BXAGON CHALLENGE

Here members post meetings, events, meet ups and the like
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Philip Chidlow
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Post by Philip Chidlow » Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:45 am

Philip Chidlow wrote:This Club is fielding, as it stands today five teams for the whole event with others joining for portions of it.
I think I should expand on this:

There are five other teams joining for parts of the event, although I have two or three other possibilities there.

I still think it's possible for us to reach our target of £10,000 for CRUK, but it has taught me one thing: The next event will take place within two to four days , and it will be in the UK. We will get more commitment then, I'm sure.

I do ask now however, that if anyone else is still considering doing the BXagon - in whatever Citroen and for however many stages, to get in touch with me ASAP. And if anyone wants to help raise a few quid towards the total, likewise, please contact me.
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Philip Chidlow
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Post by Philip Chidlow » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:07 am

Due to unforeseen circumstances the stop-over at St.Gilles Vieux Marché (27th/28th October) can't happen. Instead we will have to make arrangements to stay at a Hotel in or near St. Brieuc. I will post up the revised plan as soon as I can.
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Dollywobbler
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Post by Dollywobbler » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:26 pm

Has anyone booked any hotels yet? We've booked the ferries, but that's about it so far!

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Philip Chidlow
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Post by Philip Chidlow » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:36 pm

Well, I (and others) booked hotels before the summer, thinking it pretty smart (ie hoping to get best prices) but as it turns out, last time I checked prices were either no different or indeed lower than the prices I'd booked at! Best thing is no money changes hands, until you leave the hotel; card details are used to secure the booking, nothing else.

So if you look at the ROUTE DRAFT 1.1 pdf I sent you, at the end of each stage there is a recommended Hotel. I used Online booking in every case.

I'd move on it now if I were you. :) :wink:

I am going to be making the suggestion for the Brittany Hotel (given the fact we won't be camping at St. Gilles v.m. anymore. Watch out for e-mails and a post on here.
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mat_fenwick
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Post by mat_fenwick » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:46 pm

I haven't booked hotels yet, I'll be camping or sleeping in the car as much as possible. Think I will try and get a few nights in hotels, I'm debating whether to just do it over there to give me most flexibility. Head says "No", be sensible...but when did I ever listen to that?
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Post by Dollywobbler » Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:29 pm

Nice one Mat. We'll be taking camping equipment too in a bid to reduce hotel expenditure. Actually being organised doesn't come naturally to me or my co-driver really!

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Post by Philip Chidlow » Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:27 am

Philip Chidlow wrote:Due to unforeseen circumstances the stop-over at St.Gilles Vieux Marché (27th/28th October) can't happen. Instead we will have to make arrangements to stay at a Hotel in or near St. Brieuc. I will post up the revised plan as soon as I can.
It has been decided in a sort of slightly undemocratic way (sorry, it's an issue of time and communications delays! - although I did manage to discuss with a few fellow participants) that the alternative is:

The stop-over for the night of 27th October is going to be Dinan, south of St. Malo. The Ibis Hotel there appears to be one of their more appealing and a room's only £34.95 as I type this. This means the following day sees us in Normandy quicker than we would have been allowing visits to possibly the US Cemetery at Omaha and a rendezvous at the D-Day Museum at Arromanches, where we can have lunch too.

More information later.
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Philip Chidlow
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Post by Philip Chidlow » Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:16 am

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...

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mat_fenwick
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Post by mat_fenwick » Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:39 pm

Just thought I'd ask - how are the other teams getting across and when? (I know you're going on the tunnel Phil).
I'm on the 18:00 Norfolkline ferry from Dover to Dunkirk, seemed to be the best value crossing, albeit with a few extra miles over there.
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Mike E (uk)
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Post by Mike E (uk) » Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:46 pm

We will be on the same ferry.

Mike
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Post by Adrian E » Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:58 pm

I haven't read through all this, but as I've not long got back from a road trip to Northern Italy via France and Switzerland I thought I'd make a recommendation in case you're stuck somewhere and need a hotel.

We found Campanile hotels (well motels really as you get your own front door) really good value (about €75 for 2) and much nicer to stay in than Novotel or similar at twice the price.

Added bonus of free wifi (which isn't advertised, but you log on using your room number and surname) and generally quite decent food on site.

They're also listed in most sat nav POI databases

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Philip Chidlow
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Post by Philip Chidlow » Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:18 pm

It's important to remember, we're generally going on a very restricted budget here. There's a stay at a Campanile (for most participants) in Digne-les-Bains (which for our team is the most expensive hotel room of the tour :wink: ), but on the whole rooms work out at about €32-49 per night for a room for two - using Etap and where necessary F1. In many instances we are taking a room each which will cost us around €78 combined. Some participants, (with stronger constitutions than me!) are sleeping in their cars or camping 'rough' for many nights - this is a 'challenge' for many reasons :lol: . Not least because the Euro is strong vs. the GBP, of course.

I'm even taking packet soup and tinned curries! :lol:
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Post by Adrian E » Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:39 pm

lol - I figured as much. We were on summer hols and Campanile is as low rent as the mrs was prepared to go, although the Novotel was distinctly more scummy it cost twice as much...

That's enough off topic from me in your thread anyway :lol:

Bon Voyage to all!!

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Philip Chidlow
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Post by Philip Chidlow » Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:50 pm

Hardly off topic, matey! It was a considerable feature of the research and planning, which is part of the reason MY missus isn't coming with me :lol: Cheers. 8)
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Tim Leech
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Post by Tim Leech » Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:41 am

Liking the picture Phil! :lol:
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