Moving South
First Day in France
Moving South
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First Days in Italy
Montelcino Antonio
First Days-South Italy
First Days-Giovinazzo
Living in Giovinazzo
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Camping on the Med
Eli's Diary
Rosa's Diary


7 November 2004: Leaving first field, peage, park with leaves, pool, Newbie work, Camponile restaurant, arrive St martin d'estreaux



We all slept well, and woke to a very still, cool morning, with a wintry haze on the plowed fields and woods in the distance.  We heard a few rifle shots as we ate our breakfast.  I went for a little walk, not really expecting a tiny village to have a shop, and met some nice farmers who gave me l'eau chaud for tea in our thermos.  I walked around the village and looked out on more fields, where I could see 3 hunters stalking.  An enquiry from our farmer established they were shooting pheasants, rabbits, deer and pigeons, and were a hunting party from the local chateau.  After breakfast I took the children down to meet a young man and his rabbits.  He had about 20 hutches, one with scrawny baby kits leaping up and down to get at their mother.  The kids were delighted.  And only Eli was curious as to what they were all for.  I answered enigmatically, "it's a rabbit farm".
So we set off driving around noon. Doing a short stint on the peage (pay motorway), just to see what it costs.  After less than an hour, we forked out 8 euro and went for local roads again, and had a picnic at 3pm in Nancay, a village proud to be centre of radioastronomy.  We set off to Vierzon to find a pool to wash and tire everybody out for the next night's drive.  The pool was great with a water chute, baby pool with fountains, lots of floaties to play on.  But we did have to take a loan of tight trunks for the boys, as shorts style swimsuits are apparently not allowed in French swimming pools.  Also, I knocked my glasses against a locker and broke them, so I had to switch to contacts (on chlorinated eyes), when I came out.  Mike stayed outside to tinker with Newbie.  Mike drove.
This time, we decided to find a restaurant and set up beds before the late night run.  Unfortunately everybody fell asleep before we got there, so we brought sleepy children into a Camponille restaurant for frites etc.  They had a little section with Duplo for the kids to play, and a lovely warm log fire, which I was loathe to leave, but went outside and set up all the beds, ready to just lift the children into from car seats. 
 I drove on and managed to make it until about midnight again, by which time my contacts had started really trouble me.  Also Newbie had started to struggle as the landscape began to undulate. We found a car park at the back of St Martin d'Estreaux with one big truck parked there, so pulled in and made a much smoother transfer of all to beds.
After a lot of repacking, we headed off, using Paege part of the way. 

Stopped in a park in Nancay where the kids and I played in the leaves. 

Suzie took the kids swimming while I did Newbie work.  Because of the bikes on the back I hadn't checked oil and he was down loads of oil - added 1.5 litres! Shouldn't the oil light have come on?
Anyway also changed the points and condensor, tightened the fanbelt which keeps getting loose.  First did static timing to notch, but backfired and ran rough, so I then adjusted timing by hand and he ran better, though still stalling when cold.  Will need to check valves and then maybe adjust idle.  Lots of curious French folk come to have a look at what I am doing. 
Chocolate cravings while on the road, and found a Mars bar in the glovebox but it had small bites taken out of it.  Suspect  we have a stowaway mouse

Parked in little village St martin d'estreaux near la palisse.


They are on to me the small bites in the Mars were nearly attributed to Sammy but I should have resisted chewing the knobs of their walkie talkies but they looked so edible. Perhaps they think I've gone.  

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This site was last updated 03/26/05