A Travellerspoint blog

Sunday 13th December

Woke up cold, so heater went straight on as did kettle for a hot cuppa. But before Hymer got warm and the water had chance to boil, our one and only gas bottle decided to give up the ghost! So out came the camping stove from the roof box and at least a cup of tea was had. Now Sunday is not a good day to run out of anything in France, as unlike England everything is closed. So we decided to start heading south, find somewhere to get a gas bottle and stay there till Monday morning when we could get a full one. Now the problem is it was never going to be as easy as that, as we had a Calor gas bottle and that was great for exchanging in the UK but not in Europe. As every country has different market leaders and apparently there aren’t any bottles you can exchange over different countries, so if our bottle only lasted just over a month this could be an expensive trip! We could have had fitted a refillable system before we went but that was over £500 and we didn’t have that to spend. Anyway I’m going on, we had found that a supermarket chain called Carrefour is in several different countries, and as most supermarket chains we had seen in France have their own brand of gas bottles. So we decided that we could get one their bottles and then be able to exchange it in other countries, problem solved we thought. So as we pulled up in Auch and looked at our third Carrefour forecourt, we found that they had an own brand bottle but only Butane, which would be no good for us as it freezes at below minus 4 and up in the Pyrenees it would get colder than that. So we carried on to Tarbes, near the foot of the Pyrenees, and a MacDonald’s car park for some internet research and found a brand that we could get in France that also is stocked in Spain. So all we now had to do was wait till morning and buy a brand new bottle, which with our French and a phrasebook that doesn’t cover such things was going to be fun.

We then went about for somewhere to park up for the night. Which after a drive up a dead end road, which meant turning the motorhome around in someone’s drive as all the family came out to shoo us off, found a spot in a square. Only to discover that we were right under the bell tower of the church which kept going off every hour, but luckily it stopped at 11pm and started back up at 7am, so not as bad as we initially thought.

Posted by marklorna 11:41

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