24 hour race…

Ouistreham, France – Camping municipal ‘Les Pommiers’ – Rue de la haie breton, 14150 (63Euros for 5 nights, 21-26/8/14, elec inc)

Our next stop was a strange one, but more of necessity as we travelled back briefly to the UK to drop of the car. It was good to catch up with both families whilst there, even if it was only briefly.

The camp site was a strange place as it appeared that some people spent their holidays there which is a little odd as there isn’t much in Ouistreham, but it definitely wasn’t just a stop off place for trips to and from the UK. The faclities on the site were all fairly basic, but more than good enough for our needs; there was even a bakery stall by the welcome building as well as a place on site for take away meals though we didn’t try these. There was a French family staying a few vehicles away from us that consisted of mum, her mum, 3 children and a dog. It seemed to be a bit of mayhem, but whatever works for the individual 🙂

When we were last at the Jaqueline motorhome place near to Caen, they had told us that we would be able to weigh our motorhome at the ‘Point Vert’ to the north West of Caen. We turned up at the Point Vert on leaving the camp site and it looked like an average garden type centre, so as you can imagine we were a bit sceptical. however, Gail checked and sure enough, they had a weighbridge out back and provided us with a total weight, as well as the individual axle weights for 10Euros. Apparently a number of the other Point Vert also have a ‘Balance’, but best to ask; they are usually used to weigh loaded agricultural vehicles.

Le Mans, France, Municipal camp site ‘Le Port’ – Quai de l’Amiral Lalande (Free – 2 nights, 26-28/8/14)
Our next stop was Le Mans. Being near the end of the French holidays, we decided just to rock up and see what we could find as according to Gail’s parents there was a municipal motorhome site in the centre; we had a backup plan as there was a campsite in our discount book that was located about 7Km from the centre. Without having the details of the location of the site, we decided just to head for the centre of Le Mans and search for the site. Just before crossing the river and heading towards the older part of town we saw the sign for the site, which we duly followed. Our plan of arriving mid-afternoon was a good one as the site was a very basic one and only had space for 7 motorhomes; later on in the afternoon and evening there were many motorhomes that arrived and left disappointed. The site is right by the river and about 1Km walk from the old town. Although the site is very basic, you can empty the grey water and toilet as well as fill up with fresh water. It was free, so what more do you expect 🙂

Walking around Le Mans the old part of the town is definately the prettiest with its twisty and windy cobbled streets near to the cathedral, which can only be described as HUGE.

We found out from one of the other motorhome owners at the site that during July and August there is a light show during the evening in Le Mans around various sites, where various images portraying different stories  are projected onto certain buildings

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The light show starts at night fall and goes on for about a couple of hours, which each ‘story’ lasting about 10-15 mins and then it is repeated.  The picture didn’t come out great, but below is a snapshot of the cathedral during the light show.

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Km’s walked and cycled during Euro tour..

We had a mad idea that it would be interesting to see how many Km’s, yes we thought we’d go European, we walk/cycle during our tour around Europe as well how many we drive.

As such for a bit of fun, not sure if there be a small prize for the person closet to the actual amount, if you fancy having a guess then please can you let us know by the 12th Sept’14 how many Km’s you think we’ll walk/cycle until the beginning of Aug’15?

We’ll add an update every now and again to the blog of the current total of our progress 🙂

To date we have covered 81Km.

Gail guessed 5200Km
Keith guess 6000Km – we may well be doing some more cycling in the last few weeks 🙂

Arromanches-les-Bains 17/8/14 – 21/8/14

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I think we managed to go through three of the four seasons on the 120km journey to Arromanches, but thankfully by the time we arrived it had stopped bucketing down…. For the first 15 minutes at least.

We found a municipal campsite which is just on the edge of the town …. I am over cooking it …. there really isn’t much town so it is fairly central. The site is big (about 100 places) and reasonable (15 euros a night) and the pitch is flat … with predominantly Italians motorhomes.   We can’t work out why there are so many Italians up here, but they appear to travel in groups (Can I say gaggles or ‘gaggias’ J … oh ok maybe not) of motorhomes with CB’s – which when it comes to a small place like Arromanches blocks roads…. But interesting now the less!

On Sunday afternoon we set out to explore – the beach that Arromanches sits on and which spreads to the East is Gold Beach. Even though it is mid-August (albeit with mediocre weather) the long sandy beach and shore line stretches out for as far as you can see, interrupted only by a handful of pontoons left as reminders of what happened 70 years ago.

