We thought it was going to be a short drive here from Versailles this morning, as Satnav said only 90 minutes and, giving the fact that we were a bit worried about navigating through all that spaghetti junction south west of Paris, we decided it would be a good idea to follow the TomTom again north towards Beauvais and then join the D1001 towards Amiens and do some shopping for food, etc. However, as Satnav didn’t seem to know that the motorway it took us on had height barriers on every lane and we weren’t allowed on, they put us on the slip road back out and Tomtom took us all the way round again, still trying to follow the same road. So we had to miss 2 exits and the only way to go from there seemed to be east, as it finally took us to Paris ring road via Meudon, where we had a chance to wave at the Eiffel Tower as we caught a glimpse of it amongst all the chaos inching forward and, one hour and 20 minutes later, we emerged north west of Paris by Clichy and finally on to the A15 to Pontoise and A16 by L’Isle-Adam towards Amiens. To say we were not amused would be the understatement of the year and we don’t understand why that track of motorway by Versailles was shut to tall vehicles. We have agreed that we need a Satnav that includes height and width of vehicles in order to prevent this type of unnecessary agony happening in the future. Why has Paris ring road got so many traffic lights? Isn’t the idea of a ring road to keep traffic moving fast?
So, although we had left Versailles’ Huttopia campsite at 9.20 am, we only joined the motorway at 11 am!!! We thought better of using the scenic national road by then, as we felt we had already wasted enough time, and we stayed on the A16 to junction 15 north of Beauvais, where we joined the D1001 towards Breteuil and here found a Leclerc hypermarket to top up with diesel and food.
From there is was pretty much straightforward to Essertaux and west on the D920 to Conty. I must mention here another infuriating wild-goose chase when we saw directions for another Leclerc at Froissy, just 10 miles or so north of Beauvais, pointing east at the junction between D1001 and D23 saying it was just ‘5 minutes’ from there, but we drove for about 10 minutes through beautiful rapeseed fields before knocking that idea on the head and retrace our steps. This has happened before and this is definitely the last time we fall for such directions. In future, if we don’t see the supermarket, we won’t bother to follow the signs.
This aire at Conty is very spacious (room for 70 motorhomes) and it’s free for emptying facilities and parking, with a water borne for €2. There are 2 lakes nearby which look good for fishing and it’s also very popular for horse riding, with the riding school only just opposite the aire. We thoroughly enjoyed the walk around the lakes, but haven’t been to see the town yet. I expect we’ll see it on our way out tomorrow as we head for Embry, just east of Montreuil-sur-Mer.