Hi Grumps,Thanks, yes they were small but temporary as half the tunnel was coned off, you would have soon have realised your mistake as they were operating one way working hence the long wait for green. The French side drops thousands of feet to the E80 at Tarbes via a multitude of hairpin bends. So much so that it carries a severe warning from the Caravan Club stating good power to weight ration and towing experience needed. So no problem with the Antara then!
Hi Scottyboy,Tows like a dream as I assume yours does, although it was still new when these photos were taken, and it has got better with time.
Fuel consumption suffers as you would expect with a heavy caravan, but then it's not good at the best of times. 25mpg is about as good as it gets towing but then the Tucsan it replaced was similar and that struggled when we bought the present van.
Hi Scottyboy,Yes it is heavier than most caravans, not sure but if I remember correctly the car should be. I know that back when we started caravaning 75% was the rule now I think with modern cars the CC recomends 85% max.
Most of the tunnels in Europe operate like that when they have repairs to make. I had to sit at the frejus (SIC) tunnel for an 1 1/2 hours. And those hills they have go on for miles, Brit drivers just cannot imagine a hill that goes on for 50 miles.
Hi All,Just a few futher photos from this years holiday of my Antara, 'doing what it does best'.
After a fraught journey to Portsmouth, who in their right mind travels on a bank holiday Friday?
We boarded the ferry and Antara had a well deserved rest after 240 miles of towing.
He was feeling thirsty and a little aprehensive as he had very little fuel left in the tank and due to the heavy traffic had been unable to refuel before boarding.
The following evening (24 hr crossing) was bright and sunny and with the orange fuel light glowing, and repeated range messages we found a fuel station, and I am almost certain that there was a slight inrush of air when I released the fuel cap.
The site at Noja was very busy and Antara being a big car felt hemmed in somewhat, but he enjoyed the sunshine and sea air.
When we eventually moved on to Navarette in the Rioja region he felt much better and had space to breath and get over his hangover, he does drink alot!
Finally free of the caravan he had his day in the mountains of the Spanish Pyreenes, it was great!
Eventually after crossing over into France he arrived at Estang where the site was like being in someones garden, and he enjoyed hoimself scampering up and down the narrow mountain roads visiting places of interest, like lakes and hills oh and goats, lots of goats.
The journey home included a few days near Bilbao, aswe wanted to visit the Guggenheim museum, so Antara bravely voluntered to drive us into the city. I think he secretely wanted to see this large metal building but he was to be dissapointed as we had to park some distance away. When we returned he was a little upset so we drove past the building a couple of times whilst the sat nav sorted out the way back to the caravan. After that he felt much better.
The journey home is probably best forgotten, I know the Bay of Biscuit is not always calm, but Antara and his owner felt decidely unwell and he had a full tank of cheap Spanish diesel!
However once round the north coast of France the swell abated and life began to get back to normal.
The journey home was uneventful and included the second regen (for those who are interested in such things) at 1800 miles.
Antara had a wash and brush up when he got home and still looks as good as new after 16 months, he is sat patiently on the drive awaiting his next great adventure.
Yes I know a complete post and only one mention of a regen still I thought it might make a refreshing change to let Antara speak for himself.
Well summer is almost over, Autumn is fast approaching and Antara is beginning to anticipate his annual holiday over the water. He has been feeling a little neglected recently as there has been has been a new arrival sharing his space on the drive.
She is called 'Blue Bell' and he is deeply jealous feeling that his owner prefers to drive her just becauseher roof comes off and his doesn't. They have been secretly comparing wheels as he has just got his new ones courtesy of vx and she has just been fitted with new seven spoke lightweight alloys.
However earlier this week he was taken for a wash and brush up, usually a precursor to going away and then he went to collect the caravan so he is getting excited, someone has mentioned Carcassonne and he has been busy checking the sat nav to see where it is and how far he has to drive.
Well September dawned bright and sunny and Antara said goodbye to Bluebell, secretly pleased that his owner was taking him and not her away and set off for Portsmouth and the ferry for San Malo. After an uneventful tow down the BC was showing a heady 23 mpg and Antara stopped for a drink at Winchester, yes I know diesel is cheaper in France but manoeuvring around a supermarket fuel station with a caravan is not the best start to a holiday.