We walked along Gold Beach to Asnelles and then back on a slightly longer than expected route through the countryside and lots of Corn fields (Keith thought that the man in front was doing the same route as us ….. J).

On Monday we made some sandwiches and set off on the bikes into Bayeaux via the country route via more corn fields (I am still not allowed to pick any to eat…) and about 12.5km later we arrived. Bayeaux is a really pretty town with lots to see. It was built around the waterways and hence has lots of old mills and baths for laundry dotted around the town in addition to the beautiful cathedral. The journey back helped build up an appetite for a spontaneous bar b q … well it was dry J

Following a morning run we decided to set off West on Tuesday morning to see whether we could walk to Port-en-Bessin-Huppain which is the beginning of Omaha beach. Well…. The answer is yes, you can walk there and you don’t have to walk along the main road… it just takes a long time. The way back took us 2.5 hours … so it was about 12.5km. Unfortunately on the way there we followed (no, not another man) some white and red trail signs thinking that they may be the coastal route, to be fair it worked for the first 11km or so, however when we were about 1.5km from Port-en-Bessin-Huppain we followed the trail signs instead of turning right into the town which although pretty was through woodland without any options to turn right … and you don’t want to go back the way you came, so just before we got to Cherbourg….. only joking thankfully we managed to only walk an extra 4 or 5 km and at least we found a nice ice cream place when we got there … it was just a long walk back J

We were invaded on Tuesday night by the Poles – they started to arrive mid-afternoon and by about 20:30 there were about 30 motorbikes and about 50 people. They were here as part of a two week tour to celebrate the 70th anniversary – quite impressive and apart from some early morning operetta singing they were pretty well behaved …. I couldn’t quite work out where they stored all the vodka though as they were travelling light so may have been in the fuel tanks J

On Wednesday morning we decided to have a quick bike ride along the coast to Courseulles-sur-mer to see a bit of Juno beach this morning. Unfortunately about half way there the skies opened and it proceeded to rain until we were on the road back. The beaches at Courseulles-sur-mer were completely deserted (not surprising considering the weather) with mile after mile of sand, quite pretty considering the history.

When we arrived back at the campsite there was absolutely no sight of it having rained ….. obviously went the wrong direction!

 

Auberge Cheverie – Juvigny-sous-Andaines 16/8/14

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After our last game of tennis at the club we headed to Juvigny in convoy to park up in the car park and enjoy a gastronomique feast with Tom and Monique. My parents have raved about the evening meal here for ages but we have only visited at lunch time (also great food), so felt it apt for our ‘last supper’.

Following Kir royale, red wine, foie gras (I probably shouldn’t say that out loud – but for someone who hasn’t ever had it before, it was amazing), home cured Salmon, lamb cooked for 7 hours, more cheese than you could imagine eating, and some delicious deserts we retired to the car park for a very pleasant nights’ sleep despite the peacock which decided it wanted to look for a mate at sunrise ….. noisy little buggers.

Thank you Tom and Monique for sharing the evening with us and for the lovely homemade jams…. oh and more cheese J

Au revoir et a bientôt Bagnoles de L’Orne

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It is time to say goodbye to our home for the last 4.5 months …. oh ok, the photo above is the Chateau de Bagnoles and Mairie, the one below is the house 🙂

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We have had a fantastic time, got to know some lovely people, walked, cycled and run the forests, played tennis and eaten some great food….. what more can you ask for? The locals are so friendly they even held a national holiday yesterday with fireworks over the lake last night to say a final goodbye 🙂

Keith has now got a good level of French and mine has been revived from the ancient past although that probably means that the Spanish has taken a bit of a knock – but we get by!

We will be back ……first stop Juvigny-sous-andaine for dinner tonight.

 

 

 

Going, going, gone

We leave the house in Normandy, France on Saturday to start our travels proper and we’ll update the blog as often as we are able to.  If you want to follow us you can go to the blog and then select “follow” on the right hand side and then add your email address to get an email whenever we make an update 🙂

Mirebell plums

Although we only have a few more days left in the house in France, Bernard very kindly gave us over 3Kg of Mirebelle plums. They are small plums, though not really a looker. However, they are naturally sweet and with limited time we decided to just stone and then stew then. Keith tried some raw and a bowl of them stewed and both were very good; the below bowl was even a bit much for Keith to manage after dinner 🙂

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