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View Full Version : Ok you experienced snowbirds, what's the best way home?



carol
31-03-2016, 21:12
I've been travelling with John and Jenny but will be setting off by myself. I'm leaving from Albir. Someone suggested the Somport Tunnel. Think I want to go inland. Completely new to travelling in Spain so any suggestions gratefully received. Anything inland not to miss? Any brilliant Aires or secure stops? For people who don't know me, I'm travelling alone and wary of wild camping if no one else around.

Come on Snowbirds, I'm looking forward to your suggestions...:wave:

oppy
31-03-2016, 21:24
I'm leaving from Albir. Someone suggested the Somport Tunnel. Think I want to go inland. Completely new to travelling in Spain so any suggestions gratefully received. Anything inland not to miss? Any brilliant Aires or secure stops? For people who don't know me, I'm travelling alone and wary of wild camping if no one else around.

Come on Snowbirds, I'm looking forward to your suggestions...:wave:

Don't forget to pick a bottle up para mi:wave:

carol
31-03-2016, 21:27
Thanks for that most helpful advice! 😕

Polar Bear
31-03-2016, 21:41
I've been travelling with John and Jenny but will be setting off by myself. I'm leaving from Albir. Someone suggested the Somport Tunnel. Think I want to go inland. Completely new to travelling in Spain so any suggestions gratefully received. Anything inland not to miss? Any brilliant Aires or secure stops? For people who don't know me, I'm travelling alone and wary of wild camping if no one else around.

Come on Snowbirds, I'm looking forward to your suggestions...:wave:

Hi Carol. If you send me a PM with your email address I will send you what we have so far if it's any help?

snowbirds
31-03-2016, 21:56
Hi carol,

This may or not be on your way but we like the camp site at Lake Caspe great views and the people are great a site i will always return to and have traveled most ways across via Andorra and Pau i love the interior of Spain.



Snowbirds.




I've been travelling with John and Jenny but will be setting off by myself. I'm leaving from Albir. Someone suggested the Somport Tunnel. Think I ilwant to go inland. Completely new to travelling in Spain so any suggestions gratefully received. Anything inland not to miss? Any brilliant Aires or secure stops? For people who don't know me, I'm travelling alone and wary of wild camping if no one else around.

Come on Snowbirds, I'm looking forward to your suggestions...:wave:

Tezza33
01-04-2016, 00:55
Ok you experienced snowbirds, what's the best way home? It depends where you are and where you live
hope this helps 39618

campervanannie
01-04-2016, 01:01
It depends where you are and where you live
hope this helps 39618
Oh tezza33 she lives in England silly, I think it's West but not sure.

carol
01-04-2016, 07:20
It depends where you are and where you live
hope this helps 39618

Ta Tezza! Coming from Albir, going to Calais! 😊

witzend
01-04-2016, 08:51
Can't help with Spain but If you take the western France route Albira Valencia Zaragosa Pampolona Irun

In France there's Anglet, Aire Sur L'Adour, La Bastide de Armagnac, St Jean D' Angely
can't see you being alone at any of these and are avoiding toll's

Deleted user 48797
01-04-2016, 09:29
These are all good suggestions and well worth consideration, we have used them in the past and will again. I suggest including the D917 from Perpignan towards Foix. It's known as a route de vin and the scenery is stunning. There is a basic aire at Pamiers, near the football stadium, and a service point at a motorhome dealers on the road out north towards Toulouse. From there we drove up the centre using aires at Cahors, Loches, Tours, Fougeres and on up to the coast.
Good luck with you choice.
Bd..

pughed2
01-04-2016, 10:06
hello carol..........don't forget that according to some websites, spain is supposed to be the worlds top theft from tourist countries..........I would not leave the MH out of sight for long as many travellers have found to cost, check at each stop that you have a mobile phone signal in case you need to call 112, and I can recommend having a satnav app on your tablet such as mapfactor and its map downloads, which will enable you to find most local amenities including the nearest police station in seconds, and of course you could choose to park near it............good luck, steve, bristol

vivall
01-04-2016, 20:54
I hope you have the ACSI card. If so I would make for Morella via Cullera, Castellon or Benicassim then take the 232 to Morella.
Morella has a very interesting walled town not to be missed.
From Morella continue to Caspe, the camp site is next to a large lake and is nice and secure.
Continue on to Vielhla using the N230. Viella is about 400 miles from Albir.

