Free parking? never…

the inside of our van (back half)

the inside of our van (back half)

So we arrived off the boat, having almost given up the rest of our journey, instead staying in Ireland to help out with the Irish Climate Camp and so I could learn how to surf in Lahinch.  We decided to continue our journey and we’ll see by August where we are, perhaps in a field somewhere in Ireland…

Our first port of call was Le Mont San Michel, a really spectacular castle plus village on an almost island in the sea  We parked on the side of the road with all the other cars, to be immediately told by a very polite French man (unlike the boarder control man, who got very excited at what he thought was our secret drawer for our “cannabus” but instead found our chemical toilet…) that campervans had to park in the field behind.  So we obediently went to the field only to find about 30 other campervans – white, shiny and worth a hell of a lot more than our (monetary value only!).

After visiting the island, nearly getting stranded with the very fast incoming tide, we stayed the night in the field wondering when someone was going to ask us to pay.  We awoke the next day to see our van surrounded by sheep – there’s worse ways to wake up.  We then left, and seeing that our exit was blocked we drove down a new path to a carpark where people were paying to get in.  But much to our surprise we didn’t have to pay and left thinking excellend thoughts about the French.

Our good luck with free places to stay continued right throughout our journey through France.  Apparently its just expected that there will be free places to stay for a night while on a journey somewhere.  Bit of a culture shock for us, we had expected to be sneaking into little corners of villages to avoid paying.

Next we went to Toulouse to visist our friend Karl and his lovely girlfriend Caroline.  As Brian would say “we shot the shit”, ate baguettes, drank beer, reminised about Maynooth and Sterling.  It felt really good to be French for a few days.  They were wonderful hosts and sent us on our way well fed, clean and with tips for places to visit – oh yeh and the promise of better weather as it had been raining in Toulouse.

Grainne, x