of our friends have just bought a lovely Malibu motorhome and we've had great fun catching up with them and others during our travels. Ray's brother catches up with us from time to time and we were also joined briefly by some younger crew on the Cote d'Azur which livened us up!!
In these difficult economic times, living more cheaply in your motorhome is not so difficult … the multitude of excellent aires (overnight parking areas) in France makes motorhome travelling more economical than in UK. We’ve stayed on some great ones this summer, sometimes free of charge but never costing more than 10 euros per night. We avoid toll roads whenever possible, use our bicycles to visit places from the sites and when eating out, make use of the cheaper plat de jour lunches on offer.
So for us motorhoming is still the best, and a fantastic way to spend your time in retirement!