From Vielha make for Fos (France). You will now be on the N125.
Look for Auch next and the D929 to Agen.
Marmand.
Saint Emilion.
Angouleme.
Couhe.
Tours.
Le Mans.
Rouen. Which I believe you know!

None of this route involves Tolls and will be quite at this time of year.

In and around Saint Emelion, check out the vinyards. You can often stay for free if you sample their wines.

Whatever you do, have fun.

If you have the ACIS book you will find sites on these routes.

Send me a pm and I will look up directions of any sites or routes you may want.

Regards,

Allen.

janegam
01-04-2016, 21:42
Hi Carol
FAvourite of mine is up over the pyrenees -Pamplona, Roncesvalles to St Jean pied de port - goregous little town- centre for one of the camino routes so loads of history as well - lovely little campsite by the river and the views around are just stunning. It isnt that steep a climb- Betsy does it without any problem, if somewhat slowly, so all the better to appreciate the scenery!
Whichever you go enjoy.

oldish hippy
01-04-2016, 21:42
you done it now upset carol you mentioned rouen


only jesting safe trip home carol

janegam
01-04-2016, 21:47
hello carol..........don't forget that according to some websites, spain is supposed to be the worlds top theft from tourist countries..........I would not leave the MH out of sight for long as many travellers have found to cost, check at each stop that you have a mobile phone signal in case you need to call 112, and I can recommend having a satnav app on your tablet such as mapfactor and its map downloads, which will enable you to find most local amenities including the nearest police station in seconds, and of course you could choose to park near it............good luck, steve, bristol


Think I must have been travelling around a different country for the past three years.......never had a minutes problem, felt unsafe, always been treated with the utmost friendliness and helped whenever I asked for it.

spigot
01-04-2016, 21:58
Why leave? Weather is shite back home, stay on a bit longer, we are.
As for routes back, there are 100s of different permutations.
We were thinking of the Sommeport tunnel but that means not going to Pamplona & San Sebastián which is the food capital of Spain.
Can't make my mind up at the moment, we will be in Albir in a couple of weeks, you're welcome to join us
M & M. Xx.

carol
02-04-2016, 06:30
Many thanks for all your help and suggestions so far. Mike, our paths may cross. That would be great! Look out for me...think you'll recognise the van. It's now got a little black iguana thing on the back so no mistaking it! 😊

John Thompson
02-04-2016, 08:01
Carol we have just done the run from Torrevieja to Segunt bypassing Valencia. Then up the A23, A68, A15 lots of good stopover opportunities on and just off that route. The temps can be cold inland, it was 2.3c degrees when we spent the night near Teruel on Thurday. Snow on the mountain tops but the roads are all clear and good.

There is a Borne at the services at Valverde on A23 (near Pueblo de Valverde) should you need one.

We are a Capbretton for the weekend (free WiFi) overnight fee 8,80 euro. Space for 285 vans and there a quite a few here at present.

Monday we will be heading through France taking a week to get to Calais for sailing at 06:10 on Saturday.

There are plenty of good Aires available through France. We try to find new to us ones, as we travel so not sure of a route any day, apart from heading north and west. We don't mind being on our own either wilding or on a Aire. I believe problems occur when there are numbers of vans around attracting attention, rather than the solo van where the picking are limited.

John & Joan

ScamperVan
02-04-2016, 08:42
If you happened to be a bit further west on your journey up we found Perigeaux to be a pleasant place to stop.

