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Destination 2: Midi-Pyrenees

Night on Gavarnie

We drove up into the Midi-Pyrenees for a night, in the vicinity of Breahe du Rolanda, with the famous gap in a 100m high stack of rock.  Legend has it that Rolanda walked up the Mountain to concur France, came to this wall, and though all was lost.  So he threw his sword at the wall of rock, and it collapsed.  Rolando took this as a sign that his conquest just favoured by the gods and proceeded in invade France.

Breache du Rolanda
Breache du Rolanda

Temperatures dropped to way below zero overnight and we woke to spectacular views overlooking numerous snow covered ranges and peaks even though from out parking spot we couldn’t see the Breach, the views were STUNNING.

Morning Views
Morning Views

Happy and content, we jumped into Gertrude (my van), and turned the key, the engine turns over but didn’t fire…. Uh Oh… tried again, still nothing. The brain does the leg work at this point: realises it’s been freezing cold over night and Gertrude never likes starting in the cold, then also remembers that the Cold Start aerosol is back at my parents house, in London… D’oh!  Dialling my breakdown company, they put me through to a local garage (1.5 hours away), who promises to send a man in a car (not even a tow-truck, they are as confident as me that Gertrude just needs a spray up her nose) and will be there in 20 minutes. One and a half hours later he arrives, with not even Cold Start, just some brake cleaner, sprays it into the van’s cab air-blower intake (not flash enough for air-con). I correct him, and he then spays it into the engine air intake. Low and behold the engine starts!  A day wasted for lack of useful equipment, but certainly not wasted for the views that morning, and the fun winding mountain road to drive up and back down.

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Destination 1: Fontainebleau

So we have arrived!

Destination 1: Fontainebleau.

I don’t do well with boats, I will go green in the face if the boat rocks even the slightest! So I was happy to see the see completely flat when arriving at Dover harbour.

Dover Harbour, vanlife, road trip, France

The journey painless, we arrived in Font and found our friends staying in a Gite in a town called Milly-La-Foret. A comfy and modern looking apartment with an awesome meal just being served up… perfect.  The morning came and we awoke to rain!! Weather is looking good for the rest of the week lets see what climbing it brings.