Norton Caines Services - M6 Toll and found a parking space ... amazing!!!
The crossing was calm and Antara slept well in the garage despite the constant shrill of car alarms going off, his owner had finally worked out how to lock him without setting his alarm.The next day dawned bright and very sunny and Antara set off south down through France, 200+ miles saw us to a small well run grassy site near Niort where he had a rest whilst his owners enjoyed a boat trip on the local river, the commentary was very entertaining, at least the other passengers thought so but my school boy French missed most of it.
Antara finds some shade whilst his owners stop for lunch
Another 200+ miles found us in an even smaller site run by an English couple and full of English caravans, not sure why we had travelled 600+ miles to be on an English site but Antara enjoyed swapping stories with his English cousins. His French like mine is poor but he speaks fluent Korean, sadly there wasn't a Kia or Hyundai in sight!The next leg saw us at a site just outside Carcassonne where we were to stay for a week, Antara was excited he had towed 850 miles and he was looking forward to seeing this fabled city … but he was to be disappointed! The next day we drove the short distance to the Citadel, but as Carcassonne is traffic free Antara had to wait in the car park and it was hot. When the temperature topped 32 degrees Antara began to wish he had a white body like so many of his Scottish cousins instead of being grey and to make matters worse whilst he had his siesta someone nudged his passenger door and left a dent.
An amazing place, especially at night
The days passed, we visited Carcassonne three times, yes there is much to see and enjoy and we even found some shade under a tree for Antara to have his nap. The Canal du Midi provided yet another boat trip, this time with an English commentary and Antara enjoyed his trips out and about, especially driving on the wrong side of the road.
Antara shopping at Super U outside Trebes
The last leg of the journey saw us all 45 miles further South on the shores of the Mediterranean at Narbonne, Antara breathed a sigh of relief as he could go no further without getting his tyres wet.
Antara with Palm trees, he insisted on this picture just to prove he got to the Med
After another week of sun bathing Antara began to notice he was changing colour, no not getting brown more of a silver colour. It turned out that the tree under which he had been parked was dropping a sticky sap and he needed a thorough clean to remove it. Sadly our time on the Med drew to a close and Antara began the long journey home or at least as far as San Malo where we stayed another 5 days. Another beautiful walled city, by now Antara couldn't see what all the fuss was about, especially as he wasn't allowed in this one either.
Antara in the early morning mist, must be time to go home!
An overnight crossing with Antara tucked up warm in the garage, the temperature had dropped by now and 32 deg was more like 15 degrees, saw us back in Portsmouth and a short tow to Worthing for a few days to visit an aunt before the 260 mile tow home. Antara arrive home in good spirits 2300 miles under his belt 1700 of which he was towing and no problems the only casualty was one of the caravan motor mover bearings which had failed and was very noisy, but that was not of his doing.The next day when he was rested I had a quiet word with him in his engine bay and mentioned that dreaded word ‘regens' he admitted guiltily that he could not kick the habit and had quiety had two or three or more but as he had not wished to spoil the holiday he had kept them to himself. Very considerate of him I thought, although I did suspect at one stage he was sneaking a quick one. Edited by: Dave47
Hi Webster, Thanks for the kind words.
I started writing them to show perhaps the fun side of owning an Antara, after all thereare so many doom and gloom posts on here. Be patient your turn will come, we only started our voyages after the children had left home and being retired helps a little.
ps At this moment in time Antara is sulking quietly on the drive, as Bluebell appears to be his owners favourite once again.
He manifests his displeasure by taking longer to start as if trying to prove a point.
Well the days are getting longer, the dry weather has come
to an end andwe have had torrential rain and hailstones so I guess that Spring
has sprung and Summer is on the way, must be time to dust off the caravan and
think about days away.
There has been intense conversation and mutterings on the
drive as Bluebell has let slip to Antara that she took her owner to look at a
new caravan recently, this coupled with the fact that Antara has had his boot
cleared out to find the tow ball, has led him to believe that he may have a new
travelling companion for this year's jaunts.
A date has been mooted, April 11<sup>th</sup> …….. Antara is
getting excited and to be honest so are his owners.