Where's Frankie?

Girondelle to Avelin (97 miles)

We woke up this morning to a wall of fog so had breakfast and made another quick getaway hitting the road by 8.30am. The fog started lifting and soon the sun was making an appearance. We made very good time which was lucky, it was a longer journey than we would have wanted and as we were driving along we started recognising places. We are now retracing our route back to Calais. We were heading for a French Passion site in Avelin only stopping at an Intermarche for some bread for lunch. €30 later it was a short hop to the site.

Talk about chalk and cheese. This site is a narrow strip of land alongside a river. We are close to the farmhouse which is built in the shape of a square or quadrangle. One side is the house and the others are the milking sheds and barns. There is wisteria growing all the way up the side of the house and it just looks so lovely.
The pitch itself is a bit unlevel so we have backed up the the river, down a slight grassy incline. Now it has started raining and I’m just so pleased that the farmer has a huge tractor, we might need it tomorrow.
I eventually found the lady to tell her we had arrived and asked if we could buy some cheese and she invited me into her shop. It was all a bit too much for me so I asked if it was OK to bring the missus in and let her have a look. €20 later we left with some cheese and pate and ice cream and cider and beer and an elderflower cordial. So that’s €50 euros in a day to buy the two things we needed, bread and cheese. We’re taking more food back home than we bought with us.
We came back to the van and had another french lunch, bread, cheese, pate and fruit juice and then I set about fitting some LED strip lights that I bought in England. Our van is pretty much perfect in every way but one thing that does let it down is the lighting. Sometimes that is a good thing (depending on who cooked that evening) but I have been known to wear a headlight to read my kindle. Now we have a strip either side of the lounge and one round the front and it really doesn’t look like I fitted, it’s almost factory fitted quality.


The French Passion Site with our Dutch neighbours

Two more motorhomes joined us in the evening both from the Netherlands and both asked me where to park and who to see, they obviously knew it would be a waste of time asking the french motorhome who had arrived before us. Good job they could both speak English because my Dutch is a little rusty, I only know a couple of Dutch songs and singing about tulips or mice on stairs isn’t going to be of much use.


The Farm at Avelin


The view from our window


Part of the farm’s moat

Word of the Day – Rillettes. We found a pot of Rillettes de Porc and understanding that it may have some pork content gave it a go. The contents were listed as pork meat and pork fat and a couple of other bits like herbs, salt etc. When we opened the pot up there was a layer of fat at the top and under that was a very tasty pork product which contained lots of meat, not your usual mashed up to a puree stuff. It was delicious spread out over our bread. Rillettes de Canard is pressed goose so we are guessing (the translators still in the bin) that we have just eaten pressed pork.
Mistake of the Day – Driving along we saw a sign for Jenlain. I know my beer and Jenlain is a very nice French beer, sounds like an oxymoron but it is true and if you don’t believe me get down to Tescos and give it a go. The town is 100 yards off of our course so lets give it a go and see if we can buy some Bier de Jenlain straight out of the factory gates, you never know, it might be like Doom Bar and not travel very well and taste even better than it does from Tescos. We drove through the town and found the brewery but what day is it today – yes, closed day!! To brighten things up we did see a Fockeday lorry which didn’t make Lucy laugh as much as me.
To be honest, we struggled to find a mistake of the day, everything had been going so smoothly. An hour after I had written this we were reading our kindles when there was the sound of gushing water. It seemed to be coming from the boiler cupboard so I ran round and saw that the cold water pipe had come adrift. It was just a press fit with a jubilee clip holding it in place so an easy fix. I went and got my multi socket screwdriver with the thousand exchangeable tips and found the right size socket for the clip. I placed the screwdriver on top of the boiler after loosening the jubilee clip and as I went to push the two pipes together I knocked the screwdriver over the back of the boiler and into a huge void only accessible by very small things. I could hear the screwdriver bouncing off a few bits as it worked its way right down to the bottom completely out of sight or reach. Anyone want 999 screwdriver tips?

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