Survived Storm Ermintrude. Actually wasn’t aware of much weather in the night. Woke at 4 for a pee (it’s always 4 o’clock) put the heater on and went back to sleep. Reckon I need to do a bit of tidying up this morning.
There are some people who think that the domestic tasks associated with travelling in a Campervan are easy and not at all comparable with the chores required in a ‘normal’ terraced house, for example. I would beg to differ, however. The constraints of space mean that the van has to be your living room, your bedroom, your kitchen and sometimes at 4am with the assistance of a steady hand and an empty Diet Coke bottle it becomes your toilet. Several times a day therefore the van has to undergo a ‘change of use’ as the bed is erected or put away and dishes are cleaned and clothes tidied away and bottles emptied before we can head off to the next location. Yes, it is arduous to hoover the lounge of your house. To ensure that the bathroom is sparkling and that the laundry drying in your spare room is neatly folded away. Normally, however, those tasks are undertaken on a weekly basis whilst ‘van life’ requires a thorough clean most days. Rant over!
Domestic chores completed I decided against a swim in the semi darkness just in case Madame Skippy was doing her weird sideways aerobics. Similarly the Baltic weather conditions precluded against an early morning job today. \240So cold.
Strategy is to head south and hope it will get warmer. Ten miles into the journey a buzzer sounded to alert me that the temperature had dropped to four degrees!! Programmed sat nav to head south with the plan of finding somewhere to stop beyond Bordeaux tonight. Got as far as Saintes where I stopped for breakfast, diesel and some supplies at Hyper U.
Well busy driving round Bordeaux so stopped for lunch after I had dealt with that challenge. Thought about having a sit down meal at the restaurant in the wonderfully named ‘Flunch’ where they had a map of a cow on the wall detailing which part the different cuts of meat cane from. Settled instead for a baguette from the shop and utilised the pate and cheese I had purchased earlier. I did treat myself to some tomato soup from the machine (£1.30) haven’t found the symbol for Euro yet so accept that pound sign equals euro.
The picture below is the tomato soup purchased from the vending machine at service station. It is not a sample of any bodily fluid.
The remainder of the journey to the Aire was pleasant enough and the sun actually came out for half an hour promoting me to perform the rather ridiculous manoeuvre of removing my outer outer jacket whilst driving. Not recommended but required.
Unfortunately, the last forty minutes were spent following a bloody great mobile home or something which was being towed at a ridiculously slow speed and which brought all the traffic to a standstill at every junction and roundabout.
Eventually it forked off and I got to the Aire by the lake, paid £4.50 (euros) and parked amongst the giant motor homes a short distance away from the toilets.
Having driven a lot today, the remaining daylight was spent walking round the lake and forests that adjoined the Aire. This really is a great location and a bargain at £4:50 (euros). Guess it would be lovely in the summer.
Although the Baltic winds had reduced a bit since this morning, the weather was still a little inclement this afternoon and there was the odd light shower, but nothing on yesterday’s scale. Nonetheless, I was not going to get caught out again and made sure I had the right jacket on today.
Frustratingly I had only done 8.6 miles when I got back to the van, so at 7:16 I decided to venture out again and walked up to the local pub which for some unknown reason had a giant television screen playing a French version of Ray Mears outside on the patio. Given how cold it was outside I’m not sure how many people will be sat watching Le Ray whilst sipping their Vin Rouge and munching on Le Scampi Fries, particularly when the same programme was playing on a slightly smaller television in the bar, in the warm. Odd. The wine was nice though.
Life’s a bugger sometimes. Got back to the van and had only done 9.86 miles. Autism?
Put Apple Watch on charge and tried to forget about the missing 0.14 of a mile. Cooked another packet of Tesco instant pasta mix with the pork chops purchased earlier. Worked well.
Had some M and M alternatives for ‘afters’ - considerably cheaper and the nuts were much, much bigger than the originals.
Another day over. Nearly a week away. Lots to reflect on. Will try to find the time to put more thoughts and pontifications in the coming entries. Getting quite used to spending my time in this lime green and white metal box called Margaret. Oh and that’s another tangent that will probably need to be explored at some point. A van called Margaret and why it is hopefully going to take me to Portugal (and beyond).
Enough for today. Hopefully tomorrow will be warmer and the plan is to head to Sare (I think that’s right) which isn’t that far from the Spanish border. Ole. Oh, and I need to do some washing at some point. Nos Da.