There are worse places to be stranded

How far have we travelled in the last few days? not many! We are actually still on the aire at Villers Sur Mer. We did leave on Friday, a few miles up the road in the countryside and the windscreen wipers packed up. Fuses checked, nope, ring AA – they so couldn’t care less. Questions were ‘is it raining’ and ‘are you parked safely’. Answers were ‘no’ and ‘yes’ so they said will ring you later with a garage you can drive to’. Two hours later, they hadn’t so wary of being stuck in the middle of nowhere when the forecast rain started we headed back to the aire whence we came. As we arrived AA rang with the name and address of a garage – I could have done this hours ago myself from the list in the Fiat assist book,  I live and learn.

Garage very pleasant, well in that ‘we don’t know why they don’t work either’ French shrug type of response. Two hours later they decided the motor is kaput. So lets get a motor and fix it? Yes sure next Friday! That is 7 days away, well yes its Armistice Day on Tuesday so things will be slower next week. Why one day closed means 7 days to fix something that they say will take less than an hour we know not, but our choices were limited at 6pm on a Friday evening. We paid an extortionate amount for labour, the motor and having it installed in a weeks time and here we are living the good life in Calvados for at least a week:)  In the spirit of travelling optimism things could be worse if its 7 days in France we worry it could have been 7 weeks if this had happened in Romania? And it could be worse, something else could be broken – oh yes ,it is, the fridge relay has died, sounds like a herd of bees every time the fridge is set to 12v …… one step at a time will sort that next.

Ok traumas aside, we actually love it here. The aire is perfect, luckily. We have unlimited electricity but we have to pay €2 whenever we want water, which we have to leave the aire and drive up the road for- odd but we can live with that.  There are 12 pitches, its been full since Saturday morning so we are not risking our spot and have paid for 3 days in advance. It’s only costing us £8.50 per night and we have free wifi from the museum next door so what is not to like? Its certainly popular, 12 bays and its full with French motorhomes, there has been a constant stream arriving at the barrier and turning around as its full all weekend. We know we should only stay for 48 hours and that was up Friday, but we will be here until next Friday so hopefully no-one is going to notice us tucked away in the corner.

We now have plenty of time to explore the Calvados coast and are making the most of it. We visited the tiny hamlet of Touques on Friday, like stepping back in time and just as we think a French village will be, lots of people drinking coffee on the pavements, a few shops and a square with the mayors office just behind. Yesterday we hiked around the Nature Reserve on which we are staying, about 4 miles round, then back along the sea front which was bracing but dry. Today we have had a stroll along the promenade into the village of Villers Sur Mer. Very much a seaside town with lots of cobbled streets, pavements cafes and gift shops, surprisingly the majority were open on a Sunday. We stopped off at the Patisserie  for a loaf, highlight of the day but its the little things like that we enjoy.

Our French is coming along, slowly but its getting there as its been a case of having to. The garage was a no English zone, in the cafes and shops its been French or nothing, so far we have resisted the British trait of speaking loudly and slowly to make ourselves understood 🙂


Villers Sur Mer


Touques village square






9 thoughts on “There are worse places to be stranded

  1. Smart thing would have been go to a dealership, who would have got you the part you needed in jig time … but, if you’re not in any hurry, enjoy!


  2. The curse of Normandy! We suffered MoHo woes there just a few weeks ago (new vehicle battery required), soon forgotten once you’re on the move again though…….until the next time! Touques looks good (November marigolds?).


    • Yes on the plus side everywhere looks good, sun is out and its chilly but bright. Sometimes its good to be made to stay and see somewhere 🙂


  3. Well at least you get to take a longer look at Normandy you will soon be heading down that Atlantic coast road heading for sunny Spain
    Yes dealer every time but from our experience it still takes 3 days for the dealer to get any parts from your van manufacture(most do not carry spares on the shelf) Most garages in France close Friday and do not open until late on Monday and if you have a public holiday well that’s an extra day off ..
    Shops in France do not open generally on a Sunday same as garages for petrol only auto payment pumps, only those that sell fresh meat or bread are allowed under French law, also you may find because shops open on a Saturday they close on a Monday.
    Travel on a Sunday as like a lot of other euro country’, Lorries unless they are carrying perishable goods are not allowed on the roads.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hope you have plenty of “Chris” flush with you to make your water last longer!! By the way it can also be employed a screen wash if that packs up after the wipers LOL Enjoying your blog
    Bon Chance
    Mr and Mrs Margaritaman


    • ‘Chris Flush’? couldn’t have managed without it! Your name is used after every spray, forever in our thoughts in the little room 🙂 love to you both xx


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