L'aire de camping-cars - Ville de Périgueux (http://perigueux.fr/perigueux-au-quotidien/deplacements-et-stationnement/673-l-aire-de-camping-cars.html)

Nice little town with bars, restaurants, (inc an excellent gourmet one La Taula, Perigueux - Restaurant Reviews, Phone Number & Photos - TripAdvisor (https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187088-d1332709-Reviews-La_Taula-Perigueux_Dordogne_Aquitaine.html)), lovely walks along the riverside, aire is 5-10 mins wallk from town.
Aire was not operational (out of season - it was January) when we stayed last so no charge but gates were open.

39669 Taken just outside aire.

pamjon
02-04-2016, 19:15
We try a new route every time down to Valencia. If you head towards the somport tunnel about 3-4 hours from Valencia up the A23 to Zaragoza if you turn off at Carinena at the crossroads there is a road to Fuendetodos (the birth place of Goya) it is not an official Aire but they are trying to make it one. It is about 20 mins off the main A23 a little bit bumpy. The co-ords are
N41DEGS 20.470' w000DEGS57.313' . As you come to Fuedetodos take the second signpost for Fuendetodos at the bar turn right. You park in a small carpark next to a duck pond. Everytime we go this route we stop here. Has always been safe for us and even asked the local police if we could stop there and there was no problem. No services. 15 mins down the road is place called Belchite really worth a visit. It is where Franco destroyed the town and there are guided visits around the village. Go to the tourist office in new village for a ticket.
I you are short of water before you get there the garage at the crossroads will let you have water there are nice toilets there always been good with us.
As other people have said there is a nice place to stop at La Bastide d'armanaque. Also, Brantome is good , if you get there thurs night ( but go to the dealers site at Vendome that is the best, very safe and secure but only room for 6 vans ie. get there early and services all there and cheap inc toilets) the market in the town is on Friday where you park at the other aire. Worth a visit.
Hope this is some use to you and have a safe journey.
P.J

witzend
02-04-2016, 20:56
Morella if you do decide to go the aire is about a mile from the town and secluded we parked overnight right outside the town walls as you drive to town a sharp right turn then up past the bus park to highest point large parking area and park there overnite ok'ed by tourist office

carol
03-04-2016, 06:54
Thanks Witzend. I've been told it's quite a climb to get there!

nomad-col
03-04-2016, 08:30
Hi Carol, if you do try the A23 and the Somport Tunnel there are safe overnight parking places at Teruel (plaza de Civil Guard) 40.33194N/1.09278W. Carinena (Aire) 41.33806N/1.22934W. and Oleron St Marie (Aire) 43.18386N/0.60851W. one of my useful coffee break stopping places on the A23 is at KM202 which is also handy for fuel and gas if you are needing it.
I think that the road from Huesca through the mountains to Jaca is well worth seeing.
I hope this helps
safe travelling
Colin

witzend
03-04-2016, 08:31
Thanks Witzend. I've been told it's quite a climb to get there!

Yes uphill for miles but fairly wide roads with center markings to drive there. With plenty of steep streets to walk around when there, Park where I suggested and a level 200 mtr walk into the town

witzend
03-04-2016, 15:25
You can see which passes and tunnels are open thru the Pyrenees here

Accès routier aux col des Pyrénées (http://www.pyrenees-pireneus.com/Stations-Ski/Acces-route/Stations_ski_infos-cols-des-Pyrenees.php)

carol
03-04-2016, 16:52
You can see which passes and tunnels are open thru the Pyrenees here

Accès routier aux col des Pyrénées (http://www.pyrenees-pireneus.com/Stations-Ski/Acces-route/Stations_ski_infos-cols-des-Pyrenees.php)

That's a brilliant site. Hopefully it'll all be ok when I get there but really useful for the outward journey next year!

