Hollibobs Part 3 !

Discussion in 'France' started by cliffandger, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. cliffandger

    cliffandger Funster Life Member

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    Hello all,

    Well I know it's greedy, but having spent a wonderful two weeks on the Ile de Re with the @Mousy s, and then a Brillo week at Twin Lakes with Funster Friends, we are spending 9 days on our own before the tunnel crossing on the 28th.

    Yesterday was spent in Blaye on an aire just outside the citadelle wall next to the harbour and town....

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    There is an aire inside the citadelle but the entrance isn't for the fat (van) or the faint hearted!

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    However if you do chance your arm through the narrow bits and over a rickety oak slatted bridge it's free for 48 hours with lekkie included!
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    We moved on this morning and hoped to stay in Arcachon. We found the aire which is on the side of a busy road and not very nice at all, so we drove into the town but couldn't find anywhere to park - so finding the roads getting narrower we left and made our way to Sanguinet Lake where we are on a free aire right next to a campsite - we are the only Brits on the aire - they are all on the campsite paying €17 per night! We all have the same view and we spent all afternoon sunbathing - didn't expect to be doing that any more this holiday!
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    That was someone else's sand art work - not mine!

    If anyone says Arcachon is worth visiting we will give it another go on the way back up otherwise Royan or Mortagne sur Gironde will be our next stop. I await your advice.......
     
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  2. cliffandger

    cliffandger Funster Life Member

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    They just can't resist looking can they...
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  3. Mousy

    Mousy Funster Life Member

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    Glad to see the weather has returned to you, I've been wearing my new cashmere pashmina here as its gone very autumnal. That blue sky looks lush.

    You sure Dolly Partons not buried under that sand?
     
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  4. FIDGET

    FIDGET Funster

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    Hi Ger an Cliff,
    We stayed on that aire a few years back & paddled just across the road. While you are down there don't miss the dune du Pyla,well worth the trek to the top,& slide /ski back down
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    thats the dune

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    Ann paddling at Sanquinet
     
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  5. cliffandger

    cliffandger Funster Life Member

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    Well Funsters, we are on our second day in Royan, after stopping off at the magnificent Dune du Pilat on the way up, following Terry's @FIDGET suggestion. So glad we did - it's certainly a big 'un!
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    They say that it's moving inland, swallowing up the forests and villages as it goes....

    If that's the case, this poor little oak ain't going to make old bark!
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    Here's me at the top....
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    Dawn, @Mousy - I did mention to him that the Hello Kitty boards could make another appearance for the surf back down - he wasn't impressed - so we walked down like all the other boring tourists :(
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    And as The Great Bristolian Hero Banksy said......
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    .... We exited through the Gift Shop!

    We spent a lovely evening with our neighbours Trish and Bill. Bill came down from the Isle of Skye (you'll have that song in your heads all day now - sorry all!) :LOL: and met Trish who is a bit of a red wine buff. They now live in Cardiff.

    Trish gave us a lot of info on the wines from Bordeaux, and opened up a bottle that they had bought from the local wine cave. It was beautiful. She said the heavier and thicker the bottle and the deeper the dimple - the better the wine. Cliff then offered them a drink of our wine - decanted from a big 5 litre budget box into the bottle he had kept for that very purpose - Trish was gobsmacked by the screw top! - After weighing the bottle and finding it very light, and then feeling for the dimple and finding none - her good manners kicked in and she bravely took a sip - 'it's a bit heavy, but not undrinkable' she said. She didn't want seconds though...

    Still a good evening was had and they are off to pastures new today.

    Betsy, their beautiful 5 month old Bichon/poodle helping them with the packing up.....
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    We intend to stay here for another day are off into Royan for a fishy lunch in the sun. Catch ya later! :)
     

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  6. cliffandger

    cliffandger Funster Life Member

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    We've spent a lovely day here in Royan - the sun shone and we cycled into town - arriving at 12.35pm - five minutes after every shop had closed for lunch! You'de think we would have learnt by now that France SHUTS FOR LUNCH!!! :doh: Every cloud has a silver lining and all that - if you can't beat 'em and all that - found us searching for the most popular restaurant and sitting down to a stupendous salade du jour, a carafe of Rose, and a Cafe Gourmande du jour, consisting of raspberry tarte, glace de Cassis, creme praline et merangue, macaron et cafe (and two Spoons!).

