Jump to content


BFE Members
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by auchmill

  1. The Government Website is the most reliable source of information on all aspects of travel to the EU in the event of a "no deal".  This link points to an "index" of various topics including, driving, pets, health care, insurance and so on, which are dealt with in greater detail.  You can sign up for updates on your "favourite" topics.


  2. 2 minutes ago, Gareth said:

    There’s already a thread about this in the forum here....


    ....but has already slipped down to page 3 of the Open House Chatter sub-forum.  (Maybe I should move it to somewhere more prominent).

    Thanks.  A "sticky" might be useful as I fear many, perhaps not those on here, are confused or unaware.  Perhaps a sticky of links to the Government website which at least has the definitive information and not just opinions.

  3. 14 hours ago, David Williams said:

    Our plan is one way to Spain and then drive back through France.

    You may already know this, but if we leave the EU without a deal France will require all UK drivers to have an International Driving Permit immediately.  Spain from next year, and the two IDP's are different.  Pet owners also need to be aware of possible changes.

  4. Some negative comments about the Cap.  If you're going for a "cruise" then probably you would prefer the Pont Aven.  If you're going on a ferry, as we do, to get to Spain, then I don't think it matters. (unless you really want the buffet - but no pet friendly cabins, whoops that'll put me in the dog house)  We go straight to bed (it's late Sunday night for goodness sake), wake up, shower,  have a good free breakfast, walk the dog, read our kindles, have a coffee, avoid the "entertainment", walk the dog, watch the live tracking, wait for the wifi to move to the next page, talk to some fellow travellers, have another coffee and some croissants borrowed from breakfast, walk the dog again, read the kindle, visit the shop, have dinner, give the dog a final walk, go to bed, up at 5:30, have a shower, down for free breakfast, borrow some more croissants, rolls, juice and triangular rolls (did I read somewhere they'd stopped making them?🤣), get the dog down to the van when called, drive off around 8:15 and head south.

    • Like 2

  5. We travel in winter so the ships aren't too busy.  I don't know what it's like in July.  We're usually on the CF and have found the restaurant to be excellent.  We pre-book on the way out.  We've also been on the PA and the buffet, starters and sweets, is astonishing.  The mains is good too.  The only downside is that unless you are disciplined you tend to overeat, as you can go round the buffet as often as you like, and then feel absolutely plogged for the rest of the evening.

    We tend to choose the Cap Finistere for the early start on a Tuesday morning and the pet friendly cabin, but if it was just for the food then it's really no contest.  Also, I find the Pont Aven slightly more spacious.  Others may have different views.

    • Thanks 1

  6. 10 hours ago, Gardian said:

    Auchmill ...........

    I understand your view, but Motorail was a product of the 70’s / 80’s, wasn’t it ?

    Well, yes, but trains are so 19thC, and ships so pre CE and so on.  I was suggesting investment in an integrated transport system rather than the non-policy mess we have at the moment, where government kneels down before the car lobby and worships the tarmac they run on.  Eurotunnel looks a bit like Motorail to me, though I've never used it.

    • Like 1

  7. I'd like to see Motorail resurrected with some massive public investment as part of an actual joined-up transport strategy that shifted the focus away from travel by private car, ever more lorries and onto more environmentally sustainable forms, such as rail (including motorail which could take my camper down to Portsmouth) and high-speed coaches.  And let's make public transport so cheap, or even free, convenient, comfortable and regular that you would have to be insane to want to make the typical short journeys by private car.  And invest in the hydrogen economy.  Could it power ferries as well as buses and trains?

    Well, there's no harm in dreaming that we might eventually have a government that puts ordinary people first.

    • Like 2

  8. Another for Port Solent.  We sometimes stop there overnight as well.  It's ok to find a space in a motorhome but if you're towing a caravan then you need two spaces, a bit trickier as there are obstacles such as trees in the way.  If you drive up towards the MOD compound it's possible to park up there and I've seem people do it if the car parks are full.

  9. 2 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

    Do you mean 'only when Bf drop you off there unexpectedly because one of their ships has a technical problem'? Ed 😉

    Exactly so.  Nothing against France, lovely country, lovely people (as most are everywhere) and they know what food and wine is for.  But we like to sail direct to Spain rather than trail down or up through France, especially in December when the days are short and the weather unreliable.

