Lost in France!

Cathy posting;

Woke early again 7.30 am to a welcome sunrise, blue skies but fresh!


Aire facing the lake

There’s a strong smell of Brussels sprouts from the local fields this morning…….

Quick shower and porridge and off we go, just over the lane is a War Cemetery called Railway Dugouts Burial Ground and the area of Zillebeke has many Commonwealth war graves as the front line ran through it, this graveyard was where the railway runs on an embankment next to a farm known to the troops as Transport Farm and the site was screened by slightly rising ground, burials began in April 1915 up to Armistice but in 1917 a considerable number were obliterated by shell fire before they could be marked, this would be why we noticed that some of the headstones just said the persons name or “soldier” known to have or believed to have died in this place, terrible to think that their friends had buried them only for them to be blown up again. I’m not sure I will go to see any more war graves, I wanted to see this one to remind myself of the futility of war.

We walked back across the to Aire for a walk around the lake, it was a lovely walk as well with good paths and there is a bed and breakfast with restaurant and bar on the edge with great views. It was closed today though.

dave zille

Dave with the B&B on the Lake in the background

Once back we got chatting to a couple who were now stuck inside the Aire, they had just 20 mins left of their 48 hrs and the barrier wouldn’t open, (it says at the entrance if you stay more than 48 hrs the barrier won’t open and you can’t get out!) they were trying to ring the phone number on the sign but it just kept ringing out! They were still there when we left 2 hours later, we felt very sorry for them.

Did some services stuff, toilet emptying, grey waste as well, filled with up with 100 litres of fresh water for just €1.

Selected an Aire from the book, All The Aires France, at Landrecies Parc Naturale Regional Du L’ Avesnois, we put the GPS coordinates in and double checked by both of us because of yesterday’s mishap, checked location on sat nav screen, looked right and in the correct vicinity. ETA 2hrs @ 124 kms, beautiful day for driving off we go, we hit road works in a small village and the French road workers must have been in high spirits ready for Easter as all the diversion signs met up with each in a continuous circle, we kept seeing the same spots, shops and cars! Cars were following us and if we can get through so can they! We put the place name into the sat nav and google maps on my phone, check its where we want to be and were off again! It’s another 21Kms.

The co-ordinates in the All the Aires book are wrong?? There are 5000 in the book and we pick a wrong one? (we verified this later when we actually got there). I’ve renamed it Sat Naff. Not it’s fault but that’s how I feel.

The correct GPS coordinates are N20.1278, E003.69086, ignore the ones in the 2018 edition! (edited  – please see the next post, the book is correct after all and I can’t use a sat nav properly! )

Just over 3 hrs later and not 2hrs because of the French circular fun trail apparently, we are 1.9kms away, sat nav shouts turn left, I looked ahead & it’s a dirt track, so we pulled up, checked again and I said to Dave said it looks ok, go for it! When the condition of the track became muddy and not hardcore after 1.6km travelled we turned around and came back to the main road. I took a video but stopped before it got really bad.

(I can’t upload the video at the moment, I am learning this blog stuff as I go along! I’ll try and post it later)

So our 2 hr trip became 4 hrs, not eaten since our porridge at 8.30am and its now 4pm, so we are tired & hungry , let’s nip to the little café or pizza pace around the corner said I, good idea says Dave,there’s nothing open until 6pm says the local gendarme! Ok, the supermarket over the road it is then, I’ve got some fresh tarragon, so I’ll get some chicken, something I can make in 30 mins total before Dave eats his elbow!

chicken dinner

A very hungry and tired Dave!

It’s a week now since we left home and we can’t believe we will be doing this until August on this trip, feels odd not working and also thinking that we haven’t just left home for a holiday, someone is actually living in our house, it’s now essentially their home for at least 12 months, we are happy for it all though.

We will go for a stroll around the town later and I’ll read my book whilst Dave makes a spreadsheet for our daily costs to keep on budget, one for you there CJ, if you are reading this

Hopefully tomorrow will be uneventful.

Cathy x

3 thoughts on “Lost in France!

  1. look out for the “toutes directiones” signs – those really are a joke – went round in circles too (many years ago on a trip to Normandy)


  2. Pingback: White Turf | Me, you and Pogo 2

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