France

The Start…

 

It didn’t feel like much of a start; not being able to say goodbye to many friends and then getting stuck in South London traffic, it just felt that we were going for a short drive to France. We were supposed to have a proper leaving event at Marble Arch but the Landcruiser didn’t want to be there – instead we just slipped out of London like every other anonymous car.

We had not being able to promote SolarAid or show our gratitude to our sponsors, and then we missed the second ferry that we had booked! (by 10 mins).

But the sun was shining and we could easily see France from Dover(the clearest I have ever seen it). Sunshine and clear skies always makes things better.

Us at Dover

We made it to Dover – what a relief! [Ryan, Shaun, Gwyn]

How clear is the channel

France from Dover

Ryan

Ryan wondering what mainland Europe would be like – his first time!

When we arrived inFranceit was soon getting dark and we needed test how to set up camp. We hadn’t had a “dry run” of testing all the gear, but it all seamed fine. However, the problem with clear skies is that the temperature falls quickly – we woke up to find ice on the roof top tents bbbbrrrr.

The plan…

The plan inEuropewas to follow the larger main roads, but try and avoid the tolled motorways, however it was too slow and we had a ferry to catch in 1600 miles / 5 days.

The Solution…

To drive on the tolled Autoroutes, late into the night, to reach theAlps. It wasn’t so bad, the landcruiser can just about do French speed limits and the road was empty.

Waking up to Mont Blanc – finally it felt as if we were getting somewhere and winding through the Italian Alps the next morning was something new to us all.

Mont blanc

Was this to be the last of the cold? In the Alps..

Key Facts – France

Solar installations – much of the driving was in the dark – but there were a few Solar powered signs

Mileage – 673

Vehicles – No old landcruiser, just standard Europe cars

Cost of Fuel – 97.9 Euro a litre

Coffee – Didn’t have any

Food – My first time in France not to have mussels (moules) – sorely missed

Other – It is colder in Northen France than the UK

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