On Friday evening, we pulled up at one of the 'aires' beside the A70 for the night. This is quite usual in France. 'Aires' are sometimes the equivalent of our service areas and sometimes quite small picnic/resting areas but they are almost always well maintained, landscaped etc and people do use them to stay overnight if they are on a long journey in a campervan/motorhome etc.
This one was fairly large and very busy. I had forgotten when we booked our crossing that the first weekend in August is when the French depart like lemmings, hurling themselves down the motorway to the south for their holidays, so traffic was heavy, the aire was busy and there were comings and goings all night.
But despite all the people who came and went that night, it seems that we were the only ones targeted for robbery. Sometime during the night, while we were peacefully slumbering, some s***s took a screwdriver to the lock on the driver's door of the RV and let themselves in. They then proceeded to rifle through all the cupboards and lockers in the living area and relieved us of our two laptops, our mobile phones, the GPS, a pair of binoculars and, for some reason, our picnic set, before popping into the bathroom and collecting my watch and earrings, which were both absolutely worthless. The laptops, of course, have english keyboards, so would not be much use in France. They left all the cupboard doors open but did have the consideration to close the driver's door when they left. We discovered the deed when we got up at seven in the morning.
I have mentioned before on this blog, I think, that if I were escaping a burning house, the two things I would take with me are my laptop and my mobile phone so, as you might guess, I was less than happy. What I am tremendously relieved about is that something had prompted me to hide my bag in the cupboard beside the bed that night, which I hadn't done on previous nights, so at least we still had our money, ferry tickets, passports, credit cards etc and I had my business mobile phone in there too.
The police were good and describing what had happened and giving a statement in French took my mind off things for a few minutes, but for me, the holiday was spoiled. The doorlock still worked but was obviously insecure so we made the decision to come back home, although with mixed feelings. Keith felt that cutting short our holiday was giving in to the thieves but I knew I would not be able to relax until the lock had been replaced with something more secure.
Oh well, you can't win 'em all, it seems.