    We visited the church after lunch - it's reconstruction was began in July 1955 after being destroyed by allied bombs in January 1945. Its an edifice which seems to worship the glorious reinforced concrete! :Eeek:
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    Unfortunately it wasn't open, but I'm not altogether sure there is an 'inside' Anyway!

    We wandered the shops when they opened - there seems to be an overriding interest in shoes and opticians, together with the always stylish haute couture in Royan - but we found a wonderful kitchen shop, and I know @Mousy will be proud - it seems her sense of style is washing off on me - look what I bought Our Little'un for Christmas - chic or what?!!!

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    We thought our day was complete - but look what we found in the Co-op......!
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    A bottle of wine which Trish (those who've read this thread will know all about Trish) would have been VERY happy with - a heavy bottle - you can't see through it - it has a Cork and not a screw top - it has a HUGE dimple - it cost €6 (for us that makes it a 'fine' wine) - and it has our name on it!

    We are going back tomorrow to buy all the remaining stock - it complimented the home made chilli amazingly well!

    We resisted the very expensive Le Haribo Shop....
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    ... And cycled back along the coastal cycle path, passing Oyster fishing shacks? I stand very happily to be corrected by those who know....
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    Dawn @Mousy do you remember in Cannes the top of the Carlton hotel was modelled on someone famous boobs?
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    Worder who these beauties were modelled on......:rofl:
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    The weather is looking good for the next couple of days so we are travelling all of 34km to stay on the Ile d'Oleron - hope it's sunny where you all are! :)
     
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  7. Mousy

    Mousy Funster Life Member

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    Ahh Ger, sounds amazing. Wish we were still with you. Although I don't think I could walk up that dune, our path to the beach was bad enough each day..
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    Those onion glasses are truly awful, I feel desperately sorry for our little un....surly he won't wear them? Mind you they are very similar to Cliffs Dame Edna's reading glasses, some maybe it's a family thing?

    Cant believe you are going to the island without us, it had better not be as good as my now beloved ile de rey!
    Lots of pictures please. Xx
     
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  8. cliffandger

    cliffandger Funster Life Member

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    We moved onto the Ile d'Oleron today in beautiful sunshine. Can't say that much about it in comparison to the Ile de Re as we are only 5km in, staying in an Aires in Le Château d'Oleron which is Mega Oyster City!

    We got the bikes off the van and cycled to the Boulevard des Artists, which is all artisany, but also very oystery!

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    A beautiful wooden, hand made, hand driven carousel.....

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    Our name is everywhere! A metalwork studio.....

    And lots of Oyster shacks.....
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    We could have eaten here.....
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    An Oyster Shack - but the aroma of Oyster beds sent us here.....

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    For the best hake and chips, creme brulee and chocolate mousse we've eaten in a long while!

    The two young girls who were cooking and serving did very well, but the loud jazz music playing must have messed with their heads - that's a condition you know Funsters - Dawn @Mousy can tell you all about it - anyway, before we had even ordered, out came one of the girls with a bottle of water, two glasses and a glass of red wine! How nice I thought - must be an Ile d'Oleron welcome gesture, (albeit a bit tight on the red wine), and we proceeded to share the wine.

    We were still waiting to order but enjoying the wine, when the other girl comes out with two plates of fish and chips and places them in front of us!

    I thought - a free glass of wine is OK but i'de like to be able to order my own food, and I wanted extra crispy batter, not a lemon sauce!

    We somehow conveyed to the girl that we hadn't ordered anything yet and the other girl came out and cleared up the mystery - the couple who had been sitting at our table, had moved to a table in the sunshine!

    She then proceeded to pick up the glass of wine to give to the other couple - but stopped when she realised the level had gone down - 'you 'ave drank the wine?' Well - how do you say 'I thought it was an Ile d'Oleron welcoming gesture - and by the way, a glass each would have been nice....' In French? So I just said 'oui, c'est tres bon'! OK I give it to you! She said - whilst giving us a strange look....

    We cycled back to the van and spent the afternoon sunbathing on the beach - it was reminiscent of Weston-super-Mare - the tide was at least a mile out! We are moving to the Western side of the island tomorrow to get our last bit of beach sunbathing, hoping it will match up to the Ile de Re.

    One huge disappointment for me today - not so much for Cliff....
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    It was closed! :crying::crying::crying:
     
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  9. cliffandger

    cliffandger Funster Life Member

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    Just as a PS - We use South Cerney chippings for our gravel drives, they use - Yes you've guessed it......
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    Huitres Shells!
     
