Sunday, 18 July 2010

Municipal Sites & Sat-Navs

Ok, so after leaving the site at Cambrai, not very happy at paying almost 30 euros for just 2 nights, & unable to see where a municipal town site gets its' 3 stars from, I decided to head for a big green bit on the map, & as luck would have it there was just such a green bit to the west of Rouen. So I looked in my book, "Le Guide Officiel" (which I shall refer to as just "Le Guide" from now on) for a suitable site & found one in a place called La Mailleraye-Sur-Seine, which is on the river Seine, about 30km west of Rouen.
I feel I should say a brief bit about "Le Guide", it is by far the most comprehensive guide of French campsites, & claims to list all 11'000, although I haven't counted them. Although written in French, it does have a small multi-language bit to explain how to read the listings. I only wish I hadn't wasted my money on the Alan Rogers guide, which is more for those wishing to stay on the 4 star super sites, full of noisy families, not my kind of thing. I purchased my "Le Guide" on Amazon, for under a tenner, & so far it has proved indispensable, as has my parents' cheapo sat-nav.
This sat-nav (I believe it's called a Nav-Tec, or something like that, is not the easiest to use, has trouble keeping up with my driving & doesn't list campsites! But, as a lone traveller, I have found it just as indispensable as "Le Guide", they kind of go hand in hand, as the sat-nav doesn't list campsites, but will find addresses (& McDonalds!). I hadn't planned on using it all the time, but when you're on your own it's handy having someone shouting directions at you.

So here I am, at another McDonalds on the outskirts of a town called Yvetot, about 15km from my site. The site at La Mailleraye-Sur-Seine is another municipal, but this time it's much more rural. I turned up to find a large enclosure with a basic, unisex shower block, with normal toilets, sinks for laundry & sinks for washing-up. There is roughly 50 pitches, mostly separated by hedges, electricity for at least half of them & water points dotted at various places. I pulled in & stopped the car, got out & had a gaze at some posters written in French, when I eventually realised I was looking at a bus timetable (I think), a Dutch man walked past & said "hello", so I asked him what to do, he said you just pick a pitch & get on with it, someone will be along in the morning to collect the money, brilliant.
At around the same time a young Dutch couple with 2 children came & pitched-up next to me, I had pitched my tent, had a sandwich & a coffee & gone up to the sinks & done a load of washing & when I returned they were still setting up! I must be getting good at this camping lark!

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoying going out for a drive in the day time, but I'm going to have to find more things to do with my time, as all this driving around & eating McDonalds is not doing my budget any good.
My next move will be down towards Alencon, a shorter drive than last time, I didn't want to be doing 220km in one go, & hopefully it will be the last time I have to do so.
I will leave you with some pics of the latest site, & until the next McDonalds will bid you all fair-well. (pics will have to wait til next time, I've left my phone either in the car or back at the tent! Never mind)

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