The last serious journey we made towing Guillaume was returning from the New Forest in the middle of August. On that journey we managed a blissful 30 m.p.g. That was about the best we’ve ever done. Today, having crossed the channel and hit La Belle France and the A16 autoroute running from Calais to Neufchatel-en-Bray in Normandy, we notched up a dismal 21 m.p.g. which represents the worst we’ve ever done.
Here’s the thing. Returning from the New Forest we were heading east/ north-east with a decent south-westerly wind. Today, once on teh French side of la Manche [the Channel], we were heading south-east straight into the prevailing wind which, it must be said, was particularly strong. There is another factor which is the3 roller-coaster nature of the A16 with several serious, rather lengthy hills, but the main factor in this staggering difference in fuel consumption is tail wind versus head wind. Still, it’s only money, and we are back in France.
Whereas the wind might not have been favourable, we did have one amazing piece of luck. We pulled into our favourite transitory campsite at 5:30 PM. Immediately, Monsieur grabbed a sign and placed it behind us; the sign read “Full”. “Vous avez de la chance”, he muttered to us as he returned to reception.
We’ve been camping in France for the better part of 30 years, much of it in high season. We’ve hardly ever made reservations. In all that time we have hit a full campsite on only one occasion and that, naturally, was in high season. (They let us stay on the hard-standing outside the campsite gates.) Though this is still technically high season, it really isn’t, most folks have returned in readiness for the new school term about to start. Today was unusual and I really don’t understand it. At least we got in.