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About meadowsweet

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    Over 100 posts
  • Birthday 29/02/1960

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    Caravanning, walking, leisurely cycling, dogs and wine
  • Towcar
    Subaru Tribeca
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    Coachman VIP 565

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  1. It is a difficult decision. Drive through France or take the ferry. My preference is the ferry because it is less tiring and stressful than driving all the way down through France. I guess the weather conditions would be better than northern Spain but still. I find it tiring and stressful being the passenger so worse for the driver! That is an attractive option although from reading this forum you would have to book the sites in advance. The two facts I glean from discussions is that you HAVE to book sites in advance and that pitches are small!
  2. Ah. I am a member so will diarise earlier! Thanks. I presume, then it is best to book the return as well, in order to get a dog cabin, so there isn't the flexibility available on shorter crossings to France (and, the flexibility to change the booking due to not being able to book a dog cabin).
  3. Jaybug, I read your blogs some time ago with great interest. Lovely photographs! They will be very useful for future planning. Thanks. I will diarise July to book the crossing. It seems odd that BF offer Santandar and Bilbao as they aren't that far apart. Are there any advantages of one over the other if heading south? Or is it simply just another hour from Santandar?
  4. We are thinking of spending a couple of months, January and February 2021 in either Spain or the Algarve. I would appreciate any information on the following:- 1. What would be the latest time of year to book the Santandar ferry (departing early January 2021) in order to reserve a dog cabin? 2. Weather - I have been comparing the weather (BBC website) between Faro and Malaga. There does not seem to be much difference at all in temperature, in fact Faro currently seems a little better than Spain with less rain, although that might be unusual? I realise that due to climate emergency weather stability can no longer be guaranteed. However, it is so godawful here now in winter with endless rain I would like to try it out. 3. Caravan sites. Lots of useful information on this forum about various caravan sites in Spain but not much about the Algarve. The ASCI book hardly has any sites in the Algarve although there may well be other sites. 4. Journey (quickest and includes tolls) - 9 hours 19 minutes (car) to Faro, 9 hours 16 minutes (car) to Malaga. Towing would be longer of course. So journey times comparable - Both journeys through Spain - perhaps there are significant differences in terrain/ease of journey? We have been on a number of holidays, sans caravan, to the Algarve, so know it well, but never been to Spain (other than a coach trip to Lloret back in 1983 which was fairly unpleasant). I selected Malaga for comparison purposes only because a Google search advises it is an area that has reliable winter sun. If Portugal - we would stay in the Tavira region. Of course the Algarve is less sheltered so may well be windier and beaches colder. I also think there would be more places of interest to visit in Spain. Many thanks.
  5. Well, it was 38 degrees when we left the Dordogne in mid June 2019. We left when we saw the following week's forecast of 45 degrees. We bought a gazebo when it started getting hot which helped. We also, rather foolishly, had pitched in full sun rather than in the shade by the river (worried about midges), when in actual fact there weren't any....
  6. Thoughts of France today as I received a new year greeting from a campsite in Ile D'Oleron. Although, TBH I would not return as the pitches were tiny. Also found the island to be quite busy and driving around slow (this was June). I am wondering about the weather. Last year, our first year of retirement, we had to leave the Dordogne in mid June due to the extremely high temperatures. The dogs found it very uncomfortable as did we even though I could sit in the the river to cool down (or visit caves)! We did not want to leave, it was so lovely there and wanted to stay longer. We went to Brittany where it was still hot but had the advantage of the sea breezes. I understand that 2018 also experienced high temperatures. Last year we left on 21st May, spent a couple of weeks in the Loire Valley > Ile D'Oleron > Dordogne. I am wondering about leaving in early May this year (we want to go straight to the Dordogne with a couple of stopovers on the way as it was a bit chilly in the Loire last year. That way we would have longer before moving on. To get to the point - are these high temperatures in June likely to be the norm? Thanks
  7. Out of interest does German have the same orgy of Christmas consumerism as here? I am so sick of it. I hate to say it but it seems like a greedfest.
  8. Oh goodness. It sounds a non-starter. Thanks for responses. I am not sure that the Portsmouth Santandar return is cheaper than flying but I guess with dog cargo as an extra it may well be but will do some research! Cheers all.
  9. I believe Flybe and Thomson carry pets in the hold.
  10. Apologies in advance for a non-caravan post. We were wondering about renting an apartment for a month in Spain over the winter period and wondered about the feasibility of our two dogs to accompany us in the temperature controlled hold as we don't want to put them in kennels and don't have anyone to look after them. plus we would really miss them. We would fly from Birmingham. I understand that it would involve taking them to a separate cargo terminal beforehand to drop them off and collecting them on the way back. I wondered if anyone had done this, how much was the cost and how your dogs coped? I would not do it if it were really stressful for them. We have done ferry crossings with them in the car (4.5 hours) and they seemed OK, just went to sleep (obviously overjoyed to see us on arrival in Cherbourg - as most dogs are!).
  11. We ALWAYS forget something, no matter how many lists I make. So take a relaxed attitude and some laissez-faire. Try not to use any bad words towards your partner. The worse thing he forgot was the awning poles on a two week holiday in Devon, in second place the food box last year to France.
  12. Some friends were refuelling on a service area on their way home to the tunnel. Passengers not in car and car windows open. Their bag was taken with passports and cash while back turned at pump. Gendarme came nothing on CCTV 2 hours at police station. Luckily the bag was found abandoned still with passports but sans cash. They were travelling non stop from Dordogne so were tired and also I think it is easy to get relaxed on holiday e.g walking to shower block and leaving caravan unlocked. We did it on every site we stayed on over the past 7 weeks although I did feel very safe and had hidden passports. Probably obvious to all readers of this forum but bears restating.
  13. Thanks for tips. Going to the village vert. Its a bit hot to overnight at the port.
  14. I know it's not the loire but camping maisoneuve in Castelnaud le Chapelle near sarlat in the dordogne is open from 1 April to 31 October and is a truly beautiful location.
  15. Hi We are booked on the 8.30 am crossing Cherbourg to Poole on Tuesday next week having always previously taken the afternoon crossing. Can anyone recommend a site nearby?. There is Le Village Vert 8 miles away and also Camping Cotentin which is very close not great reviews but only a night. Need to check in to ferry by 7.30 am latest. Just wondering about whether campsite barriers would locked leaving so early. Any advice appreciated about sites or has anyone stayed overnight at port? Many thanks.
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