We made it, we escaped! We’re here in France, camping next to the beautiful River Loire.
After a naughty – hopefully not reckless – evening out at home which involved the first draught pint and meal out for over 100 days, we hit the road to France.
The atmosphere on England’s so-called super Saturday felt just right, there was a bit of excitement but not too much and just modest numbers out for an “early doors” drink.
The new social distancing rules felt far from onerous, I didn’t mind the waiter service to our spaced out tables and the quieter, less raucous atmosphere made for a better experience.
The next morning, feeling ever so slightly groggy, we were up bright and early and on our way to Eurotunnel. I’d figured this was the safest way to holiday abroad, we didn’t even have to leave our campervan for the 34 minute journey under the Channel.
Strangely leaving home seemed more of a wrench than usual and I felt a little apprehensive at the prospect of what turned out to be a 12 hour drive. Maybe the lockdown had made me a little too comfortable with home life.
Apart from the face masks worn by staff and a slightly quieter feel than you’d expect at Eurotunnel everything seemed normal. At border control, there were no extra forms to fill in, no questions asked and no need to say where you were staying.
On the journey, to be ultra-safe we did as instructed and wore face masks for the first time. It was hot in the campervan and the lack of fresh air in our underground train carriage combined with the masks made for a suffocating half-hour.
It was great to whip them off and get motoring on the French roads – so much better than those in the UK. Some six hours after Calais – it felt such a long journey – we arrived at our campsite just a short walk from the beautiful small riverside town of Montsoreau.
The campsite stayed open late to welcome us and then told us somewhat disconcertingly we were the first Brits to arrive this year.
On a campsite that would otherwise be fully booked, there are no more than a quarter of the pitches occupied with mainly French campers but also a few Germans, Dutch and Swiss. This means we got a prime ‘super pitch’ spot – which means you have access to a tap! – right next to the river on a highly rated, superbly located campsite.
Surprisingly the restaurant was still open after we’d checked in and we were able to enjoyed a socially distant meal – Mrs Jones with a healthy walnut and goat’s cheese salad, me with not so healthy chorizo pizza and fries. All was washed down with one of the best things about France – a half litre carafe of local red wine.