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Published: September 25th 2019
Where in the world is Gabby the motorhome? She is parked up on a tiny aire in Lorraine . In a tiny village with just a few spots for motorhomes on the banks of the river Moselle. Up stream from Pont a Mousson where there is a larger aire close to the pretty town. We were planning on driving to Pont a Mousson , walking into town and eating at a local eatery however ........... ........... The aire was complet. A nasty shock at this time of year when you expect France to be closing down for the season and for less motorhomers to be on the road .
We woke early and left Theobalds Park as soon as the gates opened at 7. It should not have been a long drive to the tunnel and we would have time to pick up the Toll box from Harbour Shipping before arriving for our 9.20 departure . However all good things go to other people and we hit traffic almost straight away on the Dartford Crossing . They need a by pass way out of London and another crossing. It is never going to happen and we crawled along
with one eye on the clock. We have added in enough time to stand the delay . It is not going to be a problem . What we had not expected was roadworks on the M2 which slowed us to a crawl or the accident. Looking at the clock we were never going to get there in time at this rate . Somehow though we picked up time and by 8.20 were at Harbour Shipping . Our little box that gets us through tolls waiting for us. We had enough time to get to the tunnel, pick up our ticket and head straight for passport control. The English side got us through efficiently. We were waved through by the gas check man. The French customs took an age scrutinising our passports , looking at us and checking them more than once. Perhaps a taste of what is to come!
We boarded on time and arrived in La Belle France to bright sunshine 35 minutes later . We turned right and headed for Belgium , passing the allotments where the owners were burning the end of year rubbish. Straight into yet another traffic jam. Three lanes into two. Two lanes
into one . It was both irritating and unbearable. Eventually we rolled into Pont a Mousson only to find the aire full. Who would have believed it at this time of year? It was on the Moselle so was popular and was within walking distance of the town with shops and eateries galore.There were even camping cars parked outside waiting unsuccessfully for someone to leave and free up a space . One parked where he should not . In a bus stop with clear no camping signs displayed . We gave up drove through the town which seemed pretty and worth a revisit out of season and found a layby where-
we put in a search for an aire . We found one not too far away and hoped it would still have spaces as it was small. When we arrived it was full but with just enough room for a small well formed girl like Gabby. We joined the other van, a few cars and a few fishermen and spent a lovely quiet night . Ok we didnt get to see the town but why worry we found a better spot and a bread machine in the car park. For one euro I got the pleasure of working out how the machine worked and when I had worked it out a fresh , warm and tasty baguette fell out . There may not have been a boulangerie handy but this was the next best thing and the perfect end to a terrible day on the road . Fresh french bread , butter and cheese. What more could you want ?
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