Van Life Weekly #2 – From Brittany to Auvergne

by Alice
On the road from Brittany to Auvergne

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…

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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.

Map of our drive from Brittany to Auvergne in a camper van in France

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.

On the road from Brittany to Auvergne

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.

Simone teaching boxing to the kids in Auvergne during our van road trip

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!!

Simone in our camper van in Auvergne, France Simone taking care of our converted van in Auvergne, France

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.

Tempted to go on a camper van trip around France and explore the country? If you don’t want to buy a camper or an RV, you can always rent one! Check prices and availabilities on World Wide Campers!

| Read our Van Life Weekly #1 here

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Jess D. 13 September 2018 - 0 h 12 min

It sounded like you had a great week! I would love to take some time off to tour Europe. Sounds like a wonderful experience. Thanks for sharing!

Simone Cardillo 21 September 2018 - 17 h 30 min

Thank you for taking time to read our stories!

Layla - Alial Travel Gal 13 September 2018 - 13 h 01 min

Haha, the van life sure does take its toll on personal hygiene, I hear you! 🙂 I think Dr. Bronner’s Castile 18-in-1 organic soap is pretty ok to use when #vanlife showering in any waterways. It’s also multipurpose so I use it for hair, body plus laundry, dishes and any other cleaning tasks 🙂

Simone Cardillo 21 September 2018 - 17 h 30 min

Oh, I did not know about it, I definitely will take a look at it.
Thanks so much for the tip!

Claire 13 September 2018 - 18 h 58 min

Now that was a trip down memory lane as I happen to have done a very similar trip in secondary school!

Eric Gamble 14 September 2018 - 2 h 37 min

Ahh the van life! So many basics like a clean bath room or a hot shower become such amazing luxuries! Sorry you weren’t feeling well. Nothing worse than feeling a bit down on a long drive. But all said and done, glad you are getting a chance to see such amazing landscapes and especially family!

Simone Cardillo 21 September 2018 - 17 h 28 min

We’ve got to admit, once in a while those luxuries are becoming more of a necessity, that’s why we book a room in a hotel once in a while…..
Kind of like a vacation!

Katie 14 September 2018 - 3 h 38 min

Love reading about your van life, its super interesting. Glad you were able to get a shower… always make you feel better! Look forward to hearing more of journey!

Simone Cardillo 21 September 2018 - 17 h 24 min

Believe me it seriously does!!!!!
Thanks again for reading our stories.

Chandni 14 September 2018 - 13 h 33 min

Your van life posts makes me want to experience a van road trip. 🙂

Alice 14 September 2018 - 18 h 49 min

Oh I’m so jealous!! It’s mine and my boyfriend dream to buy a van and travel.. Of course it can be challenging but I think it worth it!

Simone Cardillo 21 September 2018 - 17 h 23 min

Challenges makes the journey more adventurous, right? Well this one is challenging for real but so far we love it!

Corina 14 September 2018 - 22 h 44 min

Hi Thank you for sharing your trip, haha this must have been a long drive to the necessary stop. Hoe you had tiger balm with you! happy travels C

Simone Cardillo 21 September 2018 - 17 h 22 min

Nope, no balm but i really should get something!

Navita 15 September 2018 - 5 h 31 min

When we chose a certain life, we embrace the real adventures and also the challenges that come along. I thoroughly love to read about your van life experience! The genuine concerns have to be dealt with and those become stories for life! It is good that you got to catch up on family time in the trip and met up with your uncle and Granny!! Its always fun for us to meet a family or a friend in a slow long trip and those are quick short lovely memories!

Simone Cardillo 21 September 2018 - 17 h 21 min

Your comments are always sincerly appreciated, i think I already said that! But that’s how it is, thanks so much.

Su Bha Sun 15 September 2018 - 7 h 46 min

What an adventure you are on! It makes me envious. I always dream of a van life. Kudos

Alex Trembath 15 September 2018 - 8 h 00 min

Really enjoying following your van life journey! We are strongly considering taking the leap and trying van life ourselves next year. Seeing other people’s experiences really helps to motivate our decision 🙂

Simone Cardillo 21 September 2018 - 17 h 18 min

Nice to hear that you are enjoying it! The best part is that we made a plan and it completely changed, a journey into a journey…..
I really think is worth to give it a try, it allows to see things city and villages that are not on usually on what we call bucket lists!

Maria 15 September 2018 - 9 h 50 min

Thank you for making us part of your very own memories in that wonderfully natural way! Keep travelling and sharing, guys!

Alice Cardy 21 September 2018 - 17 h 56 min

Thank you for reading our adventures, you’re the best!


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