France - GPS mission
Trip Start Jul 04, 2010
83Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
L'espace loisirs - Jablines-annet
We planned an early departure of 8am when the Caravan Park reception opened, arrive at Disney at 9.30am for 10am admission. All that changed when we realised the GPS kept turning itself off and making weird noises. There was no way I’d attempt to drive anywhere without at least one GPS! We headed to "Hypermarket Carrefour" which was an arrow pointing off our map. I’m surprised we actually found this, as there were roadwork detours and we got lost in narrow dead-end back streets. Somehow we stumbled upon the mall, similar to a Westfield but not quite as big. First stop McDonalds to try a coffee – but still couldn’t find a half-decent Cappuccino. The bacon and egg McMuffins are called Bacon et Egg McMuffin, so that was easy to order. The bacon was extremely small, and very thin. I wonder if the French know what they are missing out on here! Free WiFi actually worked, and was the best WiFi we had found since our last caravan park several days ago. Most shops didn’t open until 10am, I’m guessing that’s because they don’t get to close for a 2 hour lunch like Office buildings, they achieve shorter days by other means. We did a lap of the mall but none of the 5-6 phone shops sold GPS.
Had a toilet stop, could not find the mens only 'Femme’ with a lady symbol. A French man also looked confused and spoke to a lady who directed him in. In the lady’s toilet, at the end of the hand basins, there was a urinal with a low height wall separating. Could make for some great toilet talk!
We tried the supermarket which had some clothes and things at one end and were directed to the electronics department – this was more like a Coles + Myer + K-mart/BigW + LiquorLand combined, all-in-one shopping. We invested in a deluxe Garmin with the biggest wide-screen I’ve ever seen, and its already paid off. It has maps for most of Europe, live traffic updates, and many more point-of-interests (eg Camping/Caravan Parks), including phone numbers for them. Kels Navigational days are over, so it might be time for her to drive and let me put my feet up. We spent quite a bit of time in this “super-market” tasting fromage (cheese) and buying jambon (ham), baguette and other necessities. There was prob 3-4 isles dedicated to alcohol. Smirnoff Vodka was on special for 7€97 (thats like $15?!), Johnnie Walker Blue about €127, and lots of Champaign and Rose (Kel picked up a €3 special, I’m waiting to buy Champaign from the cellars). Some of the staff are on roller skates, hilarious to see them scooting around but they were too quick to capture a photo or video! Other interesting facts:
- All the price tags are electronic
- You have to pack your own groceries. No-one is in a hurry to pack their bags, and the checkout attendant waits for them to finish before she’ll process yours.
- Checkout attendants sit down, and do not look happy to be there
- Trolleys are kept out in the carpark. People park, take a trolley inside, take trolley back outside. Means no trolley boys are needed. (Cori – suggestion for Woolies here).
We headed to Hotel Disney, thinking we’d just rock up with Helios and grab a room. There was a security gate and we were questioned about where we wanted to go before he opened the gate. We started to think this was going to be more expensive than expected. Walked into reception and checked there was a room available before asking the price. My ears didn’t believe it, and didn’t process the data to my brain so I asked him to write it down. €958 for one night! I was embarrassed asking for a less expensive option, but there are 7 Hotels in the Disney precinct. We are going to stay at Disney New York tomorrow night with a 2 day park pass, still about 2/3 of this price!
We used Navi (GPS nickname, nothing to do with Avatar) (Kel wishes to add that the GPS name is “HeMAN master of the Universe!) to find a camping park 15 mins away which is absolutely beautiful, in some ways nicer than the Château one before Paris. Our camping park is inside a 400 hectare leisure/relaxation park. Massive lakes, sandy beach area for swimming (fresh water), activities include mountain biking, water skiing, horse riding, fishing (but only with a rod license – wtf!). Have ordered my Croissants for tomorrow morning.
I’m glad the GPS packed up, otherwise we would have been at Disney Land and missed this beautiful quiet and tranquil place. Finding these sites inspires me to spend more time in country France. (Kel wishes to add – Trav cracks me up and sounds totally Gay!)