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  10. Mousy

    Mousy Funster Life Member

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    Much more colourful than lie de rey but I'd love some oysters now.
     
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  11. Ali n Tim

    Ali n Tim Funster

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    Looks great Ger. We had a horrendous drive around Milan trying to avoid tolls:eek: Not a good idea! We got caught up in Friday afternoon chaos and it took 7.5hrs:eek::eek: Anyway found a reasonable Camperstop at Rivolta D'Adda which was free! One more stop over before Slovenia/Croatia:)
     
  12. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    Loving the extended trip

    Just be mindful of the deep dimple in the bottle bottoms, to my cost I have found it is there to catch the extra 'sludge' in the bottom, do not be tempted to drink it all and pour very carefully (y)

    I am sure the French do not use the word sludge, but whatever it is called it is not for drinking, that is unless it is your fourth bottle :LOL:
     
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  13. cliffandger

    cliffandger Funster Life Member

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    Crikey Ali that sounds horrendous - head to Slovenia and spend a couple of days on Lake Bled to chill - with copious amounts of Tim's toffee vodka! Have a wonderful trip xx
     
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  14. cliffandger

    cliffandger Funster Life Member

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    David, I wish I'de known this fact when we were being given our lesson on how to spot a good red wine by Patricia! She didn't mention anything about 'Le Sludge'!
     
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  15. Neilfg

    Neilfg Funster

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    Great blog, loving the area and the weather looks good. But all the talk of last chance to catch sun etc.. is abit worrisome. :( We are going to pop over next week for 2 weeks or so and hoping to catch some sun, wear shorts etc... Not sure where, will check the forecasts and head that way:).

    But please let me dream for a bit longer(y).
     
  16. cliffandger

    cliffandger Funster Life Member

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    Sorry Neil, I didn't mean the last chance to get any sun here - I meant the last chance before we head home and hurtle headlong into winter!

    The weather here has been glorious - apart from one blip at Twin Lakes and the spectacular lightning show made it almost worthwhile!

    I'm sure you and Jacqui will have a wonderful time - we've had the best time ever!
     
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  17. cliffandger

    cliffandger Funster Life Member

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    Well Funster Pals, we moved West in the hope of better beaches - but alas it was not to be. We had high hopes when we pitched up and could hear the ocean very clearly, but a wander over the dunes led to disappointment :(
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    The tide is now in, but it's definitely not a sandy 'Hello Kitty' board type of beach @Mousy!

    The Francophiles among you will appreciate yet another artistic roundabout - the first one you come to on the island....
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    Isn't it a beauty - puts our concrete cows to shame!

    We cycled into La Cotiniere today - a lovely little fishing village with shabby chic bars and restaurants, and the second one we've seen on this island - again, doing a brisk trade.....
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    I've just noticed that I've taken a photo of the rear view of my doppelganger! :Eeek:

    We went into the souvenir shop to get a sticker for our Moroccan mat tube, and saw the ever present Opinel knife advert - would this be allowed at home......
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    How to sharpen your wooden crayons a la Francaise!

    We are cycling back into town later on today to have Huitres (him) something non fishy (me), so It's au revoire for now mes petite enfants! (y)
     
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  18. Taran_Las

    Taran_Las Funster

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    Really:eek:;)



    You know my thoughts on lightning:cry:
     
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  19. cliffandger

    cliffandger Funster Life Member

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    Back at the van now after a cycle to and stroll through La Cotiniere. The harbour towns are really lovely and it has a different - more workaday and less affluent - feel than the Ile de Re, but if anything it's more expensive.

    The restaurants were jam packed, so after eating a snickers ice cream (him) and a chocolate cookie ice cream (me) we cycled back and had a salad back at the van. Will hopefully have our last meal out on the way up tomorrow.

    The harbour ...
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    And the beginnings of a sunset....
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    The photos make it look as if the day was overcast, but it's been another gloriously sunny day here on the Ile d'Oleron.

    Ringo Starr's favourite saying - Turned into a marketing opportunity ....
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    Not sure about the black blousey thing on the left though - the last time I saw poppers like that they were on Our Little'uns Babygro! :rofl:
     
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  20. Anthea M

    Anthea M Funster

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    We cycled to the port Boyardville and caught the ferry to La Rochelle past the old Napolionic Ford Boyard ( as in the TV game!) had a great day in La Rochelle port and it was lovely to come in through the towers in the harbour instead of the road!
    we prefer the isle de re a much prettier island but the salt marshes are interesting .
    Enjoy!
     
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