A 6am alarm call is never the best thing to hear as on a normal day that only means one thing, work. Today is a little different, today is the 8th September 2019 and we have a date with Eurotunnel as at 8:20am we head off to France on our first ever European tour in our Bailey Autograph Motorhome for 8 weeks.
So yes let’s get up and make those final checks and hit the road as Janaways On Tour starts right here.
Now if you’re new to the motorhome life or you’ve been doing it a while, what we find exciting is packing the motorhome up ready for a trip and trying to remember everything. Now when you go on a holiday that involves a plane you would pack a case, in a motorhome you’re packing your home on wheels so there is so much to think about. So not only are you packing your underwear, you even have to remember things like salt & pepper. More on that later. (We will publish a handy checklist blog and will add a link in this post).
So after all the final checks and locking up the house we get to Folkestone which in all told is only 20 minutes from our house, so not a bad start to the day. Checkin at Eurotunnel is very swift and simple with no issues at all just how we like it and the best thing about the start of this holiday is our Eurotunnel ticket was pretty much free, by saving our clubcard points from Tesco doing our normal shopping it covered this cost and as we know when you do trips like this you need to work on a budget, a great start to the trip.
During our trip we wanted to work on a realistic budget to help us cover our costs throughout out adventure and as we go along our journey we will share our daily cost with you, some cost may just surprise you as they did us. More on that as we go.
Well this is the fun part by far as the only thing we have planned is our ticket to France and our return ticket back to England, other than that we have not booked anything and have absolutely no idea where we are going to sleep tonight other than in our motorhome. No that’s proper touring by far and for us that’s the whole adventure, as they say “Home is where you park it” and that’s exactly what we plan to do. Some people may not want to do that and would prefer to book their sites in advance or stick to club sites abroad and know where they are staying but for us the whole point of this adventure is to make it an adventure. All we know at this stage is the countries we want to get to and there is a list to squeeze in. France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Slovenia,Croatia, Italy, San Marino, Spain, Gibraltar & Portugal so not much.
So we are off, welcome to France and we decided to head straight to Belgium via the E40 leaving France behind us. Being our first whole day on the road this was a good time to finally decide where to go and to be fair its not that easy because we can go anywhere we want and so if you are anything like us, coming to a final choice sometimes gets hard however while driving along we did decide to stop off for the afternoon in Ghent. Now if you have ever been to Bruges and you loved it, you will then fall in love with Ghent. The city dates back to the middle ages and so is just full of history everywhere you go. Click here to go to Wikipedia for more information on this city. We found some free parking marked on Google called Yactdreef, I will attach a picture. We had no issues here and from there we walked into the centre.
Time to move on.
After spending a good few hours walking around Ghent and enjoying some chips with cheese, to which is a must. We set off looking for our very first nights stop over. This is where our new found friend comes in, most will know it some may not. One of the many Apps out there this one is called Park4Night and I will say we used this 90% off the whole trip and found us some great places to stay.
So while I started to drive Elaine was searching for our first night stop and for us this was exciting as it was mid afternoon and we had no where to stay as of yet but I was happy to just hit the road and enjoy the passing scenery. We wanted to make a little headway on our first day so I was happy to drive for a couple of hours more, so when looking on the map Elaine had a little more scope. After some looking on the App Elaine found a great place on our route, this was a paying carpark for campers on the land of a restaurant that had been set up with electric hook up, fresh water, grey and black waste and bins provided all for the low price of 9Euros, it is however free should you eat in the restaurant. Now thats a great price for all that so we headed straight for it, I will drop the picture in which if you look will also have the GPS for you and when searching on the Park4night App it is located under Waimes and is a red motorhome picture.
We arrived at our first site to find the place empty , there was space for 10 motorhomes all overlooking the hillside it was lovely and clean and the service points where great. We parked up, got level, plugged in and got settled for our first night, the 9Euros parking fee you pay at the house next to the restaurant.
After about 30 minutes here being on our own a big red fire engine pulls in, at first I thought wheres the fire as all the out side livery looks like a fire engine, however once it pulled up close we saw a couple in the front seats to whom where not firemen. This was a beautiful fire truck conversion into there motorhome and I must say it was a dream. Once they were settled we had to go and talk to them, like you do and they did not disappoint. The couple went on to tell us that they have been travelling in motorhomes for about 40 years do small and very large trips, they also invited us into the motorhome to which he hand built the whole interior and I must say it was the best I have ever seen. I so wanted to take internal pictures but thought I had best not but I did get an outside picture. After meeting our first couple it just gets you more excited when you here there stories of there travels and really fuels your own hunger to hit to open road.
So day one has been a success by fair and a great start to our European tour with so much to look forward too.
Each day we are logging our costs and keeping to a budget where we can, today we started with a full tank of fuel from the UK and will will count once we fill up. We also left our house with a full fridge and the cupboards full of food but did we bring enough, find out more as each day goes on.
Day 1 miles and costs
Driving miles 252, food in Ghent 9.40 Euros, parking for the night 9 Euros. Total spend 18.40 Euros.