As I said, we have been faced with coming up with a viable alternative to the original stop-over at Mike's place at St. Gilles Vieux Marché.
And this is it.
We planned stopping at St. Gilles Vieux Marché, where everyone was expecting to have to have a BBQ and camp (the later always posed a challenge to some given the likely temperatures and weather). So with that in mind I had a look for suitable similar venues but as there are NO available campsites in that part of France at that time of year, I looked at the next stage to see how it could benefit from a slightly shorter distance, thus giving more time in Normandy, where there's lots to see for those with a feeling for history - and food.
The stages are modified thus:
Stage 9, October 27th: La Rochelle to DINAN
(just south of St. Malo) via Mûr-de-Bretagne (close to Mike's place - so we get a 'feel' of what it's like there). Dinan is a nice place, very French with a really rather pleasant-looking IBIS hotel slap bang in the middle. It's not expensive if booked in advance - even if it isn't it's only around £55 for a twin room. We should be able to get there easily, in 6 hours of driving, given the latter part (50 miles or so) is a fairly swift route.
Stage 10, October 28th: Dinan to DIEPPE
Here the advantages of starting the day a good 60 miles closer to Normandy mean that those who want to can visit Le Mont St Michel*, or actually have a good chance of making the Normandy coast in time for lunch. I suggest those that can/want to, meet up at the car park outside the big D-Day Museum in Arromanches for lunchtime. That should be do-able, from Dinan, in about 2.75 hours. So even leaving Dinan at 9:45 gives plenty of time for this, whereas before I was looking at leaving at around 8:15 (post BBQ/p***-up not necessarily a good idea! lol)
How does this affect the BXagon Chasers Mini-Event?
Well it doesn't much, except of course, again it means booking a room at Hotel Ibis, Dinan, which at less than £36 booked in advance, can't be bad. I suggest the rendezvous with the other BXagoneers occurs somewhere north of Vannes at around 2:15 pm on the 27th, say Meucon or Colpo; villages on the route... then it's a section of just over 100 miles to Dinan.
*or even take a detour to the Citroen Factory near Rennes (where the BX was made).
Oh, and here's some publicity
(with usual editorial inaccuracies - but not too bad) from the Essex Chronicle...