We spent the night in the car park outside the Ibis hotel. It was hardly “wild” camping but we had no electric hook up so were relying solely on battery power and we occasionally had to run the engine to top up the domestic battery – probably because we were watching TV all evening.
Charles had advised us to avoid Paris but at that time of year there was a dearth of open camp sites and the only one we could find on our route was at Champigny-sur-Marne on the east side of Paris, so we decided to risk the peripherique.
The last time we tried crossing Paris in the camper we ended up heading at speed towards an underpass with a height restriction that was too low for our van. Tony saved the day at the last moment by taking an emergency slip road. The next hour or so was spent trying to find our way back to our route – tempers got a little frayed; we were fervently hoping that this time we wouldn’t repeat the “Lost in Paris” experience. Not good for marital harmony.
We stopped at an aire for a cuppa and leg stretch, it was a pretty little place with a circular boardwalk amongst the trees. Unfortunately the place was marred by litter louts, there was orange peel scattered just where we parked and the French family parked next door were relieving themselves in the road in spite of their being a perfectly useable toilet block on the site. Madam merely crouched down behind her car door and did her business in full view of Tony who was walking around the boardwalk behind her. Unfortunately, there is no photograph of the act as the writer was too shocked to pick up the camera but all that she could see was the two feet poking out from under the door with a foot in each corner and a gush of pee in between – she can’t have been wearing knickers. The couple then got back into the car, leaving two puddles of pee in the road. As they drove away they chucked a load of sweetie papers out of the car.
By the time we approached Paris the rain had stopped and we had hazy sunshine and dry roads. Tony told me to look left for a fine view of the Eiffel Tower; but I could see more than one tower, I could see a whole row of them and they had wires connecting them, they were huge electricity pylons!
Tomtom did us proud and safely navigated us through the city traffic ensuring we were in the correct lane at the appropriate time. We hit Paris at twenty five to, drove anticlockwise for and half an hour, emerging at quarter past. The camp site didn’t look its best in the milky winter sunshine but it was fine for one night. Disneyland Paris was 35 minutes away by public transport. Were we tempted to visit? No!