Welll!! Bruce is perched on the banks of the Seine in Bois de Boulogne, Paris. He can see the Eiffel Tower from our site!! The barges and bateaux on the river are going about their business – right before his eyes!!..!! http://www.camping-indigo.com/en/paris-indigo-campsite. It is this close to Paris: click here.
After celebrating our son Ben’s 24th birthday in Melbourne, Derbyshire,we drove to the coastal village of Sizewell in Suffolk. Not much there except two Nuclear Power Stations!!. Just offshore there is a windfarm too — 26km offshore!! The windfarm generates enough electricity to power 530,000 homes.
Whilst bike riding, we bumped into a very elderly lady, sitting in her wheelchair, on a small deserted track overlooking the beach. We wondered what on earth she was doing there – she pointed to her son fishing way down the beach. She was keen to chat (and of course- so was Bev) and the conversation eventually discovered that they were both former nurses.
Our tour to France was starting in three days so we were back to London for final preparations. We improved security of Bruce and the bikes. Mike brought his mate Dave over. He is in security so provided some helpful advice. We also did five loads of washing!! And went for dinner at the Taj Mahal – what better place to go for dinner with our landlady… just around the corner from Pummy’s place. Not sure if this is the chef:
Sunday was Mothers Day in the UK. Pummy and Pinki had lost their mother that week, we were all feeling a bit down. We appreciate the extra effort they made to make us feel welcome. The gathering at Pummy’s place with Mike, Pinki, Pummy, Neil & Leon on Sunday started just after lunch and finished late and was most enjoyable.
Perfect weather was the order of the day for the 1 ½ hour ferry crossing from Dover to Calais in France. Although it was April Fools Day – there were no tricks or surprises to it!! As we had booked and paid, Bruce’s registration number was recognised on arrival and we were given a Queue Number (218!!) In the queue for about 15 minutes, then drove aboard. We drew the short straw and were sent up a steep narrow “driveway” to the upper deck. We parked where directed and went upstairs to the passenger area. After chatting to fellow travellers Lynda and John, we were there before we knew it!. We met them in the Black Horse Inn (pub) the previous night at Dover. They have toured Europe extensively on their motorbike. They retired this year and have just converted to a motorhome towing their motorbike. Their bike is a brand new Triumph that looks like a 1950 model. They toured on a Goldwing, but it too needed retirement… And we thought we were adventurous!!
After experiencing 6 ½ hours of driving on the right hand side of the road, Bruce arrived a bit exhausted in our Camping Pitch in Paris for the next two weeks. Our journey was extended as we chose the Toll Free route. It was worth the extra hour to drive through the many small and not-so-small villages. It was very tempting to jump on our bikes to explore them!! We fought the urge and only stopped to check our two GPS were in agreement with the map!! The roads were a lot quieter than the UK with open fields and places to stop road-side.
Combien il est passionant ! Nous Sommes arrives a Paris avec un ciel bleu et un soleil radieux ! (translate.google.com might help)
As we were plugging Bruce into the power, you wouldn’t read about is (except you are!) but guess who wandered over to welcome us?!?!?! ….. none other than a walking and talking (a lot) Aussie Bruce – WHAT!!.?!? We had just pulled in when up he sauntered… “G’day! I’m Bruce from Australia!!” …. Well you could have knocked us over with a feather.
To compound the coincidence, he also drives a Hymer like our Aussie Bruce and he couldn’t speak more highly of it.
He hails from North Queensland. Bruce and his wife spend 3-6 months a year in France each year, touring with their Hymer.
Camping Indigo in Paris is the closest park to the centre of Paris, but has seen better days. It is in need of major maintenance. There is a refurbishment planned for 2013-2014 – cant see that it has started – and the busy season of 2014 is about to start. It seems that the phenomenon we noticed in the NSW caravan parks is also happening here – more individual camping sites are being lost to “on-site-cabins”.