    Our first trip was cancelled due to weather so they took us to St Malo instead.  A couple of years later our ferry home (Etretat I think) was indisposed so we drove to Caen. This year (late Feb/early Mar) there were no return ferries from Spain that could take both our motorhome and our dog, so we booked via St Malo.  It was ok apart from the gridlock round Bordeaux and we found a nice little campsite in the small village of Surgeres and the weather was very warm.

    We had a good meal on Pont Aven, some nice triangular rolls for breakfast (do they still do them?) and "borrowed" some croissants for lunch while the dog slept happily in the van downstairs.

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1

  10. We don't go to France, if we can help it.  We go to Spain.  Ok, so I'm being a "pain", but we prefer to buy in the local bakery rather than the supermarket.  In fact, we prefer to buy local whenever possible, even if it means paying as much as €4 for a 6 kilo bag of oranges.  In a small village in the Sierra Espuna of about 100 inhabitants there are 2 superb bakeries, five minutes from the campsite.  Heaven.  Pan ecologico!!

  11. 53 minutes ago, Steve Humphreys said:

    So can someone confirm that May 2020 bookings from Portsmouth to Spain on CF with pet cabins will not be available to book till October....I don’t want to miss out as the pet cabins go so so quickly? 

    SUMMER 2020

    If you are planning your holiday to France or Spain for next summer, our schedules will be open and available to book in mid October.

    To be among the first to know when the exact dates will be:

    I think the last sentence is their idea of humour.  Winter timetables are still being finalised - it says, so it must be true.


  12. May comes into the Summer Sailing so not available until October.

    @ Drake - Cap Finistere is sailing to Spain - once a week to both Bilbao and Santander.

    I'm booked on the  Sunday 2 nighter (as usual) but it leaves at 23:30, an hour later than usual.  Maybe there's a tail wind expected.

    Website still saying Timetables are being finalised.

    • Thanks 1

  13. I just found out by accident too.  Was looking at the timetables and there were the Winter Bookings for the months I wanted.  Clicked "Book Now".  Managed to get mine sorted, slow at first but persevered after a couple of false starts.  Booked on the CF - no sign of the good ship Brexit on the timetable!!

    As you say a "shambles".  Website now seems down.  Maybe a phone call?

  14. On 02/07/2019 at 20:04, Cabin-boy said:

    Has no-one been able to come up with a new pun recently? I'm happy to work on some new ones but I'm not sure you can all afford my floury rate. Ed. 😀 

    ...three cornered rolls - where would you put the Spirit of Ecstasy?

    Not rolls, but heard on Test Match Special yesterday, England vs Australia, Nathan Lyon bowling and going round the park.  Tuffers says: "lion gets a mauling".

  15. 2 hours ago, jonno said:

    a good job should be mentioned in equal measure. 

    I've never been anything other than impressed by the standards maintained by BF staff, whether it's making an enquiry at Information, parking up on the car deck, being waited on in the restaurant, or just a friendly greeting while passing a crew member in the corridor.  Their Twitter and Live Chat people have always been very helpful.

  16. We sail only twice a year, i.e. out in December, back end of February, in the "more basic" cabins, usually the (whisper it) Pet Friendly ones on the Cap Finistere.  Never had a problem, olfactory or otherwise.  The only negative is they are usually too warm, even with the heating down/off.  I'd quite like an opening window for better ventilation.

  17. We came back on the Pont Aven last Thursday night.  No complaints about the cabin or the price.  The buffet in Le Flora was superb, as usual.  The main course was served on cold plates and the meat was warm enough but not piping.  I had lamb which was good, nice and pink in the middle, not the most tender I've ever tasted but good enough.  A couple behind us sent there's back because it was pink.  When it returned they still weren't happy.  They didn't have to pay for the main course.  Personally, I thought they were stupid.  They were frequent travellers to France so they should have known how the French cook their lamb, indeed, how any decent restaurant cooks it.  But Britons seem to prefer their meat cremated.

    (We had to come back via France because there wasn't a boat available from Spain which would take both the motorhome and the dog.  I wasn't too happy about that.)

    • Like 1

  18. 10 hours ago, jonno said:

    Auchmill, a daft question really, is your base vehicle a Fiat? The reason I ask is that ours has a hill hold button above the gear stick which works very well if stuck on a ferry ramp.

    Yes, it is a Fiat, afaik the only variation that has the Comformatic, but it doesn't have Hill Hold.  The button I have above the gearstick is for something else, to allow "eco" driving of a laden vehicle on hills, but I've never really worked out how it operates. It has a picture of a van going up hill with a large weight on it. 

  • Create New...