July 29, 2012

THERE AND BACK AGAIN

The weather in the UK had been awful for weeks when we set off for France at the beginning of July.  Rain, rain and more rain.  Reading other blogs I could see that it was also disappointing in our part of France for the time of year, but it is always just that bit warmer, drier and brighter than at home in the UK, so I was really looking forward to the holiday.

weather2

The journey there.

We could hardly believe our luck as we stayed dry all the way to Folkestone but when we got near to Rouen it started to rain.  Just north of Le Mans we felt as though we were driving through a waterfall on the motorway as we entered a sudden huge downpour.

weather3 weather4 A motorcyclist shelters under a motorway bridge in torrential rain.  I’ve done that a time or two and it is definitely not much fun.

The driving was hard work and dangerous.  Cars were still travelling at 130 in torrential rain even though the visibility was terrible.  There was a lot of spray from other vehicles and many of them didn’t have their lights on, still overtaking.  We felt very uncomfortable and could see how someone braking, skidding and colliding with another car could easily happen and then there would be a huge accident.  So we left the motorway and travelled on the ordinary roads for a while.

weather5A break in the storm near Yvetot. 

The rain would clear for a while then within moments we would be in the middle of another storm.  We rejoined the motorway just south of Le Mans but after a few kilometres we gave up and went back onto the “red roads” again.  It was just too risky and we felt that we would rather arrive later than not at all.

weather6 Sunset over the river at Barrou.

As we neared Tours the rain stopped, the grey clouds disappeared and the sky looked a lot less threatening.    In the end we arrived just over an hour later than we expected.  As usual it was warm and sunny in Le Grand-Pressigny.  Bliss !!

We met up with our friends Chris and Gail at the PreHisto and then we all headed to Barrou for the evening, looking forward to some live music at the “Barrouders” festival and maybe a sausage and some frites !!

weather1 The journey home !!

We had mixed weather for the two weeks, some very bad and some very good.  On the day we travelled home we had clear blue skies and temperatures up to 28°C all the way.

It was a great holiday and now that I can nearly see the bottom of the laundry basket I shall have time to tell you all about it ……….. !!

Bon dimanche à tous …….

8 comments:

  1. There is nothing worse than driving a right-hand drive car on French roads with masses of spray. Not quite so bad with 2 people, but when I used to do it on my own in a storm it was horrible. I could just not see a thing!.. Glad you had a good holiday. Enjoy your week Diane

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    1. Diane, I only did that once and I confess I pulled into a rest area and waited for the rain to ease off. It was terrifying, as you say, bad enough with two in the car but truly awful by yourself.

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  2. The story of our summer so far, Jean, except for the motorway driving, which sounds deeply scary. I thought people were supposed to slow down to 110 when it rains? Back to cool and showery here today after a truly glorious 10 days.

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    1. Perpetua, most people did slow down but it only takes a couple of cars going way too fast in those conditions to cause a major accident.
      It was very scary indeed and I couldn't believe how stupid people could be.

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  3. You made the best of your travels, even though it "rained on your parade." Good for you!

    Glad you found the bottom of the laundry basked!

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    1. Bear, this only happens a couple of times a year - mostly I just do "crisis ironing" - and crisis gardening, crisis hoovering......

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  4. we FINALLY got rain; send all of yours over please !

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    1. Spo, we have been dry here for a week now and I can't tell you how great it was !!
      Mind you, yesterday we were out on the motorcycles and got caught in a heavy shower of - believe it or not - hail !!! Yes, in late July !! That's UK weather for you.

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