Sunday, January 17, 2016

Across The Border Into France

Firstly thanks for all the good wishes re Elaine's health.  

I should also mention that a very kind boaty couple have offered us the use of their boat whilst we are back in the UK.  Even though we are not directly involved in the boating community anymore it never ceases to amaze me at the amount of help, friendship and support offered!  We are so very grateful.

Last night we stopped at a very remote servo about 100 ks outside of Zaragoza.  There were a few trucks around us with some coming and going during the night.

What I didn't anticipate was the plunge in the temperature!  I thought it may be a bit chilly because in the middle of the night the water pump started running.  The valve opened on the water heater and dumped all the water out because it was starting to freeze.  By the time Elaine woke me from my deep sleep half the tank had gone!  It's a good safety device and works well.  Ideally I should have left the water pump turned off, then it would only drain the hot water tank and not the main water tank as well. 

When I finally leapt out of bed this morning it was -4 inside the van, and -8 outside!!

None of the taps would work as all the pipes had frozen. ln hindsight I should have left the heater on all night, but to be fair I don't like leaving a gas heater running all night!

I took the dogs for a walk around the Siberian landscape ...

We drove for a few hours before stopping for a break.  By now the temp had risen to a balmy 7 degrees!

A little later we passed a few snowy fields ... 

It is such an easy drive.  I set the cruise control on 95ks and just sit back and steer.  There is so little traffic that I just admire the passing scenery and take a few pics as well! 

We could see snow covered mountains in the distance ...

Elaine took this pic out of the port side window ...

We stopped for the night just across the French border in the lovely town of Saint Jean De Luz.

We tried to stop here eighteen months ago but it was summer and the motorhome aire was full as it's such a popular spot ...

Elaine rested in the van whilst I took the dogs for a walkabout ...

It is such a lovely place and I couldn't help noticing how smart the French look and dress.  Even the dogs were well dressed in their designer coats!  I felt a bit of a slob, probably because I am!

I also noticed that the prices in the shops and bars also reflected an upmarket place.

It's lovely to look at tho! 

Gorgeous sandy beach, we are very close to Biarritz  ...

Prom walk without their mum :-( 

The Aire is on the right of the photo, which is a great location, except ...

Behind it is the mainline railway ... good job we like trains! 


  1. There is a hole in the heater dump valve plunger where you can stick in a nail , or wire coat hanger or something to stop it dumping, but then you would have to closely monitor the temperature having overridden the frost protection. Of course you will probably know this though.

  2. If we can help, we’re here. xx

  3. Hope all is well you two
    Peter and Elaine
    Nb maple

  4. Ditto for what Carol said - we're only a little way up the road so let us know if there's anything.