Well, we said we would write a final blog when we returned at the end of June but we failed miserably, sorry. We find we get home and life just changes, not better or worse, just different. We walk in and marvel at all the space and then say ‘why do we need such a big house’. It’s not actually that big but without children about there are too many rooms for just the two of us. I think top differences for us at home are flushing toilets and showers that you can leave the water running, oh, and the dishwasher and washing machine. Maybe in today’s climate we should be saving water (and the planet) but we do enough of that while we’re away.
Anyway, back to the blog that was never written. That final evening we were meant to be eating out on a terrace alongside the river Rance, should have been idyllic, right? We rode our bikes down and paddled in the sea for 15 minutes trying to cool off as it was so hot. Having lowered our blood temperature a bit we went to the restaurant and sat down. It was very hot and humid and you could see people sweating, trying to enjoy their meal. We opted to eat inside that was actually cooler than the covered terrace. So not really a meal to remember apart from the heat. We both felt we were glad to be going back to Guernsey as it’s always cooler being on an island surrounded by the sea.
Unfortunately, the ferry, Condor Rapide, was running an hour late as it was restricted by the height of the tide in Jersey and had to wait for the rising tide. Apart from that we got home in one piece. It’s always a worry, you get off the ferry and drive on the left and are faced with very narrow roads and lots of oncoming vehicles. Anyhow, all safe and sound in the drive. Always great to see our two cats as we walk in the door, well not really, have to go and find them sleeping in the garden somewhere! Thanks to Aimee and Tom who looked after our cats and house while we were away. They will be moving back in again when we go in September, thank you very much to them.
We’ve decided to head down to Provence this time with a few stops on the way. Our aim is to start in Grenoble and drive the Napoléon route down to the coast and then steadily move West. We don’t make concrete plans or itineraries so we’ll just go with the flow. There’s so much to see on the coast and and the same inland so we may end up going back on ourselves, who knows. The return ferry is booked for 11 November so we have 2 months to roam around. We will be writing a daily blog as usual, partly for us, partly for our family and for anybody else who’s interested.
Dave has become Super Dave according to Kay as I decided to boost the Fiat engines performance by fitting a chip from ChipExpress. We have a 150bhp engine and it’s ok but does feel a bit underpowered and lacking in torque on the hills. Dave is on 4.4t heavy Fiat chassis and we travel around at about 4t. We’re getting 24mpg averaged over the whole of last trip and we’ve now done about 8000 miles so it’s fairly run in. I’m hoping the chip is going to reduce the fuel consumption a bit, by how much if at all, time will tell. The chip will boost the horsepower from 150 to 180 and the torque from 380Nm to 420Nm. Fitting was meant to be a 5 minute job but being an A class motorhome there was some of the structure to be removed before I could get to the engine. Took about an hour in the end with some scrapes to my hand. Took Dave out for a quick run the following Sunday morning, not too much traffic, and once the engine was warmed the difference was noticeable. Of course the real test will be when we get Dave on the French roads and give him a good run. I’ll report back after a week or so.