By Motorhome to France, Spain & Portugal - 2014 travel blog

A Bridge Too Low

Arromanches

Arromanches War Museum

Tank

Remains of Mulberry Harbour & Jetty


Wow! What a morning. We headed the couple of miles into Tours to see if the TV people would actually turn up to interview us about our geocaching exploits. We had arranged to meet at a car park down on the banks of the Loire river by one of the bridges in the centre of the city. Well we had a real problem even finding the entrance to the car park but eventually found an entrance after going round a couple of times & even across the bridge & back. I was on the point of giving up @ driving on when we found a quite narrow entrance ramp that lead down to a strip car park below the bridge & on either side of it. The next problem which was a real stinker was that the car park on the side that we had gone down on was full @ there was no room to turn round & even if we could the entrance ramp was one way only.

OK so we had to go under the bridge to the car park on the other side, the only problem was that the legs of the bridge curved down & there was a height board showing that there was only 2.4mtrs clearance under the bridge where the road went. The height of Elsie, our motorhome, is given as 2.75mtrs so we had a real problem. We couldn't go back & it looked like we couldn't go forward. Looking at the way that the legs of the bridge curved round & down I thought the 2.4mtrs height on the board must refer to the low side so if I could keep right over to the high side it might be possible to just squeeze through. If there hadn't been cars parked along the outside edge it would have been easy but as it was I edged forward with Viv outside watching the little chimney for the gas fire that was the high point on the roof.

It must have taken us twenty minutes of easing through & I was virtually touching the sides of the parked cars to the side. We were also blocking the road so we were stopping other cars behind us from getting through. It was a real sweat but inch by inch with Viv running back & forth, jumping up & down to watch the top of the motorhome. We made it but it could not have been tighter. I pulled over & stopped behind the line of parked cars to let the waiting cars behind us get through. I would think that we made a couple, at least, late for work. Phew! Relief all round, that was a nasty one.

We hadn't been stopped long before a young woman knocked on the door & introduced herself as the TV reporter come to do the feature on geocaching. She came aboard Elsie along with her rather large camera & bag & we explained as best we could what geocaching was all about. Fortunately she spoke very good English so with just a few hiccups she got the idea & we advised her to go to www.geocaching.com to get the full picture. We told her about our family group & she seemed quite enthusiastic about doing a feature for their TV station.

As it happened there was a cache which I had downloaded the information & coordinates for located just the other side of the bridge on the bank of the river. I set up the geocaching App on my phone with the GPS coordinates for the cache & using the compass tracker we all set off along the river bank with her filming us as we searched for the cache. Fortunately it wasn't too hard to find & it turned out to be an old CD or DVD case suspended in the joint between the concrete units of the riverbank wall so we were able to add our cache name on the paper log inside. After that we went over a few more bits with her before she packed up & left.

Phew! Next we had to negotiate the narrow exit ramp out of the car park which was fortunately on this side of the bridge but even that was a challenge with tight corners at the top & bottom. A huge sigh of relief when we finally got out & onto a proper road again. Foot down then & headed out of Tours on our way North again with the sun now shining.

Made it to Bayeux in Normandy late in the afternoon but the Aire site there was on a car park that was packed with cars so we carried on to the coastal town of Arromanches Les Bains where we stopped the night on an Aire with several other motorhomes.

Mileage to date - 4440



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