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Report - La Tour de France, July 2013.

jST

LLS.
Regular User
#1
SUMMERSPLERRTOUR’13


Summer wouldn’t be summer without a chocolate milk fuelled, 3 day 2000km hack across Europe in a sweaty car. Following on from our freezing cold winter roadtrip in February, plans were hatched, contacts made and google was hammered to pull together a hopefully warmer summer expedition.
Other trips had involved mostly (trip links) Belgium & Germany with the Grand old Dukes of Derbyshire. This time we were headed to the wonderfully diverse land of France…

Fast forward 4 months and we’re stood at Aeroport Charles de Gaulle, already sweaty from trying to find the Renault that we were destined to be cooped up in for the next few days: “Who’s fucking idea was this?”

So, the aforementioned Renault was stuffed with us and things, our illiterate Satellite Navigation contraption (Raquel) was brimming with gourmet Euro “locations” / brocations / places or whatever and we had some miles to cover, good moisture to consume, songs to make up to sing over other songs and to generally annoy a lot of people.

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First off was Powerplant Rott which involved a somewhat convoluted and lengthy entry route. Us being totally sensible, we’d neglected to pick up any fluids in the flurry of excitement when leaving the airport and consequently had a third of a bottle of hot, flat coke between us… Carrefour’s drinks isle didn’t know what had hit it.

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Next up was Chateau Cavalier, some way away from the previous PLACE, arriving at near dusk and still with 250 miles to cover to get to our beds for the night, we fell into the basement and were mildly disappointed to find THE PLACE less than inspiring and fully empty.

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Arriving in Lille in the middle of the night we woke up the dreadlocked Brazilian traveller crusties who were sharing our hostel room, bedded down, farted a bit and proceeded to obtain around 30 seconds of sleep before alarm clocks were dingling and jangling. Once again, off we sped in the morning gloom and rain, this time towards Belgium and lots of fail.

Thanks to Camera Shy, we’d pinpointed the incredible looking Chateau De La Foret. Being our MAIN TARGET (in umbecks speak) we were all giddy. We headed forth stealthily through “La Foret” that surrounds “the place” until we were set about by hoards of bloodsucking horseflies. The castle was sealed, so we traipsed off back through “La Foret” away from “The PLAYCE” when a little van containing a mild mannered gentlemen administered a light bollocking in French, whilst looking smug that entrance was both “C’est impossible” and “interdit”

Trundling on rather glumly and itching at all the bites we arrived at Powerplant I or “The littlest powerplant” Nicely compact, living room sized turbines and a cracking control room.

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Same sealed castle story at Chateau Pol: very recently closed up with those lovely terracotta building blocks that Europeans favour over our drab concrete ones. We cobbed up* outside a small Delhaize and ate rather glumly before crossing the country to Chateau Rouge.

*Stuffed buns/cobs with meat and cheese.

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Chateau rouge was a rather poor affair, clearly converted into a cheapo youth hostel / summer camp type thing before becoming abandoned and being abused by all manner of people. Inside we found some German photographers taking photos of a girl in a blue dress. Naturally we barged through their set up, annoyed them and left. By this point it was fucking hot and we needed diesel which equalled a trip to Luxembourg and our campsite in Northern France.

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Many Merguez, a bizarre chocomel and brandy concoction and a warm night’s sleep and later we were back in the Renault sweatbox and headed to Forge Lunaire, which is the French Heavy metal without the lights on and a bit more derp. Proper good though.

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Continued...
 
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jST

LLS.
Regular User
#2
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Then South to Pensionatte Catholique along the autoroute trying out the newly introduced 30kmh rolling telepeage lanes, which provided much amusement. THE PLACE itself was rather charming and it was a relief to get out of the blazing sun for a warl.

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I’d spotted some headstocks ages ago, so it was rude not to check them out. Unfortunately none were immediately climbable without some considerable effort and in 35 degree heat, nobody had tiem fo’ dat.

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Further South and touching 38 degrees, we found ourselves bumbling into Chateau Lumiere, which was full of models and photographers. Again we annoyed them by walking into the bathroom where they were all getting changed and then accidentally on purpose getting in all their shots.

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Continued...​
 

jST

LLS.
Regular User
#3
We pressed on towards L'Hôpital du Coiffeur arriving early evening. A secluded and relatively untouched hospital set within the most incredible scenery, up and down switchback roads and not seeing another car for miles on end. With hindsight it would have been a most excellent place to set up camp. We spent quite a warl here as it was oddly photogenic for such an empty abandoned hospital.

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Who couldn’t love a derp with a view like this?

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Once more we trundled into a crammed campsite and pitched ourselves amongst swathes of beanpole like Dutch holiday makers and drank beer / frisbeed.

Our last day started with L'Hôpital Diablo, which since being reported on earlier this year by Host & Camera shy has become a graffed up shitderp. Mint views once again...

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Disappointed, we headed of towards La Ferme du Curly stairs before swinging back towards Charles de Gaulle through 250 miles of ubiquitous rolling French countryside with sunflower fields, beau villages and a couple of croissants.

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Excellent trip, excellent company. Many thanks for viewing and sorry for the image intensivene nature of the report.​
 
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host

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#4
Bang on that man, that looks one hell of a good trip, do i see a bit of tilt and shift going on ? job well done guys excellent report.