And they're off!

Trip Start Nov 28, 2010
Trip End Sep 29, 2011

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Flag of France  , Languedoc-Roussillon,
Saturday, December 4, 2010

We woke up to a cold winter morning.  A quick croissant and a check around the house to make sure nothing vital was left behind – like the boys’ Kindles…needed not only for their entertainment and education, but also for our sanity.  Hugs and kisses all round and then off to the mechanic with fingers crossed.  My main fear was put to rest quickly when the problem had the decency to repeat itself in front of the mechanic.  And shortly afterwards he had diagnosed and repaired the problem, checked our tires, refilled our windshield fluid, lent us a generator and thrown in a free tool kit.  Nice when your father has a good relationship with the mechanic.  Thank you Claude.

And so we were finally off.  We set our course for the far southwest of France, from where we’ll make our entry into Spain in a couple of days.  Just a few hours’ drive today, to the fortified city of Carcassonne.  Definitely not arriving after nightfall this time!  Or then again….

The boys found a good way to pass the time, as can be seen in the picture…sleep came late last night.  And the time went by, along with the daylight, a lot quicker than expected.  We were not helped by our devious camperstop guidebooks.  As well as campsites, Europe is filled with what the French call Aires.  These are places set up for campervans to stop for the night safely in villages and towns across Europe.  They don’t have the amenities of campsites, though some have water and electricity, but they are safe havens to dock up for the night.  Villages and towns provide them for free in the hope that travelers might venture in and spend some money.  So we’ll try when we use them to pop in and by a baguette the next morning.  Anyway, to help find such places we have a selection of “camperstop” books.  And we found out early that some of the authors of these books do not keep them as up to date as they might.  Or perhaps they are just pranksters.  Either way, the first place we set our GPS for was not only closed but also half way up a mountain.  With narrow roads.  But credit where credit is due, at least the place existed.  Not so the second one.  And as we made our way slowly down that mountain, the sun made its way not so slowly beneath the horizon.  Our 100% record for arriving in darkness remained in tact.  Eventually we found our way to one of those village aires, a little way outside Carcassonne, in the quaintly named village of Fanjeaux.  Daddy made pork chops and rice for dinner, which turned out surprisingly palatable.  The rest of the evening was spent finishing the unpacking, finding a spot for all our things, and making sure the heating would not turn off in the middle of the night (as it had done on the drive down from Germany).  Then to bed and the sounds of a cold wind blowing against the side of our cozy warm campervan.
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Meme on

Love the hats, boys! Can't wait to see more photos! Safe travels...xoxoxoxo

Samira on

hey guys ... love the pictures~
Have a safe trip and keep the pictures coming.... we do miss seeing you guys at soccer....
lots of love and stay safe!

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