‘Fley’ is the French equivalent of an event run by ‘Serial Kombi’, a French ‘Just Kampers’.
Fley is well across Midi-East in France near Chalon-sur-Saône, a good drive from any of the Channel ports, so most travelling down made sure that a good stopover campsite was booked before leaving. Six club members travelled in two groups, some preferring N(A) roads and others the simplicity of the ‘payage’ autoroutes. Pete & Sharon; Clive & Jenny; Rob and Joe(sephine); – Dai and Debbie; Mick & Dawn (T4 friends) and Max (Mags Barry).
All those Syncro Club de France members who came to the UK were there (and a lot more) and had made space for us in their allotted area. In short we were made very welcome!
What a sight by Saturday morning… a 10 acre field with about 2,000 VWs in it! A trip out of the site to a viewpoint above showed how tightly they were all packed… definitely ‘not allowed’ in the UK
The Friday and Saturday were scorching, latterly broken up by some real ground shaking thunderstorms.. the incredible lightning forks proved elusive even to a ‘B’ setting on a digi camera but the rain was like stair rods (OK, those under 40 wouldn’t know a stair rod from a bit of gripper rod, but it was fierce stuff!).
The SCdF provided a really tough challenge field nearby (it had rained a lot previously too, destroying much of the local crops) but all but Dai declined knowing we had a long onward journey. Ditto the local lanes that they had plotted out for everyone.. in retrospect I think we were a bit ‘reserved’ …
Strange bands played (very, I actually took a walk at 1-00 am to see what was on offer, let’s see it was not in any way mainstream), Illuminated Serious Moonlight Balloons ascended, and descended… nice people and horrible sick heads mingled… and let us just compare the loos at about 2-00 am Sunday morning, each and every one of them, short drop farmer built straw strewn stinkhouses. Mendips about +6 out of town, Fley minus -3 at best. Of course, we had our own facilities, who wouldn’t?
We enjoyed it all immensely, the friendly French people, the hospitality under the enormous gazebo that … if you haven’t seen… most or all the French club eat communally rather than hide themselves away. Laughter and high spirits and holiday seem to be the key ingredients.
However, getting out of the field, up even a modest ramp after a drop of rain Monday morning – was a do or die affair – even for Syncros. But out we went and off towards Millau.. most of us.
I missed the bit where we had to solder up a microphone using a gas stove and a ‘soldering bit’ supplied by the ever trusty elder statesman of the French Club Yves Poisson then a grand joint dinner for us Brits (that includes Rob and Joe, more British than any of us)
Verdict – wouldn’t have missed it.. especially the ‘special’ fruit sangria our French neighbours made… magic.