We were up at 6am as we had the early ferry from Portsmouth, we had a bit of a disturbed sleep with the noise at the Truckstop. We ended up leaving the Truckstop at 6.45 and stopped at the Shell station at the end of the road to top off with diesel due to the cost of it in France. After queuing in the petrol station we fuelled up and left at 7am and arrived at the ferry terminal 10 minutes later. There was quite a queue to check in which we did and we were then directed to the front of one of the lanes, we were only stationary for a short while before being called forward to board the ship, we followed a couple of other motorhomes and we were put very close to the front of the ship not like the trip across to the UK. We were in the cafe onboard drinking coffee by 7.45am! The ferry was late leaving possibly due to the arrival of two Japanese naval vessels and so we didn’t set off until 8.45am. We had a smooth crossing and arrived in Caen 30 minutes late and we disembarked at about 3.40pm. In Caen motorhomes can only pass through passport control in one of the 3 lanes and with cars pushing in it took an hour to get through passport control for us.
We left the port at about 4.45pm and followed the sat nav around the local roads and on to Caen and around the the ring motorway to the east of Caen and then onto the D roads rather than the toll motorway heading towards Le Mans. We went through some lovely picturesque villages and across open farmland with a lot of fields of sweetcorn. We saw some interesting roadside sculptures made from straw bales and some large chateau in amongst some of the trees. We stopped to stretch our legs in a parking area for 10 minutes if we had carried on for two more minutes we would have come to a frittes stall with outside seating, typical. We had an uneventful run to the outskirts of Le Mans and then saw proper road signs pointing the way to Le Vieux Moulin campsite. We followed the local roads to the campsite having to cross a narrow bridge that was about 50m long. We were shown around the campsite which is right by the River Sarthe, it is very quiet and peaceful here as was recommended. Arriving at 7pm we set up quickly and had a drink in the late afternoon sunshine followed by a snack for dinner and an early night.