Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside

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The Harbour of St. Martin de Ré at Sunset, île de Ré

Spent most of the day driving again. Must try and get out of the habit. There is a risk that you spend fine days trying to chase the sun, then miss out altogether.

But his was an much sort destination for me of we took the west coast route, and so I was happy to finally get here. Mel seems to think that we’ve been here before. I know on a previous trip we had come to La Rochelle, but I was sure we’d not crossed the bridge to the île de Ré on hat occasion, but on stumbling into the harbour, it all looks vaguely familiar. I have no recollection of driving over the massive bridge that links the island to the mainland, and St. Martin de Ré is only one of a few places that you might head for. Given that its on the north eastern side of the island, its not where you might choose if you wanted to enjoy the setting sun. So why on both occasions do we appear to have ended up here? Am I mistaken? Do I care?

The SatNav added to the days aggravation, somehow deciding to take us by the oddest of routes, away from the main roads. It was definitely set to take the ‘fastest route’, but it seemed to be taking the shortest. A couple of times we went on small roads through towns when we should have gone around the outside. Perhaps the road information is not so good in this part of France, so TomTom is not making the most prudent of decisions, or maybe the suns starting to get to him. I did notice today that this van doesn’t have air-conditioning, so you can guess that the weather has been improving! Oh what a problem that would be!

Still, the objecct of the exercise was to find a nice campsite with electricity and Wifi so that I could get some work done. Well in theory it has both, but in practice only half are in working order. The electricity is fine, but the mains tester proved its worth. We changed pitch 3 times trying to get a signal to the camp wifi, which was only accessible in the TV Room near the office, but the Wifi antenna on the roof could at least see it from a couple of hundred metres away, but I couldn’t get a connection. So move closer, only to realise there was a tree in the way. Move the other side of the tree – much better. On each occasion I had to connect to the mains to power the kit, and on each occasion I connected the mains tester to check the polarity. On the third attempt reverse polarity shown, which in this case is not a good thing. So out with the reversal cable to sort things out, polarity reversal achieved (Ooooooohhhhhhhhh – for all those Return to the Forbidden Planet fans). Just goes to show that you need to check these things, and not get too blasé about them.

Back to the search for Wifi. Unfortunately, I still couldn’t get a connection to the camp wifi, and tried a public network across the street, but again couldn’t get a good enough signal. We went out for the walk at this point, but alas the reception was closed, and the camp wifi, once in range on the iPhone, wanted a username/password, which was not posted up anywhere, so basically stuffed. The only thing to do was give up and save it for the morning. So much for getting work done.

At least all the gadgets should be juiced up by the morning. We are slightly concerned that the leisure battery is not getting charged properly when the engine is running. We did at least 4 hours driving today without any other services drawing from it, and only got from 25% to 60% charge. Am I being too optimistic (he says aloud, hoping his motorhome owning friends can shed some light!).

Still, all part of the learning experience! Bring it on!




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