- 5 Sep 07, 08:57 AM
Day three – somewhere near Arras
Lesson number 62 of motorhome camping – don’t leave the window and skylight open when you crawl into your bunk at night.
Someone – I’m not naming names, but since it wasn’t me, you can probably guess who it might have been – also inadvertently turned the electricity off in the middle of the night.
“I thought I was switching the lights off,” was the mumbled excuse at dawn this morning, when the brutal reality of sub-zero temperatures in the van woke both of us up before the sun had even cleared the horizon.
Still, the 6am start did give us a glimpse of a hitherto-forbidden world of campsite behaviour.
As the pair of us sat shell-shocked in our freezer-on-wheels, duvets over our heads and all available blankets covering everything else, the rest of the campsite had come alive.
All around, happy figures were skipping across the dewy lawns towards the wash block, towels in one hand, triple-ply toilet roll in the other, each positively overjoyed to be up and awake at the yawn of the day.
One day, we shall be part of this inner circle. But not for now.
Today, van wheels and thoughts start turning west, to the Atlantic coast. After a little stop-off in Versailles tonight, we’re planning to chug across to Nantes for the entire opening weekend of La Coupe de Monde.
Tickets having been secured for Wales v Canada on Sunday, we’re going to get over there early so we can catch France v Argentina on Friday and England-USA on Saturday in the company of some like-minded high-spirited enthusiasts.
Pleasant though our current campsite copains undoubtedly are, I can’t see them getting stuck in to a 40-man game of touch rugby before sinking a few rafraîchissement in front of a giant screen. We need to move on.
Any tips/recommendations for campsites, bars and, erm, local sites of cultural importance much appreciated.
If you’re in Nantes already, or over on Friday night, let’s see if we can get a little posse sorted out to watch the France match - somewhere dripping with Gallic atmos.
And where’s the best park for a spot of touch rugby on Saturday lunchtime, before the All Blacks v Italy clash at 1.45pm local time?
Hopefully Dirs and I will have warmed up in time to take part.
Tom Fordyce is a BBC Sport journalist travelling around France in a camper van with Ben Dirs. Click here to search for all of Tom and Ben's blog videos.