Friday 28th May and we hit France after a reasonable night. Because of the curfew and the stringent lockdown, the “partygoers” go for it “hell-for-leather”, partially because they can but more probable to catch-up the time they have lost, and being right outside our window, we were either roasted in the room as no “air-con” due to COVID and no noise or, cool and comfortable but deafened; some choice!!! The good news was that midnight everything stopped.
After getting the receptionist to print of our PCR test results, negative naturally, we were heading out of Pamplona by 0930hrs. Our route was a little torturous but the scenery going through the Pyrenees was quite spectacular, reminded Christine of England; the greenery, corn fields and grass, not to mention the grey clouds!!!!
We “popped” onto the motorway just at the boarder and straight into the peage plaza on the French side. There were both Spanish Guardia and French Police everywhere, but no one stopped us as we drove through, why-oh-why did we pay €190 for PCR tests👹👹👹👹
At lunch time we stopped for a meal on the motorway but to our horror they were only selling rolls and the like, no meals at all!!! The lockdown in France is still stringent.
We arrived at St Cloud mid afternoon, loaded the scooter together with the various accessories then helped Mike and Catriona load their van with the last of their belongings; they had to clear out as they had sold this house after several years on the market. Our car was full and closing the tailgate was a slight problem so with some creative re-adjustments, we were done.
We all stayed in a “budget-chain” hotel on the outskirts of Angouleme with the car parked right outside our door, and after booking in, met up in the hotel garden for a catch-up chat accompanied with Champagne, naturally: Couldn’t have Cava in France!!!
Originally we were due to get a “take-out” delivered to our hotel but quite recently “Macron” relaxed the rules (slightly) and the curfew was changed from 1900hrs to 2100hrs so we went out only to find half the population of Angouleme had the same idea!! Still eventually we found a table in an Italian chain restaurant; the limited choice of food on the menu was disappointing but the wine selection was very good, helped by a good choice from Mike. Of course we were the last to leave with the staff shushing us out as 2100hrs had come and gone: Oh well one has to take chances occasionally!!!!
Back at the hotel, we took our chairs back out into the garden again and continued nattering, after all we hadn’t met up for well over a year.
Tomorrow we will head straight back to Spain so that we are still within the 72-hours of our PCR test, after all we don’t want to have to go through the same palaver again, this time in France. We have decided to head for Soria, in the Castile and Leon region and spend a day or perhaps two there as we haven’t been there before and it looks very interesting