Here We Go: Trip 2017 19 Comments

A few days ago we booked the ferry from Dover to Calais and since then we’ve spent the last couple of days moving all our stuff back into the motorhome before setting off on Monday 15th May.

Here We Go: Trip 2017

Joanne & Mac waiting for the ferry

Half way across England and we are greeted with a message from P&O ferries saying that our booked sailing was cancelled due to technical difficulties.  Fortunately when we finally got to the port we only had to wait an extra hour before we were transferred to the 10pm ferry. However, the 10pm sailing left 1 1/2 hours late, so we landed in good old France in the middle of the morning.

Our usual stopping point is the aire at Calais.  It is next to the port, near the town centre side and right on the beach. It is so handy but, sadly it is now closed and the other options in Calais are not as good.  Once off the ferry, we headed for the main supermarket shopping area a few miles out of Calais.

Calais motorhome parking

Carrefour car park

I selected a permitted overnight supermarket carpark at Carrefour as it has a free dedicated motorhome parking, which will do nicely for a few hours kip. We arrived rather shattered, so engine off, a quick brew and just ten minutes later the long day caught up with us and we were fast a sleep.  Pushing many zzz’s and snoring for good old England.

Our Bumble Free Overnight Parking Coquelles GPS position: N050.931621, E001.811737

The morning came around and we only woke up at about 11am.  After a bit of breakfast we made our way to the Carrefour petrol station with an impeccably clean service point and cheap fuel.

Service GPS position: N050.935599, E001.805650. After emptying the grey waste water and the black toilet contents we filled Vin (the name of our motorhome) back up with diesel as it cheaper in France than in the UK.  Not long and we set off following the coastline.

Cote d'Opale

Our 1st beach stop

The Cote d’Opale basically translates to the Opal Coast because of the water colour is the stretch of French Channel coast between Calais and the mouth of the River Somme. We planned on visiting it for the next few days at a relaxed pace and make the most of the supposedly good weather forecast we had.

Cote d'Opale

Mac n Tosh living it large

This area is very pretty with lots of farm land covering the rolling hills in all directions, all along the coastal section are loads of old bunkers from the world wars. They still look like they are standing guard along Frances white cliffs before the land falls away into the opal blue sea. The beaches here are wide and super clean. It wasn’t long and and we spotted a nice little car park that was just a couple of hundred metres from the beach. There were half a dozen French vans parked up so after a few “bonjour’s” we took Mac n Tosh for a play in the sand. The sun was out and apart from a breeze it could have been a mid July with the wonderful temperature.

Cote d'Opale

Two very happy dudes

After tiring the dogs out we headed back for a spot of lunch.  The car park was deserted apart from Vin and one other motorhome. We stepped inside and made a brew. Ten minutes later there was a knock at the door. It was the guy from the other motorhome. Sadly he spoke no English and our French is no better but we managed to work out that one of the cars that was parked up had been broken into.  The pleasant French chap said that this place “here no good” so with that our days plans changed. We finished our lunch before making the not so long drive westwards again.  About 2km further along the coast to an aire that is just outside the small town of Wissant.

Our Bumble Paid Aire Le fond de Sombre  GPS position: N050.893667, E001.689609

Le Fond de Sombre

Our camping spot for a couple of nights

There are no services on the site, well I say site, it’s just a farmers field to be honest but with beautiful views.  The nicely trimmed grass and quiet location will do for a couple of days as we unwind a little. Le fond de Sombre  aire is one of three in the immediate area presumably owned by the same farmer. However, only one of the farms offers any services.  All the aires are all the same price of €6 for 24 hours and the services are €4 extra.

Le Fond de Sombre

The plan for this trip is the opposite to our normal travelling agenda…we aim to do nothing and relax a while.  So with new plans in place, the chairs were out, our Cadac BBQ got fired up and we opened a bottle plonk. Not French plonk though, a bottle of Australian Shiraz from home… slurp, slurp, chomp, chomp, slurp some more and it was soon time for bed again.


The following day, we opened our eyes in the morning to more sunshine, a perfect start to the day, after a bit of breakfast.  I thought I would have a quick nip around the area on our little motorbike Eor whilst Joanne had a mad half hour jogging with the dogs. I zipped off into those green rolling hills to check out the other aires I mentioned. The area really is very pretty with every shade of green covering the landscape and poppies growing beside the narrow lanes.

