Robert Jayes


Robert Jayes

A diary of a retirement tour and other travels

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Buckinghamshire » Buckingham May 26th 2013

Got up early and had breakfast while it was raining. Our route out of Brussels also looked doubtful as the local main roads were being closed for a half marathon around Brussels. Having packed the car between rain showers and said our goodbyes to Tom, Marta, Hannah and Dinah we decided to make an early start for the Eurotunnel. As we set out, the road we wanted was closed in parts but we were able to make progress in slip roads alongside the main road we needed. In some parts we were unable to access the tunnels through Brussels city centre but managed to make progress on the surface tracking the route of the tunnels. Eventually, we left the half marathon route behind and made good progress out of Brussels onto the A10 motorway. Considering it ... read more
severely pollarded trees
Porsche at Eurotunnel terminal
home, sweet home (for one, at least)

Europe » Belgium » Antwerp Province » Antwerp May 25th 2013

We had a rest day for the Porsche today. We all had a trip to Antwerp in Tom & Marta’s 7-seater Ford C-Max. We had a leisurely start after a proper breakfast for a change. Not so sure about the rest !! for us after the quiet of the Hotels rooms ,as we are now sharing our space with William and Hannah, Tom & Marta and Granny Dinah. We were all able to get into the 7-seater, so we gave the Porsche a rest. It was reasonably warm in the sunshine today but cooler in the shade, but perhaps more importantly dry. As the very privileged guest blogger today, I will fill you in on the day out. We became sightseeing tourists for the day and joined the throngs in a lovely sunny Antwerp. We set ... read more
Spot the real people
Strolling by the RiverSchelde
Stagecoach tours

We set off in the sunshine after a reasonable last night in the Premiere Classe hotel. These budget hotels have been quite good for the type of journey we were doing but their WiFi connection was so bad, we had to resort to uploading the photos for the blog via the mobile phone connection a few times. The route from Troyes was almost due north for a good stretch and we were expecting to drive through heavy rain for most of the day, given the weather forecasts we had seen. In actual fact, the roads were dry and clear and we made good progress, stopping near Reims for the first refreshment break. We also needed fuel for the last time in France and resorted to motorway service station prices for the first time this trip. We ... read more
Neal driving very slowly
a warm welcome from William and Hannah
Hannah hugs Grandpa Bob and William

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne » Troyes May 23rd 2013

We woke at a reasonable time this morning and were able to get ready and depart about 0830. We managed to load the car and get ready to go in the dry but as soon as we started it began to rain and the clouds were covering the surrounding volcanic summits. Some of them even had snow on the upper peaks still. We had easy access to the motorway from our overnight stay and soon made good progress north on the A71. As we drove away from Clermont-Ferrand the clouds cleared and we were soon in sunshine. However as we made further progress north we could see the clouds ahead that we were about to drive into. At junction 11 on the motorway we turned off towards Moulins only to find the N79 closed to all ... read more
Neal buying wine
Porsche leaving Chateau
Leaning houses in Troyes

Europe » France » Auvergne » Clermont-Ferrand May 22nd 2013

It was our intention to make an early start this morning as we had a long drive to do and wanted to spend some time at the Viaduct Millau. As it worked out, neither of us woke before 8am so it was nearly 9am before we managed to hit the road. We are now the proud owners of an electric kettle so we are able to have cups of tea (with English tea bags) whenever we stop off for the night and can make a flask of tea to take with us on our travels. A nice cup of tea is definitely what you need before a trip like this. Neal started off this morning driving down the motorway to Brive and then we started on the smaller D roads that would take us across the ... read more
d roads through countryside
travellers at the viaduct
parked under the viaduct

Europe » France » Limousin » Limoges May 21st 2013

We set off from Tim & Jan's house around 9am after a splendid breakfast. It was a grey day when we left but about an hour later the sun came out which was very nice, the first real sunshine we had seen since entering France. At this stage we were crossing the River Loire in Nantes, but an hour later it started to spit with rain. The weather gradually deteriorated to the point we were driving in low cloud across vast, featurless plains, it seemed. Bob drove the first leg to the other side of Nantes where we stopped for a cup of tea in the smallest service station we had so far seen. Neal then took over the driving and was keen to see what it was like to do 200kmh but Bob soon talked ... read more
 Town Hall in Lussac-le- Chateau
 Church in Lussac-le- Chateau
Pollarded trees in  Lussac-le- Chateau

Europe » France » Brittany » Vannes May 20th 2013

Had an interesting night’s sleep a hundred yards from the main road in a Premier Classe Hotel, rumoured to be an ex prison, (might need to re-think the budget hotels!) but it was warm and dry and had secure parking and WiFi. Decided to forego the vending machine breakfast and head off to the next stop on the road. We decided not to do Bayeux as the museum wouldn’t be open on a Bank Holiday (it was the Bank Holiday for Pentecost in France) but headed instead for Mont-St-Michel to compare it to the Cornish equivalent. It seemed to be almost directly on our route but was actually an hour’s detour once we got off the main road onto minor country roads. This gave us chance to test the Porsche handling and, I am glad to ... read more
Lunch at Ker Rouz
Coffee on the Terrasse
Jacquot supervising

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Caen May 19th 2013

A marathon day of driving today, probably the longest single stretch we are going to do in one day. We set off in sunshine from Buckingham and the temperature and weather deteriorated from then on. It was not raining at the coast in the UK but soon started spitting on the other side of the Channel. We made good time getting down to Folkestone and had enough time for a break and to stick the anti-glare stickers on the car headlights. No idea whether they are on in the right place but the guy behind us on the train was just gaffer-taping his up so we at least had the proper kit! The train is super smooth and fast but very boring as there is nothing to see and you can't really get out. Dad did ... read more
Driving down to embark on the train
Driving in the train
The first kilometre in France

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Buckinghamshire » Buckingham May 18th 2013

Plans Neal recently purchased a Porsche 911 and wanted to take it for a good trip as up to now he has only really used it for the occasional commute to work and visits to friends and family. So the plan is to take it for a spin on a week-long tour around France. The car is a 2001 Porsche 911 Carrera (a 3.6l, rear-wheel drive, manual 996 for those who care about these sorts of things) and is a real racer. We have had to promise not to try to see what its top speed is on this trip. It has only just left the garage where it was being repaired on Saturday but we hope this means it is in good condition now and we get us around the route. Getting ready As we ... read more
Will this bag fit
last minute cat rescue

The last blog of this trip, some of you may be relieved to hear. After a disturbed night, mainly because of the noise of the cable car track running in front of the hotel, stopped at 1am started again 7am, resonating through the building structure. Morning at last then an 8am breakfast at Sears a short walk away. Breakfast at Sears was splendid and to be recommended if you want to fill up for the day. So on the last day the Darks are honoured to contribute to the blog! It has been our travelling companion along with Bob and Dinah and a very good time has been had by all. No doubt we'll all be referring to it in the future to see what we did! Bob's 70th next year so who knows what trip ... read more
Fan in shop

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