Monday, 8 July 2013

Renovation Project - Driving in France

Renovation Project - Driving in France

Well we start our journey today, I’m so excited, we didn't get the early night we had planned so we set off a little later. But we are setting off; we are heading to the sun and relaxation.

I load the satnav with the final destination Laruns, in the Pyrenees, we had decided not to book anywhere in Bordeaux as we can always grab a formula 1 hotel nearby.

The journey is fantastic, we drive through so much countryside, we have our picnic with us as we are going to try and do this trip on a budget, we have a number of bottles of our favourite French wine with us (obviously not for while we are driving but to sit on a terrace somewhere for a picnic evening meal).

We have also decided not to use the toll roads, the journey will be longer but will save us a fortune and this saved money will pay for our hotels on the way, so maybe it will take a little longer but we can stay in hotels, rather than the tent.

As we are driving John wants a coffee so we opt for the McDonalds, there are plenty of signs for these when you reach big towns or cities, but something you have to bear in mind when driving on French roads is that they do not tell you where things are, let me explain, you will see a sign saying MacDonald’s (or supermarket or other important stopping space) and it will say 20 mins in the direction of..... We spend over 2 hours following a sign that states 5 mins, and then another stating 20 mins, we never did find a MacDonald’s!

We reach Bordeaux and so look for a hotel, the majority of cheap hotels are on the roadside when you approach a city (yet more signs in the direction of!) we pass them all!!!! so we use the sat nav and find a budget Ibis, eventually, we pass the same roundabout four times before we find the hotel, and it is fully booked, not too worry there are hundreds of hotels nearby, so we find some more and all of these are fully booked as well, so we head into Bordeaux and find a hotel, it is euro's 130 per night!!!! We do not stop here, we drive around and see a bit of Bordeaux, this is a beautiful city and I so wanted to spend the night here so we could have a proper look around.

We eventually give up on the idea of staying in Bordeaux and I curse john for not letting me book one the night before, but as he says we will now find somewhere we didn't plan on. Hmm let’s see.

We carry on driving and are getting closer to the Pyrenees and our picnic supplies are now running short, it's also getting dark, we start having discussions about where we might stay, the car is starting to look like a viable option!

We do pass through some beautiful towns though and one that really stuck out was Pons, we do want to go back and visit here at some point in the future.

I call the hotel we have booked for tomorrow night to see if we can change our booking and get there tonight instead, but they are full.

We now decide to use the toil road as this should have more hotels on it, unfortunately this looks like it may have been a mistake, as we are now driving fast with no towns anywhere nearby!

John sees something out of the window that looks like it may be a hotel, so we hit the sat nav and there is a hotel 5km away, we go to it and the toll has cost us euro 17, so worth it on this occasion!

As we approach the hotel it is like one of those motels you see in horror films, but it does have rooms (we are also only 100km from our final destination). We book in and are given the code to the room, we head over, find the room, enter the code and there is a man on the bed watching TV, Holy Crap! Then I realise that it is the wrong room number, apologising profusely we back out, I'm only grateful that he wasn't having a quiet male moment! We are in the room next door. we drop our stuff off and pour a glass of wine and sit out on the terrace, all you can hear is the frogs and crickets, it's really dark and so peaceful, OK John I'll let you off, this place is fabulous and it means we have very little travel time in the morning.


  1. I once did a similar thing but finding someone in bed in the middle of the night, as we had arrived in the early hours I had the room right but the date wrong C'est La Vie

    1. Ha ha ha glad I'm not the only one!