We left Benicàssim via the 340 and then joined the AP7 at Cambrils (J37) that took us past Barcelona. We left the AP7 at J9 and followed the 11 to Figueres and through the commercial centre and lorry stop at La Jonquera continuing through the border town of La Perthus. I still don’t know if it is duty free or cheaper to stop here and do some shopping for tobacco, alcohol or anything really. Perhaps someone who knows can comment on this blog and let me know! It’s always busy at the commercial centre in Jonquera and also at La Perthus.
We took the 618 to Argelès-sur-Mer, then the 914 to our first overnight stop at the Aire in St Cyprien. The Aire overlooks the harbour of St Cyprien, is fully serviced and entered by a barrier using your credit card to pay for the amount of time you plan to stay there. It cost us €7.10 with electric for 24 hours. There are plenty of restaurants and bars in the area but not all open early in the season. The harbour makes for a nice stroll after all that sitting in the driver and passenger seats.
The following day we took the scenic route along the coast road, avoiding Perpignan and calling in at Canet-Plage and Port Barcarès, we had stayed here on our first venture abroad with the kids in our small VW Transporter van about 30 years ago. It doesn’t look the same now as it did then!
We continued along the coast hugging both the beach on our right and the Étang de Leucate on our left. It was extremely windy alongside the lake and we were getting blown sideways, we had to take it easy!
We continued around the lake and joined A9 at J40 following this all the way along to the A75 at Beziers. The A75 is extremely long, free and very scenic, it goes all the way to Clermont-Ferrand. It is particularly scenic from Lodeve up to the tunnel and then again the scenery just continues through the Grand Causses and over the Millau Viaduct. You do have to pay to cross the viaduct or alternatively you have to go through the town of Millau. Both routes are an experience and worth doing.
We ventured along the A75 to Clermont-Ferrand and from here the A75 turns into the toll paying A71 that we followed until J9 then drove on the 2144 to our next overnight stop at the Aire by the lake and the supermarket, the garage and MacDonalds at the north end of St. Amand-Montrond. It is a good Aire and one that we had previously stopped over at.
This morning we continued along the 2144 to Bourges, the 2076 to Vierzon the 2020 to Lamotte-Beuvron then joined the A71 toll motorway until J13, avoiding Orleans but not the rain!
We picked up the 154 to Chartres where we stopped at the large Leclerc just off the roundabout to the D910. It is here that I am usually able to purchase one of my favourite Sauvignon Blancs but oh mon dieu, quelle horreur, there was none to be found on the shelves! Great disappointment for me, smiles all round for Tony, until I found some stacking saucepans that I thought would be great for the motorhome.
I am now on a mission to find a Leclerc that has some supplies of that wine so we had to stop again at Dreux only to find the same problem, no MAS Sauvignon Blanc on the shelves.
We continued to Pont de l’Arche near Rouen for our final overnight stop where I am now putting this post together whilst Tony heats up the tin of Cassoulet, tinned carrots & peas and tinned potatoes! Well we need to get rid of some of this weight so I can fill up with wine, if only! Not sure we will have time for stopping tomorrow so Liz, you may have to find some for me, and Miriam, you will have to bring it back with you when you visit Liz!
We are catching the midday Eurotunnel train tomorrow so not too long a drive from here to the terminal and then another couple of hours from Folkestone to home. Again, it’s been another great trip with great company, plenty of sun, sand and sea, a lot less culture for Tony and after we get home, the work begins of packing up and moving to Dorset! We just need to find a new home that can easily accommodate our motorhome on the premises. That is top priority!
Click on the link below to view the route map!