Huge traffic jams – thanks to Gids!

I took Molly out for a walk this morning and upon exiting the Aire I thought that the road outside was slightly packed and wondered how we would get out with ease. We walked to the beech and then realised why the roads were so crowded, there was a Friday market that stretched the whole length of the promenade and as a result all of the surrounding streets were packed. We attached Sunny on the back and had a go at getting Catori and Sunny out in one -No Way! The helpful owner turned up and suggested that the only way was to reverse out which meant un-hitching doing a 180 with Catori and then reversing into the narrow street and then reattaching Sunny. This all took time and upset a few of the locals who began blasting their horns. Round the next corner a BMW driver had decided to park on the roundabout making our exit out of the town impossible. The driver sat oblivious to this fact and we encouraged him to move with a small beep on the horn- nothing but a shrug! A double blast achieved no better result so a full on lean on the horn was needed. He moved it about 2 ft forward and we finally managed to scrape through. What a NOB. Loads of room to move forward but he possessed a can’t be bothered attitude.

The rest of the trip was stunning and via Spain’s amazing road system we made our way seamlessly to the French boarder and through what seemed to be two towns born of the frontier between the two countries. As they are all part of the bigger Europe we did not understand why they seemed to be so booming with cars motorhome and lorries everywhere. Perhaps next time we will park up and explore to try to find out why.

As soon as we entered into France the roads changed back to winding passes around cliff faces and down the side of mountain rather than cutting tunnels through mountains and building viaducts over georges as the Spanish do. A few tight French villages to negotiate but soon we were on their great national roads heading for Carcassonne with the intent to spend two nights here to be able to explore the ancient medieval  walled city.


The Aire that we were directed to was closed GPS n43,20534 e2,37189. Empty but closed. We needed to unhitched the car, do a 8 point turn hitch up again and find another Aire. There was one within 2k so we plugged the coordinates into Margret and set off. The road had a height restriction of 2.5m in 1.5k but the turning we needed was only 1k down the road so no problem I thought. I was so preoccupied with the height restriction that I did not notice that the turn was a sharp 240 degree harepin bend. We turned left only to realise that we were not going to make the corner in one go no with out a quick reverse. The problem is that we can not reverse a for wheeled 6ft car being towed from a tag axle 30 ft motorhome. So we were stuck! Straddling two lanes and the side road unable to go forward or reverse. I quickly had to jump out and unhitch the car yet again, making my apologies to all of the mounting cars who had come to an abrupt halt.

Having done so and parked the car in an adjacent drive I jumped back into Catori turned the key and NOTHING! She just refused to start as if someone had just stolen the battery.

So there we were causing a huge traffic jam and straddling two lanes and the adjoining road. PANIC Set in for a moment. I grabbed the phone and dug out the number for the RAC but then realised that the traffic had just become a massive car park of cars blasting their horns that stretched as far as I could see in all three directions.

I returned to the back of the van and commenced directing traffic allowing each stream of log jammed vehicles to squeeze past the back of Catori when they were directed to do so by me. Angie came out to assist and took over the traffic directions. After what seemed an age but was probably no more than 10 minutes I realised that we would be there all day and night unless the breakdown company could sort us out. Gradually the  traffic eased and I finally got through to the RAC but whilst doing so I had another go at turning the engine one more time – success! She finally turned over and fired up. Hallelujah some one was finally on my side!

Another 8 point turn and we finally  were able to get out of the traffic and parked up in the direction we had just come down from. We then needed to hitch up again and we made our way back to a small car park we had spied on the way down.

We have decided to stay here for the night and hope that we do not get moved on but as it is now 10.15 pm and we have been here since 4.30 we hope that they will leave us in peace. I have been able to type this tonight as I had to use roaming to call the RAC so thought I may as well use my unlimited data quota to add today’s “event”. No photos I’m afraid it would have added insult to injury to photograph the mayhem we had caused but hay ho I suppose it is another experience to remember!

I have attached a google map image of the corner in question.



Lets hope tomorrow will be less eventful.

2 thoughts on “Huge traffic jams – thanks to Gids!”

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