Today was goodbye to Disneyland (until October) so before we blasted off we let Lucy choose a restaurant for Lunch. We thought she would go for the character dining at Cafe Mickey but to our surprised she picked The Rain Forest Cafe. We had a lovely lunch and then packed up the van and set off opting to go off piste. Ignoring the planned route we headed to the following nights planned stop at a Zoo this would put us ahead of schedule and save approx 100 miles.
We set off with no idea where we would end up.
As we drove the van became hotter than hell, even with all windows and the top hatch open the van hit 40degrees. Desperately wanting to find somewhere to stop in the shade preferable with a huge lake to dive into I flicked through the camperstops book, I can not believe Neil entrusted the night’s stop over choice to me!
My first choice was a lovely Chateaux town which was on route to the zoo. We found the town with narrow roads and hundreds of tourists, it looked good. We pulled into the parking area only to see a huge traveling circus setting up, we would have to move on- back out came the book.
By now we were all melting we would head straight for the zoo and we even decided to cancel the no tolls setting on the truck man as we wanted the fastest route. This turned out to be a mistake, we approached the toll booth ready with my ‘nous un camping car’ phrase, this often gets the operator to change the charge from classe 3 to 2 saving a lot of money. The phrase was not required and I happily put my pre charged MasterCard into the machine knowing I had a good few hundreds of Euros on the card to cover the €9 charge. My card disappeared into the machine and did not come back out! I pressed the help button and a man who advised he could not speak English so I would have to speak French as I was in France became even less helpful as I became even more cross. I think I went through 4 or 5 different members of the call centre staff and perhaps a manager, during all this time the motorway was blocked as this was the only toll booth. With horns honking and people shouting we sat there refusing to move until they sent someone to retrieve my card, eventually they gave in and a maintenance man was sent to fetch my card and get the several mile tail back moving again. I felt like I’d won the war.
Not far off the motorway and really near the zoo a lucky spot saw us find a vet and even luckier the vet was able to see Rory and stamp his passport ready for his return, job done.
The zoo parking turned out fine for the night and was free, a nice rally type field with lots of other campervans, but no Brits. We took an evening stroll round the area once it had cooled enough and prepared for our zoo visit the following day.
Overnight Parking Location: ZooParc de Beauval Aire – 47.24908°N 1.35802°E
Overnight Cost: Free
We’re not staying here…
Meanwhile, at the Zoo Aire…
… they take all sorts