July 2019 – Central Southern to SELOC Tent Off – Brittany, France

Write up from the Tent Off weekend, from a Central Southern perspective.

We had been looking forward to this all year and finally it was time to squeeze everything into the Lotus and head off to France.

Idiot sign fitted ready

To make the most of the short break, Mrs FW and I left home straight after work on the Wednesday and headed in the general direction of Portsmouth to get the overnight to Caen. After a massive 9 mile journey, we stopped for food and drink in Fareham, the view from the pub window already making us feel like we were away somewhere nice (not saying Fareham isn’t nice.

After a walk along to Fareham creak, we jumped back in the Elise and drove the short distance to the Ferry.

In the carpark we met  whizzee111s and Lisa Y who were heading out on a later ferry, soon after we were directed to the boat, unfortunately I was directed to the upper deck with the resulting bodywork modifications.

In the normal Womble tradition, we popped the cork of something fizzy, whilst relaxing in our luxury cabin.

An early wakeup call and we were back in the car and ready to hit the road. After some minor scraping, we left the boat and headed for our on route sight seeing stop of Mont Saint-Michel.

It was reasonably quiet at 9am, but already hot and the walk in was sweltering. It’s a beautiful quaint old place, totally spoilt by the tourist tat and the huge number of tourists. We bailed after a quick walk round and it was already busy, but there were hundreds walking and bussing in.

Next stop Camping de Gouarec (deeppurpleelise’s campsite)

burt and Julie had arrived a few days ago, but the rest of us arrived over the course of the day, most of us without the joy of air conditioning in the cars, therefore some of emerged looking a little lobster like.

Some arrived by more energetic forms of travel.

Lunch was bread and cheese, our staple diet when camping in France, although had I been a ham eater, I would have added this to the ingredients, as jambon seems to be a big part of life in Brittany, so much so that they had a whole isle dedicated to it’s sale in the supermarket.

Kate then dished the accommodation for those without their own tent. The Wombles got Blanche, a classic caravan which Mrs FW ended up falling in love with, we definingly want her again next year.

First evening meal was at a local restaurant, serving traditional French cuisine….pizza.

Fuelled by alcohol and the excitement of foreign travel our minds were open to trying new things.


More new experiences the next day. Mrs FW fancied paddle boarding and Juiliadream (Dudley and Julia), brought their board with them. After pumping it up, taking out the pump hose, having it deflate almost completely before we read the instructions on how the valve works, blowing it up again, this time keeping the air in the correct location, Tracy passed the board lesson over to me as there was quite an audience building.

Julia showed us how it was done.

I did manage to get to my feet, but didn’t feel like falling in the canal, so stayed kneeling mostly.

In the evening there was a crepe night and Geoff and Kate’s Son and friend entertained us with live music.

The crepes were great, but what ever you do, don’t try to queue up for a sweet one until everyone had been served a savoury one!

Then these arrived.

Having been taken out for a go and shown how to work it, I was then told to take anyone else out who wanted a go, making me chief VeloSolex tour guide Barbie.

I never did find out why someone made Kate and Geoff’s 2CV a coat, perhaps it gets cold

More aquatic adventures were had the next day, when we hit the water in a rowing boat.

I was sent to the Poop Deck

The evening saw children being placed in car boots

And more Yahzee (we know how to party)

On the Sunday, after a gentle drive in the country (Geoff’s description of gentle, being somewhat different to mine!), we met up with the Interesting Car Club, at the lake. The club is a mix of French and British car enthusiasts with an eclectic mix of cars.







Coffee by the lake

Then a picnic.

In the evening, Julia presided over the BBQ, whilst burt tortured innocent chickens and Niccii took on baby sitting duties

Despite the clouds, the sun always shines on the righteous

Alas it all had to end at some point and after photo opportunity on Monday morning, we all made our way back to Blighty (other than burt and Julie who were staying for a few more days and live in foreign parts)

A very brief stop in St. Malo, before heading on to Cherborg for the ferry

A fantastic weekend, thanks to burt, Julie, Kate, Geoff and all the other attendees, glad to hear we will be back next year.

Report by Mark Holttum (fatwomble)





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