Week 4 Monday 14 August – Monday 21 August
Monday – farm – Domaine de la Fuie – Vendeuvre du Poitou 86380 GPS : N46.71140 E0.28472
Today was rather a flat boring drive, although nicely sunny, following the D950 for most of the way. We now know that Kaz had used up all our French allowed internet while working on school stuff. Neither of us realised that she had been live streaming whilst working. So nil wi-fi but thank you McDonald’s! who saved the day. Having parked up next to a McD we were able to download (upload? 625MgB) my photos to the cloud and thus free up my phone to take more.
We had a few goes today to find a suitable place for the night. Our first choice was full and the next. This one looks much better next to a large house and farm. The sun is still shining and I put up the awning. So on such a lovely quiet afternoon why does the owner decide to cut the grassed area that we are on with his ride on mower! That night it thundered quite badly and the Boys did not enjoy it at all. The change in pressure was evident and they were barking a lot. It also set off the hounds in the next farm all night till dawn. So overall we did not a have a good night.
Tuesday – aire – Durtal 49430 – GPS : N47°40.281 W000°14.435
We left the farm after another bad shower. Thought we might be bogged down after such a downpour but no Zygie powered his way out without a problem, although we did have muddy tyres after!
We managed to follow our planned route but went off piste to see the Castle at Oiron which we could see up on the hill from the D759. In the next village we bought some pastries from the artisan bakers. What a lovely area this is. Driving up through Saumur we passed the Military Cavalry Barracks which was very impressive. We also popped into to see Terrence to leave a book for him which I knew he would enjoy. Judith answered the door bell, I think she remembered me. We left to travel north for an aire for the night. Although we had a choice of 3 we found space in Durtal. Small only taking 3 units it was just what we wanted and overlooked the Chateau. Sadly the water point was not working so we will need to find some tomorrow.
For once we left an aire earlier than the French. Off to find shop and plan the route.
Wednesday – aire – St Andre de l’Eure – 27220 GPS : N48°54.398 E001°16.135
We have always found this area of France rather flat and boring especially between Les Mans and Chartres, although the cathedral at Chartres is an impressive looking building seen on the horizon. We decided to keep going at 50 kph towards Dreux. Sometimes the aires are not always easy to find and the one at Nogent-le-Roi was just such. Moved on to St Andre de l’Eure, to the aire opposite the towns fire station and large fishing area. That night while we watched the Tv they had a shout and a heavy-looking 4×4 fire appliance left the station, no sirens just lots of blue flashing lights – such fun.
Thursday – orchard – Les Mesanges – Songeons 60380 – GPS : N49.56910 E1.87312
We were the last to leave the site this morning, so what’s new! I had waited until this morning to empty everything and fill up with water to get the max in. On the way North through Vernon, over the Seine, the weather turned again into showers. In Beauvais we pulled into a Maccy D for some coffee and free wi-fi. I still had too much to download in one go (well actually one coffee cups worth!) We thought we would wild camp to-night but the lay by looked a little dodgy so continued to this orchard plot behind an old farm for the night. It looked like a campsite for workers as there were lots of old caravans. They spoke no English and my French on this occasion got me no where. It seemed we were free to park up anywhere between the existing vans and apple trees, so we did. After we had arrived people starting returning in their cars and also three French vans pulled in to the far end. We watched all this activity with interest especially when we saw people had bought some cider from the farm. So off I popped and after some finger-pointing came back with four bottles of cider!
Friday – aire – Bourseville – GPS : N50°06.263 E001°31.649
Lovely easy drive over rolling hills on straight roads. The roads took us through Marselle en Beauvasis, Poix de Ricardie, Airtraines and Noyelles sur Mer. In Abbeville we find a vet to get The Boys done. Both took their tablets easily, much to the amusement of the French female vet. We found a large boulangerie on the road out so off went Kaz for our days supplies. Our first choice of aire was too busy whilst the second looked deserted and closed. Now in a large aire in a small village called Bourseville. Three other large vans keep us company. This aire has a fee which according to the Dutchman behind is 7 euros per night, which is more than last year apparently. However it is flat, clean and worth returning to in the future. We are close to the village church whose bells sounds Ave Maria on the hour – every hour!
Saturday – commercial aire – Embry – Camping Car de l’Embryenne – GPS : N50°29.717 E001°57.953
Although last night was windy we slept well but it is now showering again. In between showers we filled up with water and off we went to find the coast road. Over and around lots of roundabouts with interesting bird designs in their middle, plus travelling passed a huge circus convoy. However we needed some supplies but could not find an open supermarket, even following loads of boards they seemed to allude us. One we found was small but could not get into park up because of all the cars. Eventually found a huge commercial area and a Super U, we also found a cheap spot for fuel and filled up before the Uk prices hit us once more. Travelling north up the coast we passed through Montreuil which was rather old with cobbled streets and pretty shop fronts – a place to visit again. We seemed to criss cross the area quite a bit at this point which was unlike us. We tried a couple of French Passions but these were full. One we could not get too because of a car rally that was taking place and some of the access roads were blocked off! So eventually we were pleased to make it to Embry (a little like Embley I thought). This has proved to be a worthwhile stay as we are now getting closer to Calais and the tunnel. It has everything we need including a shower block that uses tokens which one can buy from the machine on site. We paid the man our dues as he picks this up on an evening.
Sunday – aire – Tardinghen – GPS : N50°51.771 E001°38.955
This morning we walked the Boys around the village. It seemed that the village had suffered badly in some recent storms with lots of roof damage noticeable. We dragged ourselves away from this lovely quiet spot knowing that our holidays were nearly over.
Our next stop was the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery at Etaples. A lot has been written about the town and its use during WWI. My grandfather came through here after being injured so it was rather poignant for me to make the visit. Kaz stayed in Zygie while I wandered around this huge place.
Leaving there going North we came up behind lots and lots of traffic so we decided to turn off and follow a country route to the next and our last aire. What my TomTom did not tell us is how narrow, hilly and open the road was going to be but with lovely coastal view Thankfully we did meet anybody except at crossroads.
Monday – Home !
This morning was an easy drive to the tunnel. we checked in The Boys and pulled up to join the queue behind loads of coaches whose occupants had been on the “War Beaches Tour”. I went inside the terminal to collect the obligatory Starbucks coffee with kids running around all over the place – the holiday was over.
Back in the Uk and soon we were on the M25 car park and thus we did not make it back to the farm in time for us to park up inside the barn.
Our last night was spent in a lay-by near to the farm, not the end we had planned, or the beginning all those weeks ago!
Sadly I did not keep an up to-date daily mileage record something I feel I need to work on for next year. start 16392 finish 18615 total miles travelled 2223