Success in France! (Eventually)
Yesterday we took a road trip to Charleville-Mezieres as some of the canals were still closed due to heavy rain, and successfully managed to get internet access sorted.
Granted our success was not immediate, as in this area of France English speakers are certainly a rarity (at least in our minimal experience here). The first Orange store we went into was of no help, and decided that we should go see France Telecom for a top-up credit (Even though we showed them the messages specifically demonstrating Orange was our provider. I believe it was a case of it being too hard, so they just wanted to fob us off).
The second store (only 100 metres away) was packed with people, and after waiting for 10 minutes it appeared we wouldn’t be getting any service in a hurry, so decided to go look for some food.
Only 50 metres around the corner on our way to find some food we discovered yet another Orange store (hard to believe there were 3 stores within 150 metres of each other). Fortunately this third store was empty, so we tried out luck. The store clerk did not speak english, however she was willing to assist us where possible. Showing the messages appearing on the phone the store clerk was quickly able to figure out that we needed to get a credit top up, so after a short interaction this was provided for us. A couple minutes after activating our top up a text message was received that summarised the transaction, so it appears we had 500mb of data for 2 weeks for 10 euro. It wasn’t the cheapest, but at least it was a start, and would allow the in-laws to check their emails. Possibly more importantly they were now aware of the exact process required for a top-up.
With everything sorted we found a small Cafe to get some food (“The Croissonterie”, in place Ducale), a quick check of my phone i noticed they had free WiFi. Better yet the connection speed was fast, so quickly we all unpacked our devices and started catching up on emails, updates, and web surfing. Hopefully now with everyone’s devices up to date, and no silly updates being required the 500mb Orange top-up will last the full 2 weeks with just light web surfing and email checking.
Back to the Boat and then onwards to Germany:
We still have a few more days left on the canals before heading off to Germany. The main base of operations for the canals has limited cellular reception, so once again we have limited connectivity, more than likely this update will go out once we are in Germany early next week.
Fingers crossed we don’t have so may issues once we hit Germany (at least we’ll have bi-lingual friends with us)