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Family camping holiday touring France in an Austin Seven Summer 2018...
I had an original first edition of his book Duncan but leant it to someone and cannot remember who - I bought a reprint from David Cochrane but hope to locate my original at some point!
(08-08-2018, 06:25 PM)Ruairidh Dunford Wrote: The next day we woke early and, with all the girls now responsible for packing up their one air mat, pillow and sleeping bag (a first for us as previously they had been too young), we soon found ourselves on the road and away before 8am.  

Away by 8am Ruairidh I am truly impressed!

(08-08-2018, 06:32 PM)Duncan Grimmond Wrote: for 6 bottles of something once you'd left your gifts behind?

As an aside, I've just finished reading Coleman's Drive. It was sent to me on the understanding that I would pass it on to another so if you (or anyone else) would like it on the same understanding, send me a PM and I'll post it.

I mis-read that at first Duncan, thought you wrote 'once you'd left your girls behind'!

For anyone who's hesitating, 'Coleman's Drive' is a must-read - fabulous book.
Really enjoying this post Ruairidh. I'm surprised you didn't find any refugees hidden away with all those secret compartments!

Is there any science behind (apparently) packing as much as possible in the car and towing a very small trailer? Would it have worked as well if the weight had all gone on the trailer instead? I suppose I'm thinking about the rear tyre pressures - and also your choice of Waymasters.

I have to increase the pressure in the rear tyres when we are full of camping gear and I'm wondering if our Longstones are a good choice. I seem to remember some ancient 450 x 17s being better able to cope, but maybe that's my flawed memory!

Those are great compartment ideas, Ruairidh. As an expedition canoeist(open Canadian) I am impressed by your ingenuity in fitting it all in. My former expedition car was a modern (Toyota Corolla Estate) and it made a number of trips from the PNW to the Yukon and the NWT and back carrying many as three canoes and gear for three weeks. There is a lot of wasted space on many cars, both in the past and today.

Erich in a much too hot PNW
Friday dawned - we packed up, after a quick shower and clean of teeth we were off.

I had arranged to meet a long standing friend (Jean-Luc) at his home in Megeve that night.  Jean Luc had been picked up, whilst hitch-hiking, by another friend (Tim Bartlett) in his racing chummy and the two had travelled around the UK for a few week in the car together before visiting my parents and staying there in 1986.  We had been close friends ever since and after a four year gap I was looking forward to seeing him.

I had chosen to retard the ignition slightly, the electronic distributor is incredibly sensitive to timing but when correct runs smooth, so smooth that I think I had too much advance - this was the final setting of the trip and proved excellent for the tour.  Singing continued!

With little other choice we drove through the very centre of Macon without issue and the same with Bourg en Bresse. French towns are almost always circumnavigated by a large fast road and the centre, with it's many (many!) speed bumps, traffic lights and change of priority junctions can actually be quite quiet.  Progress is slow but steady.  At last we start to see signs of mountains, stopping for a picnic beneath the shade of a large tree we enjoyed the vista towards Annecy.



We wove our way through busy Annecy hugging the the turquoise lake, keen to avoid the busy roads leaving the popular and pretty city I headed up into the mountains and over the Col du Aravis - this is a short, but steep, Col and the car was soon in first gear.  Climbing continued at a steady but slow pace as we wound the hairpins before eventually reaching the top and onto an Alpine meadow.


Travelling back down into the valley we once again found ourselves in first gear to prevent runaway - the houses changed in chalets and cyclists sped past at breakneck speeds.  Cow bells filled the air and once again we were climbing - Flumet passed in a steep sided water filled valley and soon we were at Jean-Luc's.  The car and we had come some 740 miles in three and a half long days - the longest sustained pull of the trip - and we all needed a rest.  On his veranda overlooking the mountains Jean-Luc passed me a cold beer, I accepted!

Top Marks Ruairidh i admire you greatly, puts us all to shame who just do local trips, whats your average speed ?
(09-08-2018, 09:34 AM)Ruairidh Dunford Wrote: ...
On his veranda overlooking the mountains Jean-Luc passed me a cold beer, I accepted!

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Nice write-up R!

Brilliant Simon..... my thoughts exactly !!

What larks eh, Pip.
Trekkies, I’m afraid this is only up to day 4 of the trip, there is another 26 days still to write up!

Speed - our speed on the open road was normally about 30/35mph, up to 50mph at some points and down to 11mph on the really steep hills.

The only problem with higher speeds was stopping!

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