Tezza33
03-04-2016, 17:15
That's a brilliant site. Hopefully it'll all be ok when I get there but really useful for the outward journey next year!
Are you going earlier next year Carol?, you should try spending the Winter there

carol
03-04-2016, 17:18
Already thinking of it...it's lovely being in the sun! 🌞

carol
07-04-2016, 06:49
Left Jenny and John yesterday and did 2 hour drive to the Aire in Simat de Valldigna. It's a really nice spot. When we stayed here on the way down it was empty. When I arrived yesterday at 2 00 PM it was packed! Still managed to get into a nice spot with view of the mountains. The weather was lovely too (it had been really wet and windy in Albir). Next stop Segorbes, I think. Anyone stayed there? After that, not sure...:wave:

snowbirds
07-04-2016, 07:40
Hi carol,

We stayed at Simat on the way down and on the way back you can get good wi-fi free at the tourist booth at the top of the square and the Monastery is worth a visit also small Supermarket in back street left at main junction by the square.Is this the Place.

Snowbirds.




Left Jenny and John yesterday and did 2 hour drive to the Aire in Simat de Valldigna. It's a really nice spot. When we stayed here on the way down it was empty. When I arrived yesterday at 2 00 PM it was packed! Still managed to get into a nice spot with view of the mountains. The weather was lovely too (it had been really wet and windy in Albir). Next stop Segorbes, I think. Anyone stayed there? After that, not sure...:wave:

carol
07-04-2016, 09:18
Yes, that's the one. Just spoken to a youngish couple of Brits in a big RV and they've been here 2 weeks! Everyone looks really settled in, chairs out, even a washing line going at the moment! 😀

snowbirds
07-04-2016, 09:28
Hi carol,

We love the place even when the kids throw oranges at you but they must be all picked by know.Have they finished the shop or house on the corner across the road by the small garden yet.

Snowbirds.:dance:




Yes, that's the one. Just spoken to a youngish couple of Brits in a big RV and they've been here 2 weeks! Everyone looks really settled in, chairs out, even a washing line going at the moment! 😀

carol
08-04-2016, 19:20
Woke up to the sound of rain on the roof. I normally like that but when I parked up I noticed it had been a bit boggy where I'd parked so obsessed about it and decided to move asap! Also, the Aire I was heading to was on street parking and was worried about getting an easy place to park...those who've travelled with me know my reversing is an interesting spectacle to behold! Got there about 12 and the place was deserted apart from one van. The woman from the van came to my window and asked me about bill....what bill, do we need to pay? No, Bill and Sonia, you know them? Turns out it was a couple I'd met and spent some fun time with in La Mata...

So, spent most of the day doing nothing. Decided to go and walk up to the old walled town. Really interesting but I was worrying about the van parked all on its own and a dream I'd had which I won't bore you all with, so didn't spend as much time exploring as I'd have liked to.

Got back and a van with a GB plate arrived. Went to introduce myself to see if they were staying (so I could have a glass or two of wine without thinking I might have to dash off) and was invited in for a drink. What an interesting guy. Irish, seemed to know all the right people at the right time, loads of tales to tell...so it wasn't such a bad move as I'd thought. 😊

carol
10-04-2016, 06:40
Woke up to another sunny day, with no wind, hurrah! Said farewell to my new best friend, Gerry and set off to Morella. It's a walled hilltop town and at 1000 metres alt, I'd been warned it was a bit of a drive up! Some serious hairpins but all in all a pleasant drive which took about 2 hours. The Aire is lovely but about an alleged km below the town. Had a good walk up, though was told you could only go by the main road, which I did. I've since been told there's a path up but I've yet to find it! Noisy neighbours last night for the first time! Not having fun noisy, but shouty noisy �� Where to tomorrow? :wave:

Livotlout
10-04-2016, 22:50
Our next stop was the Monestary at Poblet ,but we were heading for Barcelona. Shame about noisey neighbours.

carol
11-04-2016, 07:02
Our next stop was the Monestary at Poblet ,but we were heading for Barcelona. Shame about noisey neighbours.

