goes East - 3
Gordon provides his third report
covering the journey up from Cornwall to the ferry and across to
Normandy and then a diversion to a vineyard at St Georges-sur Cher,
reaching Bourges for the evening. (3.5.05)
Living at the
far end of Cornwall means that it is pretty well 300 miles to anywhere
- home to Portsmouth being a typical example at 287 miles. On our
journey to Dover for the ferry, at least the infamous GOSS MOOR
bottleneck on the A30 only held us up for 35 minutes - almost a
course record. The similar delays in Salisbury were broadcast on
the radio but too late for a PLAN B.
The crossing on the hydrofoil FAST FERRY to Cherbourg took the normal
150 minutes - the boat was only 10% full so nice and quiet but the
wind was from the South-East so produced a diagonal pitching motion.
As the boat was so empty there were none of the usual disembarking
delays and soon we were en route to the IBIS hotel at St Lo. This
town is peaceful now but was a place of dreadful fighting in 1944
as the allied troops tried to break out of the difficult bocage
countryside inland of the Normandy beaches.
In contrast to previous trips, the plan this time is to cover not
much more than 300 miles a day; our usual system has always been
that 350 miles was normal; over 400 miles meant that I had to buy
Jennifer a bottle of good French champagne with the evening meal,
and over 500 miles meant two bottles; the last trip cost me 7 bottles
in total! This slow pace for 2005 meant that we could wander down
the fairly empty Routes National roads, admiring the abundant wisteria
everywhere and stopping off in small towns for coffee, shopping
(of course) and lunch.
One particularly interesting visit was to the cellars of the Domaine
de la Rablais at St-Georges-Sur Cher. They were delighted to see
the V8 as the current generation of owners had been leant their
grandfather's MGB for their wedding! This vineyard has been in the
same family since 1790 and has 85 hectares of grapes; they want
to convert a further 25 Ha currently under wheat to grapes but the
French government will not let them. The family were amongst the
team of experts who went to the Napa Valley many years ago to help
the Californians improve their wine - they regret this altruistic
generosity now. They only sell to private customers - no supermarkets
- and their cellars are full of gold medals for various classes
of wine. Needless to say we sampled many different wines - actually
as the driver I only tried two but by the end of the visit Jennifer
was, shall we say, close to feeling no pain. Currently we are at
the Novotel Hotel at Bourges and head off towards Italy tomorrow.
Before leaving home I had been concerned that four consecutive petrol
fills had given mpg figures of
- MG Car Club
Gordon Hesketh-Jones (Harvest Gold 1904) from Cornwall
uses his V8 in a serious way with tours overseas and has clocked up
an astonishing 360,000 miles in his chrome bumpered V8. When we heard
he was planning another major trip with Jennifer as navigator, we
thought members would like to follow his journey with regular reports.
Here Gordon provides another report on his progress.
between 19 and 22mpg
- not a good prospect with more than 5,000 miles to run on this trip!
A quick trip to Mullion Garage and their gas analyser showed a reading
of 5.6 so it was far too rich. We weakened the carbs to a more normal
reading of 2.8 and have been rewarded with figures over 29 mpg ever
For comfort in the cockpit, I had made new wooden formers for the
door armrests/pulls which the local coach trimmer had covered in leather
with plenty of foam padding - these work very well; the centre armrest
was similarly cushioned and retrimmed. They are far more comfortable
on long runs than the standard hard items.
We anticipate further
reports as Gordon and Jennifer make progress on the epic tour.
from Gordon Hesketh-Jones so far
goes East 11
goes East 10
goes East 9
V8 goes East 8
V8 goes East 7
V8 goes East 6
V8 goes East 5
V8 goes East 4
V8 goes East 3
Preparations for the trip
Reports from Bob Owen on the MG Italia
Additional photos from Bob Owen
Final report from Bob Owen
Second report from Bob Owen
Report from Bob Owen on the MG Italia