After checking out our options for the next few days I returned back to Joanne letting her know it was market day in Wissant.  Unfortunately by the time we leisurely set off and had walked it in the 29 degree heat it had all closed for the day.  Ah well not to worry, so we just strolled around the pleasant little town.  At the heart of Wissant, Hotel Duval, infamous with artists who came here to paint the landscape. Up and down the lanes before we sat at the beach for a while watching the world go by. Before strolling back to our little field and another BBQ (click on the small pictures to enlarge).

Hotel Duval

Small lake beside the hotel

In the morning, we woke to heavy rain. We checked out the weather forecasts and it said rain all day so moved to the free aire on the edge of Wissant town.  Not because it was free but we didn’t fancy getting bogged down in the field.


Wissant free aire

In between the rain showers we managed to say hi to a few campers and let the dogs sniff a few bushes. Other than that we did very little all day except sit in our tin box and be pelted with rain.

Our Bumble Free Aire Wissant GPS position. N050.887032, E001.670087 

In the morning, we awoke to find the rain had finally stopped so we decided to have a drive to the Cap Gris Nez. At the small car park GPS position: 50.923116, 1.608852 you can park overnight there with no charge but the parking bays do slope quite a lot in places. The beach is quite rocky and not as nice as further down the coast but is a popular spot for local fishermen.

Cap Nez

Parking at the Cape

We spent an hour or so letting Mac’n’Tosh run around like idiots, which they thoroughly enjoyed. During our beach combing expedition, I found a camera filter tucked in the sand with not even a scratch on the coatings (now stashed for later use). The wind was bitter and after an hour we started to get cold.  Nothing for it, we headed back to the motorhome for a bowl of warming soup.

That afternoon, we chilled…and the following day…and the following day…hence the long delay in writing our first post…but we promise to get back in to the swing of it soon!

If you’ve just joined and fancy taking a look at our very first here

Cote d'Opale

Cote d’Opale

Tell us what you think...

19 thoughts on “Here We Go: Trip 2017

  • Dave Coop

    Delighted to start reading of your travels again! Have a marvellous trip, and thanks for the wonderful updates 🙂

  • mags52

    So glad to see you back on the road. We’ve been home for two months and feeling restless. Great to read your blog and feel the pull of the open road. x x

    • Bumble Crew Post author

      Hey, good to hear from you! We enjoyed being home for a while but we sure missed the freedom to travel where ever we fancied. Any plans to set off soon?

  • Julie

    Great to have you back on the road again, and Craig at the helm for a blog post! We’re taking it much easier too, stopping longer in places and doing little (not that we did much in the first place!). Hopefully bump into somewhere soon for a Lidl brik or two.

    • Bumble Crew Post author

      Hi Ju…and Jay n Charlie! Yes, it feels good to be back on the road after an intense 6 months. We find it too easy to move from place to place rather than just stop and enjoy. This time we are hoping to slow down and appreciate life in the slower lane!

      Really enjoyed reading about your trip to Morocco…kept us going through the wet, winter months in the UK. Thanks x

  • Chris and Peter

    Dear Joanne and Craig and M&T, how wonderful to read you’re on the road again and enoying it. Wish you happy and safe travels!

  • Jane and Mike Stewart-Baker

    Welcome back. Another adventure. Thank you both so very much for sharing your time, tears and laughter. Love all the content and the photos are superb. Jane, Mike and two labs. xx

  • BrendonandLorna

    Great to see you back on the road and writing your honest blog! We’ve just got back from a just over a month around France/Spain/Portugal in Hugo and this is making us itchy to get back, so we are noting your stops for our next trip (October). Keep safe 🙂

  • Maggie Johnson

    What did you do about your mum? I am in a very similar situation with my mum, she has Alzheimer’s. My sister and I take turns to visit her every day in her care home. It’s driving my recentlyretired husband crazy that he can’t just take off in our Hymer like you have. I darent show him your blog😂We ha no get away for just a couple of weeks at a time as long as it doesn’t coincide with my sister wanting to take a holiday! Aaarrghhhh!,,

    • Bumble Crew Post author

      Maggie it is a real tough one and a decision that pulls on the heart strings. I too have a sister and we took it in turns to visit mum.
      I am very close to mum and we talked alot about things before her dementia got too bad. My mother would be mortified if I stopped doing what I enjoy and didn’t also think about Craig.
      I phone mum every night and tell her what we’ve been up to. Sometimes she understands and sometimes she doesn’t but it gives her something to focus on. She knows I am only a quick flight away and she knows I will always be there for her.
      We plan to be away for 3-6 months and then home for 6 months. That way we can hopefully find a good balance between living our life and supporting mum through what must be a horrid and very frightening disease.
      I hope you too find a good balance.