Area 23 (Channel Islands) go to France
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On Friday 26th September 15 members of the Channel Islands area embarked on their first group visit away from the Islands which was kindly organised by Paul Bauget and Sandra Auckland. The group consisted of 7 cars from Jersey and 1 from neighbouring Island Guernsey.

It was a grey and misty Friday morning fast ferry departure from St Helier to St Malo. 8 Astons being loaded onto the ferry in line drew quite a few looks and thanks to Condor Ferries we were all parked together with very good space between the cars.

After a relatively short crossing (1 hour) we arrived in a warm and sunny St Malo and were eager to get on our way – however a quick stop before leaving the confines of the Port was made to synchronise sat-navs and drop roofs!

We had a lovely 2 hour drive from St Malo and arrived in the pretty town of Lohéac at lunchtime. Our accommodation for the trip was at the Hôtel La Gibecière.

After a quick unpack and essential refreshment break we made our way 2 minutes down the road to the Manoir de l’Automobile de Lohéac. The museum was fantastic, certainly worth a visit for anyone who hasn’t been before – the outside of the building really doesn’t prepare you for what’s inside!

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After almost 3 hours walking around the museum it was time to return to our hotel. Parking, although very secure, was a little daunting as there was a steep slope at the bottom of the entrance, made worse by a pothole. Luckily we only had one casualty, a valence caught; but not removed, on the first car in. The boys sprung into action guiding in the rest of the cars with no further damage.

Weary from the day’s activities, it was time for a hearty meal and some liquid refreshment in the hotel restaurant. The hotel accommodation was split into the main building and an annexe next door, where half of the group were staying. Luckily the annexe had its own bar area (although dry!) and with the addition of some crisps and Duty Free purchased on the ferry, the merriment continued in the Annex after the restaurant had closed.

On Saturday morning we had a continental breakfast and looked forward to the days drive which was kindly mapped out by Sandra. Leaving the hotel late morning we drove a scenic route passing the towns of Redon, Allaire and Malansac, to Josselin where we had a lovely lunch at Au Relais de l’Ouest. In the afternoon we all split up and visited various towns along the way back to Hôtel La Gibecière including Redon and Le Gacilly for another superb dinner. Very tired from the previous nights festivities the group retired early in anticipation of Sunday's travels.

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All too quickly Sunday came and it was time to have our final breakfast at Hôtel La Gibecière and check out of our rooms. Again, Sandra had kindly mapped out a route for us which took us through Rennes, Caulnes, Corseul, and Plancöet, taking in some lovely scenery on the way.

Arriving at the seaside town of Dinard we visited the small market to stock up on bread and cheese before enjoying a lazy lunch and stroll around pretty town. After lunch we crossed the Barrage de la Rance en route to St Malo.

Arriving at the Port of St Malo in blazing afternoon sunshine we were lucky to be put in our own lane and had an opportunity to reflect on our trip. Again, the line-up of cars turned a few heads as we were loaded onto the ferry for our return voyage to Jersey.

Report by: Catherine Pipon



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