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!