Friday 21st August 2020
Today we are going a staggering 2km from the free parking, with a stream to the back of us and mountains to the front, to a small charming campsite which is considered to be a “hidden gem”, we shall see. It is just out of town and it’s called Camping Le Trejeux. The heat today is expected to be 32 – 33 degrees, even though the free spot is very beautiful and all that, we will bake, so we are in search of shade for today. Hayley found the place which was not on our usual resource of camping sites and stops so we thought that we would give it a go.
The short 5-minute drive took us into a thicker wooded area, with the campsite entrance hidden among trees. Straight away we know that this was the place, very charming, done in the old fashioned way with a small wooden hut for the reception, a small restaurant, lots of trees, and very very quiet.
Fantastic. Oh dear, we have arrived at the wrong time, French lunchtime. The two-hour break will not be broken for anyone and we are about an hour and a half too early, they have seen us but will not stop their lunch for us. Why should they? Lunch is important to the French, unlike the UK where we have lunch on the go, rushing around, answering phones, apparently “getting things done”. No, here lunch is lunch and they are having it and that’s that, we will just have to wait.
Our time comes and the lady from the site takes Hayley away to find our pitch. A lovely lady who speaks excellent English and explains the rules of the site and how everything has to be just so. Excellent. We like that. We are given just what we wanted a large flat pitch, in a corner surrounded by trees. Perfect. We get set up and settle into our new home, getting a pile of laundry done while we are here.
We do have one problem looming, however – gas! We need gas, lots of gas. If we are on a campsite or parking that has electricity then we can do everything except cook, if there is no electricity then we depend on gas for everything. Gas runs the heating, hot water, cooking, and fridge freezer.
Recently we have been having trouble in France filling up at the LPG stations. Some years back LPG cars were the rage for a very short time so a couple of companies set up installing LPG installations in motorhomes. The idea is that you can drive into any garage anywhere in Europe and if they have LPG you can fill up. All you needed was an adaptor to fit the host country’s LPG pumps. Easy… No…
In France, the LPG system, although extensive is not very well maintained. The failure rate in France with LPG is high, plenty of places but when you try and fill up the gun used to attach to your van’s gas inlet is not reliable stopping you from filling up, what’s more, it’s worse in the summer because of the heat and the air pressure change.
We are on our last sniff of gas and we have weeks to go. Because of all the filling failures, we think that we have a problem with our system and a couple of hours have been spent calling back and forth to the UK suppliers of the equipment to try and help us out, even to the point that they had us make a little gasket out of plastic. Interesting.
The company are indeed helpful but we still need to get gas into our bottles. There are two suppliers locally in Annecy which is only 30 minutes’ drive away from where we are. First thing tomorrow we will try and see if we can get gas, otherwise we might need to get some serious replumbing done to fit a standard French system or worse, go back home.