Wasn't that bad, just unusual to hear anything apart from the sea after lights out!

carol
11-04-2016, 20:18
Beautiful morning and toyed with the idea of lounging around but instead decided to do a heftier drive as it was Sunday and there's always less traffic. I'd intended heading towards Huesca but some people I'd met told me there was a fair on and no parking, and that they'd gone to the Aire in Jaca, about a 4 hour drive away. What a drive....it was so exhilarating driving through the mountains although I got much giddier heights than I'd expected. I swear at one point I was looking down on snow topped peaks! Saw some massive eagles and other birds of prey soaring above. I think if I had to choose between the mountains or seaside I'm going to choose the mountains.

Arrived in Jaca but the weather was deteriorating so just about had time for a quick walk round the town and back to the van, though still early to be holed up. Watched a video and went to bed early. About 3 I was woken up by a massive bolt of thunder, then lightening which lit my whole van up through the skylight. The thunder bolts reverberated around the mountains and I realised that the storm was passing above. I thought about the old VW with the pop top that had parked nearby and wondered how they were faring as the rain lashed down. Amazingly I went back to sleep! It had all been so dramatic I thought for a second I'd been dreaming when I woke up to sunshine and a dry VW top van!

carol
13-04-2016, 21:09
SHOULD HAVE SAID DAY 6

Left Jaca about 10 ish to call in to the Eroski that I didn't know existed until I contacted my sat nav (my bestest friend). I was contemplating going back to Huesca for a Lidl until I had the good sense to look at the map! Shopping done for cheap Spanish vino and set off to the Somport Tunnel, only half hour ish away. An easy run and through in 8 minutes apparently...Interesting to be in France again. The road from the tunnel is a bit scary. It's very, very narrow in parts with great big lorries coming towards you. I saw an amazing bird and I have to confess my ignorance as I can't identify any of them, but this was coloured an orangey brown on the top, very big and I shouldn't really have spent as much time looking at it as I did given the road I was driving on!
Arrived in one piece at the Aire, recommended by other wild campers. Set up my stall, went for a walk, came back, ate something and went to bed...:wave:

carol
14-04-2016, 16:48
Thanks David. It probably was though I thought it looked more orangey...

carol
14-04-2016, 17:00
Had a pleasant evening - a stroll into the town and a look at the river. The Aire is next t a very old bridge. I was going to go to Labastide D'Armagnac, as recommended by someone but one of the others caught my eye as it was supposedly very pretty and overlooking the canal, and decided to do the longer journey there. I was just reversing into the bay (I think I'm getting better!) when 4 people arrived on bicycles who it turns out were the couples I'd spent time with in Spain! I wad parked up next to them without realising. A total coincidence that we should be on that Aire at that time...So, had a good day. Barbecue, vino and a couple of games of Trionimoes. If you've not heard of it it's played with triangular dominoes and really good fun. Went to sleep to the sound of owls hooting.

carol
14-04-2016, 17:28
Friends left the next morning but I decided to stay another night as the place was so beautiful and tranquil. Went for a walk along the canal, supposedly to the next village. No cafe. Walked further to the next village and then further to the main road. Over an hour, but nowhere for a beer so turned around and walked back! So at least a couple of hours exercise. I walked into the little village by the Aire to look at the bread dispenser. You put in your money and choose the bread you want! My friend had told me the machine bakes it for you. I don't know if he was having me on, or believed that himself but it doesn't. It gets filled twice a day apparently.

