Van Life Weekly #2 – August 13-19 2018 – A week in Auvergne, France
With Van Life Weekly we keep you update on everything we’re doing on a daily basis while traveling in our camper van around Europe. However it didn’t start with the beginning of our trip around France and Europe in our converted van, since we started in Paris on July 2nd (and since then been to Belgium, Rouen, Lille, and on an epic road trip in Brittany).
This week might not be the most interesting to you since we’ve mostly spent time with my family in Auvergne and didn’t really do any traveling…
Monday – Driving from Brittany to Auvergne
We started this new week by leaving Brittany, after a month of being in the region. Unfortunately the weather was still grey and rainy, so we skipped the Pointe Saint Mathieu lighthouse and directly went on our way.
It feels now that Simone is getting real cozy driving the van, so the road feels less of a challenge now. However I wasn’t feeling super awesome and staying too long sitting (badly, I know) in the front hurts my back so I wasn’t the best of copilots. We stopped around lunch time and found a big InterMarché that sold sushi, makis, and all that jazz, so we bought some vegan ones and went to eat it in the van, before driving again.
Then we finally saw a highway stop where the place to empty the potty was working! It cost us 3€ but at least we have an empty and somewhat cleanish potty! That thing really smells like shit (pun somewhat intended) when you unload it… I’m seriously thinking of making it a dry toilet but I’m still a bit scared about it. I would definitely appreciate some advices if you’ve had one! That place also had a shower, and the guy at the cashier told me I could use it for free as long as I didn’t take more than 15min. However when I went to the bar where they held the key, the girl refused to give it to me, saying it was reserved to truck drivers. I explained her the situation but to no avail. Fortunately her colleague was much more understanding and said it didn’t matter since no one was asking to use it at that time. YAY to you, lady! This is how I finally had my first real shower in 10 days, and was finally able to wash my hair. We clean up ourselves with some water and soap in the van, but it is mainly for the areas that have to be washed, if you get my meaning. I took a couple of beach showers, but using shower gel / soap / shampoo is catastrophic to the ocean’s ecosystem, so I don’t use anything and just scrub myself under the water. Not the same. Also I wouldn’t have had a problem washing my hair with a bottle of water, but beside the fact that it would have meant wasting a lot of water, the weather was so cold lately I was scared to catch a cold since I couldn’t dry my long hair afterwards and it usually takes forever to get dry…. All of this to tell you how amazing this real shower, with cold and hot water, a real stream of water, with products that have amazing smell (all of it vegan and cruelty free, including a hemp shower gel and a spiced Ayurvedic shampoo that I love almost as much as my iPad), for around 10 minutes, was. Do you know what was Simone doing during that time? Exercices! This guys has more discipline for this than anyone I know. Anyhow, he couldn’t stop saying how good I smelt after my shower, so it was entirely worth it!
Back on the road, Simone drove as much as he could so it wouldn’t be too annoying the next day. We stopped at Ourador Sur Glane where we found a spot and slept like babies.
Tuesday to Sunday – A week in Auvergne
We arrived at my Uncle & Aunt’s house in Auvergne after lunch, and there’s not much to tell that will be of much interest to you since most of our time has been spent going to see my Alzheimer Granny who’s practically in love with Simone (sorry Granny, he’s mine!), taking care of the grandchildren of my aunt & uncle, going shopping and stuff like that.
However, we did clean the exterior of the van with the help of the kids, my uncle repaired the back door handle that had been broken by people trying to break in (before we owned the van), checked the mechanics under the hood (all good), and we bought a few stuff to make the van cuter and more practical. I really love it!!
It’s not very interesting if what you want to read is the travel part of van life, but it was a beautiful week for us! The weather was scorching hot and made everything harder, but spending time with family – especially relatives you don’t see often – was great.