We had planned to travel north from Concarneau, to a site near Pontorson, in Normandy. We were going to stay there for the last three nights of our holiday, crossing from Cherbourg on the Monday.
About an hour after we set out, our trusty Subaru developed a problem which resulted in our having stop and call for assistance. We had insured our trip with the Caravan Club’s Red Pennant travel insurance. By the time we’d had our lunch a recovery driver arrived with a truck that would carry our car and tow our caravan. After an hour's journey south (we had been travelling north) we arrived at a ‘depanage’ depot at Vannes. We had no idea what would happen next but I received a call from Red Pennant and was told that we would be taken to an ‘approved’ campsite, and that our car would go to the nearest Subaru dealer, which was in Nantes, some seventy odd miles away!
As it happened the ‘approved’ site turned out to be Penboch, which is on the Golf du Morbihan, not far from Arradon. I should mention that this was on a Friday, which also happened to be Bastile Day, so there would be no news about our car until Monday at the earliest! We arrived, with the caravan, on site at around 4pm and settled in, with no idea of how long we would be there.
The following morning we explored the campsite and immediate surrounding area. Well, if you have to be stranded somewhere, you’d go a long way to find a better place than this. I had previously been unaware of the Golf du Morbihan, which is an enclosed bay dotted with islands and teeming with pleasure craft. It’s a real summer playground.
We were without a car, but the three mile round trip to shops in Arradon (or four miles to the supermarket) was a very pleasant walk along the shore, but best done early as the weather was very hot. Whilst there we enjoyed some lovely walks along the coast and around the country lanes near the site. One day we will visit that area again.
Our car was repaired by the Tuesday. The problem had been a split turbo induction manifold (replacement & fitting £176). We took a taxi to the dealer to collect it and were able to catch an evening ferry on Wednesday.
We had enjoyed an extra two days in what was, for us, a previously undiscovered part of France. Red Pennant had made all the necessary arrangements, including changing the ferry booking, and covered the cost of the recovery, the campsite and the €200 taxi fare to Nantes. Their staff were friendly, reassuring, efficient and kept us informed as the situation unfolded.
What could have been a disaster, we look back on as a very enjoyable adventure. We had that Subaru Outback for over ten years and 100,000 miles. That was the only time it missed a beat.