There was a dilapidated mansion up for sale and the entrance gate was hanging off so thought I'd venture in for a peek. The front door was ajar so I went in....a bit scary but I couldn't resist. What grandeur! It was huge with a massive open stairway which I also couldn't resist. So up I went...all the French novels I've read that could have been set in that house were coming back to me. Although it was dark downstairs it was really bright upstairs as the shutters had opened. There was even an old chaise longue in one of the rooms. I really wanted to find the kitchen but was getting a little bit jumpy. People were obviously squatting in the place as there were empty beer cans, ash trays and a mattress in the room downstairs so thought I'd leave while the going was good. I'd love to know the history of the place.

Left there this morning for Brantome as it was heading northwards and I was arranging to see Dippingatoe at some point. Also, market day tomorrow. What a journey. The satnav was really going haywire, trying to send me down little back roads all the time. It took ages to get here and when I did the payment booth wasn't working so it took me ages to get in! Had a walk around the town...pretty but very touristy...one of the theme park places. And so expensive in the cafes compared to Spain. Literally twice the price for a coffee or a beer!

And it's really overcast and a bit nippy and I'm feeling homesick. 😕

jennyp19
14-04-2016, 17:44
Was that Stan and Alison you met up with ? It sounds like nerves have all gone - glad you are enjoying yourself.

Tezza33
14-04-2016, 18:19
Thanks David. It probably was though I thought it looked more orangey...Buzzards come in a variety of colours, this one is more orangey
http://i1162.photobucket.com/albums/q529/tezza81/images_zpsnrnf9mws.jpg (http://s1162.photobucket.com/user/tezza81/media/images_zpsnrnf9mws.jpg.html)


but it could have been a red kite you saw, slightly bigger with a forked tail


http://i1162.photobucket.com/albums/q529/tezza81/red-kite_1922337b_zps5tow9qs5.jpg (http://s1162.photobucket.com/user/tezza81/media/red-kite_1922337b_zps5tow9qs5.jpg.html)


Unfortunately satnavs even truck ones will send you down small roads, if you enter the width of your van as 8ft it sees a road that is 8ft 6" wide as being wide enough, if you want to avoid narrow roads then go into 'edit vehicle' and change the width to something a lot bigger

carol
14-04-2016, 20:54
Jenny it was Stan and Alison and Bill and Sonia. Tezza, wasn't using my trucker sat nav.

janegam
14-04-2016, 22:24
Sounds as if you are having a great trip, re the prices and weather i always think that going back through France after spending time in Spain is like a halfway house- getting you prepared for uk. But before anyone says, yes the weather has been lovely the past few days and the spring colours are stunning but £2.20 for a coffee and nothing to eat!! Enjoy rest of trip.

vivall
15-04-2016, 15:59
Your visit to caumont sur Garonne reminds us of our stay in the same place two years ago.

Yes, reversing into the spaces is a little tight.

We recall the large house for sale, although we did not venture inside we photographed and sent them to our son in law in case he may be interested.

Early that evening a mobile pizza van parked outside that house which suited us and our neighbours and we shared the pizzas and bottles of wine.
That night, apparently, there was a heavy storm. Neither our neighbours or us heard anything. A large branch from one of the overhanging trees had fallen and landed just inches away from the neighbours. It needed all four of us to move it out of the way!

Do pizzas normally make one sleep so heavily?

Allen.

Tezza33
15-04-2016, 16:19
Pizza'ed as a newt:p

spigot
16-04-2016, 18:03
Carol,
I don't know where you are at the mo,
but if you are near here, try & drop in.
Verteuil-sur-Charente, it's a stunningly beautiful village just off the N10 with a free aire.
There is also an amazing 15th cent polychrome figure group in the church.
M&M. x

carol
17-04-2016, 17:21
Carol,
I don't know where you are at the mo,
but if you are near here, try & drop in.
Verteuil-sur-Charente, it's a stunningly beautiful village just off the N10 with a free aire.
There is also an amazing 15th cent polychrome figure group in the church.
M&M. x

Oh ****, I nearly went there too! There is so much to choose from in France, which is why bumping into ye people I'd met in France was truly serendipitous! Hope you're continuing to have a great trip. 😀


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