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Rw

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  1. The route is closed to all vehicles for the publicity 'caravan' to pass through a couple of hours before the riders arrive. If you have never seen the race before, make sure you arrive in time to see this advertising cavalcade pass through and to soak up the atmosphere. When the first riders are due to arrive, the TV helicopters will appear and the police motor bikes will be in front (usually riding in the gutters!) to keep people back. If you watch near the start of a stage or on a flat section, the riders will usually pass in a big group and that will be that. However, on the stage from Limoges to St Flour, there are several climbs, including a big Cat 1 'mountain', and this is where you will see the race at its best. Have a look at the organiser's web site as it gives the route and timings: www.letour.fr Above all, have a good day and I'm sure you will be hooked and keep coming back year after year like I do! RW
  2. The organisers have now published the whole route - it can be found on: www.letour.fr I am going out for a few days and my tip to anyone who has never seen the race, is get there early to soak up the atmosphere and have a great day. See you there. RW
  3. I have been a stockholder for about 15 years, in which time the deal has almost disappeared - so much so that it is often cheaper to book online as a normal customer that to book through the concession scheme. For our trips this year, we have booked with Speedferries. For a two week return trip in July (on the same days and roughly the same times) P & O wanted 285 return (discounted from 365), Speedferries price was 65 return! I just hope that P & O will sit up and take notice.
  4. We live close to the mountains in Puy-de-Dome (63) - a beautiful area of forests, lakes and heather covered moors - in many ways it is similar to the Scottish highlands. The people in the area (contrary to popular belief) are very warm and welcoming. Enginsh isn't widely spoken but the locals are usually happy to try and understand even the poorest French! Ther are not many Brits holidaying in the area yet, but that is changing as word gets around. Instead the French and Dutch come here for the skiing and summer hiking or mountain biking. Property prices are still low but there don't seem to be many places for sale within the 'Volcano National Park' - they are easier to find to the West in Limosin or to the East (where the motorway heads South from Clermont-Ferrand) and beyond into L'Allier. Whichever area you head for, the scenery is surprising and the views spectacular. RW
  5. Whilst the advantages are obvious if you are living permanently in France, what is the score if you intend to only go for 12 months? If I want to take a 'year out' before deciding on whether to move permanently, what is the best course of action? If I can prove that the car has gone back to the UK every 3 months and I have a UK address, is there still a problem if I get 12 month UK cover?
  6. We have a house in Puy-de-Dome (63), which is home to the Charade circuit at Clermont Ferrand. According to Stirling Moss, this is the most beautiful race track he ever competed at, anywhere in the world! Nowadays, there are often club meetings up to F3 held there and there is a racing school. I have worked in F1 since 1988 (and still do) but I am leaving for my new French life at the end of this year, so I won't have to go too far to see some motor sport! We also have a round of the International ice racing Andros Trophy at Super Besse each Jan or Feb and there is a round of the hillclimb championships on the spectacular Mont Dore course each summer. If you ever need a 'fix', we are opening a B & B later this year and all of these circuits are within easy reach. Once our web site is fully up and running, I hope to have a local motorsport section on it. Hope you find what you are looking for. RW www.french-bedandbreakfast.com
  7. For walking in the Auvergne, the best books I have found are indeed the Chamina series, our local one is entitled Massif du Sancy et Artense, but this is probably too far west for you. These guides give you fairly detailed maps of each walk, with numbered points of interest, and a French text detailing what you will come across. I don't know if they are available in Enginsh text. There is usually no problem finding these books or IGN maps in the towns locally. I hope you enjoy your trip - maybe one day you will come over towards the Sancy mountains where the scenery is truly spectacular. We are opening our B & B soon, and hope most of our guests will come for the skiing and walking. I can't understand why more Brits have not discovered the area yet! www.french-bedandbreakfast.com RW
  8. If you have never been to the area before, I am sure you will love it. The scenery, fresh air, food etc etc etc are all fantastic. If you have time, visit Le Mont Dore and Super Besse which are both mountain ski resorts and they have plenty to do in summer too. In the winter, we virtually never find any Brits skiing, which is a shame because there are rarely queues and the lift passes are very cheap. We bought a house a couple of years ago, about 20 minutes from the ski areas and are opening as a B & B at the end of this year. Our web site will be up and running within the next couple of months and it contains lots of information about the area: www.french-bedandbreakfast.com The weather in August can be VERY hot but we often have overnight thunderstorms to clear the air before going back to normal the following day. At Chambon, you can hire boats and pedalos but there are numerous other lakes to visit too. I hope you have a fantastic time and enjoy the area as much as we do.
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