French route from Cherbourg to Algaspki in Spain

We landed in Cherbourg just after lunch and were soon on the road. Our first two nights were researched back home and I use Google Street View to see what the location is like Our first stop was just 95 minutes away so there was no rush. The fridge and freezer were full of food and we had wine, water and beer, so life was good.

Sept 11

1. Juvigne is a beautiful village full of flowers and we stayed on an Aire by a lake within 1 minutes walk of the centre. What a lovely start to the holiday.

Sept 12

2. Our second night was spent at Boce on a France Passion Site. The owner was a Bee Keeper and he told us it was not a good time for the Bees.

Sept 13

3. Night three was at Les Vignes des Bas, near Le Blanc. Another Aire by a river and the bonus of a bakery within 100 mtr We were the first to arrive and it looked like we were going to be on our own but then Motorhomes came pouring in and the place was full before dark. We had pinched the best spot and were the only English there.

France

Sept 14 -15

4. Lac de Vassiviere was our 4th & 5th night in France, it was an Aire next to a big reservoir. It was Sunday and the lake was heaving with people doing water sports of various kinds. By late afternoon they were all going, so they must have been locals.

Sept 16

5. Pierrefitte was our next stopover, can't remember anything about this place.

Sept 17

6. Uzerche was our 7th night (6th stop) We were in another Aire by a river and just a short walk into the "Old Town" on the hill. We walked up to the old town in the morning before setting off. We found a cafe with Wifi and ordered coffee.

Sept 18 - 19

7. Les Eyzies de Tayac is a lovely spot under a limestone cliff, where in the past people lived, you can see the rooms cut out, and the holes in the cliff where wooden walkways once were. We stayed here the year before when we met another English couple Phil & Jean, and they are the people we were going to meet up with in Portugal.

Sept 20

8. Saint Clar (not showing on the map), another Aire on the edge of a small town, not much worth remembering. Did pick fresh figs for Stevie here.

Sept 21

9. We headed for the Pyrenees and our favourite France Passion site, Gagneres de Bigorre. The location is high and overlooks a beautiful valley with lots of "Red Kites" and "Buzzards" soaring above us.

Sept 21

10. Idaux, another France Passion site, this time in front of a farm house under some walnut trees, very nice. There was another van on site and the french lady came over and introduced herself and showed us where the water tap was located. Her husband was in a wheelchair.

Sept 22

11. Our last night before reaching Portugal was in Algaspki in Spain, the least said about this place the better. It was a factory car park and the workers arrived early and were very noisy.


Spain

We shot across Spain in less than 24hrs in an almost direct line, leaving France on the A63 in the south west and headed to Breganca in northern Portugal. We stayed one night on an Aire.


Portugal 2014 - Portuguese Route

Route from Breganca to Sagres


Sept 23rd 24th 25th 26th 27th 28th

12th stop Breganca Aire - 6 nights
We stayed here for one week as I had discovered an oil leak. We took Myrtle to a garage in Breganca and they found the oil cooler had a leak. They fixed the leak by inserting another small oil filter and informed me that it would get us home. Later that week our friends Phil and Jean arrived and the following morning we headed south.

PORTUGAL

Sept 29th

13th stop Vila Velha da Rodao - 1 night
A niceAire where we met a strange man from Belgium, he thought Hitler was a nice chap.

Sept 30th

14th stop. Evoramonte - 1 night
Our next stop was a campsite at Evoramonte, Stevie and Jean went swimming in the pool

Oct 1st

15th stop Odeceixe - 1 night
We drove down to Vila Nova de Milfontes which is a nice spot on an estuary. I had looked at this location on Google street view and I liked it before we even got there. Our intention was to wild camp here but there were signs up stopping people from doing this, so we didn't stay. We moved on to Odeceixe which is on the side of a river. We wild camped two nights on the other side of the river.

Oct 2nd

16th stop Praia da Bordeira - 1 night
We were staying in a Car Park with many other motorhomes. We all had a swim in a lagoon and we saw Storks here.

Oct 3rd 4th

17th stop Carrapatiera - 2 nights
We wild camped on the top of the cliffs for a couple of nights and watched the lovely sunsets. I think this is where I had a Banana milkshake, I'm sure there was no banana or ice cream in it. Chips were good.

Oct 5th 6th 7th

18th stop Sagres - 3 nights
We stayed in two locations in Sagres. The first was a campsite where we used there washing machine and WiFi. Then we moved to the beachAire and whilst there we swam in the sea. Long time since I have done that.

Oct 8th 9th 10th

19th stop Ingrena - 3 nights
A small beach with a nice beach bar where we had a lovely fish lunch. The storms the year before had removed all the sand from the beach so we didn't swim here.

Oct 11th 12th 13th

20th stop Salema - 3 nights
Our friends Phil and Jean owned timeshare in this resort so we were able to make use of the club and pool, we wild camped just up the hill. From here we were heading back north

Oct 14th

21st stop Porto Covo - 1 night
Whilst in Vila Nova de Milfontes we met an English couple who told us about a good wild camping spot near Porto Covo so that is where we spent this night. Wasn't impressed with the wilding spot but we did like the town of Porto Covo, very tidy.

Oct 15th

22nd stop Vila Velha de Milfontes - 1 night
Stayed on a campsite here because they were stoping people from wild camping. Wasn't very impressed with the campsite. Jean became unwell while we were here and Phil took her back to Salema where he knew of an English speaking doctor. We parted company as there was nothing we could do, and headed north

Portugal

Oct 16th

23rd stop Vila Velha da Rodao - 1 night
We headed back the way we had come and stopped at Vila Velha da Rodao. We got lost and found ourselves driving in the dark over a mountain on a singe track road. Stevie didn't like it some what.

Oct 17th

24th stop Breganca - 1 night
We were now back to Breganca where we had a nightmare of a meal out, less said the better. Think of a meal you would never eat and you might come close. It's all down to a language problem.

The next morning we got away sharp and headed for France. Half way across Spain we stopped at a picnic area on the motorway. When we were ready to move on I noticed we had no oil in the engine. It all went a bit pear shaped after that. I called the emergency services and asked for a tow truck which came along not long after. I asked the price of being taken to Santander, this being the nearest port back to England. He wanted €700, so i asked him to take us to the nearest garage where I bought lots and lots of engine oil. I think he was quite surprised when I filled up with oil and drove off.

We limped into Santander having to stop every 35 miles or so to put oil in, this took a few hours. On arrival at the ferry port we could see the ferry but the gates were closed. As I was turning around a man ran out and asked if we needed the ferry. YES we said and he opened the gates and said you had better hurry as it was leaving in 20 minutes. When onboard the ferry we found it was going to England. Back in Portsmouth we rang "Green Flag" and they Gave us a courtesy car and we went home. Myrtle followed 5 days later.