Graham Explains

I notice that Kerriann mentions that having an awning out on our motorhome is ‘naughty’ and thought that a few words of explanation might clarify the position. In France we always stay at the wonderful camping-car aires, i.e. free and legal stopping places for motorhomes. When staying at an aire, it is usually accepted that permission is granted for ‘parking’ and not ‘camping’. Parking means that you are self-contained and do not put tables, chairs and other camping equipment around your van.
Naughty Awning Action

This said, the French have a great aptitude for ignoring the sometimes ridiculous rules. Usually, when over-nighting on an aire we would not wind out Dickie’s awning but on this lovely spacious aire with its big bays it would be silly not to make use of the generous space allocated. In fact we also snuck our satellite dish out so that we could watch live British TV. All the other vans on site were French and all of them were breaking the ‘camping’ rule and we love them for it!

In the 5 months we have been travelling in Europe on this trip we have only stayed 4 or 5 nights in paid campsites – the rest of the time we have parked legally in aires and spent our money in the towns and villages that have kindly provides them. The UK has a lot to learn from the European system – it is also interesting that we have not had to pay to park anywhere since we left the UK apart from one instance in a busy French town where we paid two euros for four hours. How different to our local parking in Cornwall.

It is still 27 degrees at 10.30 at night – we are all hot a sticky.  We might not miss the UKs parking charges but we do miss the cooler evenings.

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