Day 1200 – Bretagne – 14 June 13
Hi Clo,Primarily this blog is aimed at keeping our daughter in the UK, Chloe, abreast of our adventures in Europe. Additionally, we hope that other readers will find snippets of info regarding campsites, prices and foreign travel interesting or perhaps just informative.For piccies see www.eastmidlandsdea.co.uk
Ever had a campsite to yourself? Well, we have. All 100 pitches, excepting one tent and a caravan in storage!
Des Megalithes in Erdeven, near Vannes in Brittany. It took Shirl 3 hours to choose a pitch!!!!
Huge, grass pitch with excellent facilities. The showers are not quite the size of those at Nantes – the individual cubicles there were actually bigger than our entire bathroom at home!
It's raining and has been all day and we expected the worst re flooding – but no, the pitch has absorbed the water and all is well. Free internet as well! Excellent. Now waiting for Alan and Mary to turn up on Saturday. Gives us 3 days to explore.
Nantes was OK, but not really worth stopping for more than one night. The sun should be out here on Friday, so we expect 8 days of great weather. AT LAST!
Alan and Mary arrived on Saturday morning after driving from Dieppe. They get the keys to their house at 2pm. We’re settled in now and yesterday got a shock when the campsite occupancy increased by 100% - a Belgian caravan moved in!. Yes, it's still quiet here.
We’ve spent a pleasant interlude with Carole’s brother, touring the local area. Visiting Erdeven, Etel, Auray, Quiberon and several sunswept harbours. The site has filled up a little – 6 vans now! The sun is shining but it is due to start raining on Thursday evening, so we have made an executive decision to return home 2 weeks early.
We cannot bear to sit in the 'van for 2 more weeks of poor conditions. France is bad enough in fine weather. So it's the St Malo ferry on Monday 10th and a nitestop at Ashurst in the New Forest before visiting Bill and Sue at their new place in Totton.
It's then over to Pulborough to park at Alan and Mary’s whilst we buy new bikes. Homeward via Lee Valley to see Chloe over the weekend and home by Monday 17th. I think Carole is quite relieved – I know I am. This touristing lark is hard work and pricey!
The Silvonnies are also homeward bound on 8th, from Calais, so our paths may cross during the summer.
Out for another Routiers lunch up the road today and final shopping. We don’t need much as the fridge will need defrosting before we cross ‘La Manche’, as we won't be back on leccy till A and M’s. We must also go and visit some of the Megaliths or Menhirs just up the road. They are quite spooky. 3000 huge stones erected up to 6000 years ago by ….who? How did they actually, physically erect them and why? Who led them? Loads of unanswered questions. Me? I reckon extra-terrestrials…..yeah, call me a weirdo….but you explain it!
The other weird thing today was the weather. Thunderstorms were forecast and sure enough – up they bubbled all afternoon …but miraculously stopped 1 mile from the campsite. So we basked in bright sunshine whilst the rest of the coastline up to Brest got a proper downpour. We saw it on the weather radar. Lucky..you bet!
Saw a few TS on Friday (7th) and started the packing up process. Setting off for Dinard early on Saturday morning in between TS. Said our farewells to A and M who carry on to Limoges to meet up with friends.
We reached La Touesse Campsite in Dinard just before midday, catching the staff just before they disappeared for their 3 hour lunch break. Not busy here – so we got 2 pitches – one just for Smartie. We’ll walk into Dinard this evening to check out the ferry to St Malo. Although the weather has picked up a bit, Quimper would have been 5 days of rain and it would have only got decent after reaching here on the 18th, so we probably made the right decision. We can do this region in a couple of years, en-route to Biarritz and the west coast of France.
We are entering a very busy period now, with loads to do and many people to visit. Roll on September 2 and we can set off again. Smartie and the Trailer go on eBay on 18th June, so we hope for a quick sale.
Walked into Dinard for a quick recce to find out where the ‘vedettes’ to St Malo left from. No problem, it's well sign posted off the main drag, down 40 million steps and they leave about every half hour and it's €6 return. We stopped for a glass of wine on the way home and bought bread. It's starting to get quite cool.
Next morning at 1000, we marched back into Dinard and caught the small ferry across the bay for a 10 minute hop. The weather was cold and cloudy, but St Malo is nice and worth a visit. We did the Noddy Train and walked the ramparts after lunch in one of the many restaurants within the town. The tide had gone right out and people were walking out to the various islands surrounding St Malo. It's well worth a visit.
Tomorrow, (10th) we head for the ferry and home. We are staying in the New Forest at Ashurst whilst we visit Bill and Sue in Totton. Then on to Pulborough to buy new bikes and on to Lee Valley to see Chloe for the weekend. Then it's home. Nearly 10 months away…it only seems like yesterday that we set off on the Cap Finistere for Bilbao.
Left Touesse at 0800 for St Malo ferry port and got away on time for the 9 hour journey. Certainly not full but that's a reflection of the fact that it's a Monday morning. Another calm crossing – 10 in a row now – and arrived on time. Off the boat first and arrived at Ashurst Campsite in the New Forest by 7.15pm. Lovely, quiet setting in sunny woodlands. No leccy but otherwise Top Hole!
Off to see Sue and Bill tomorrow morning. Raining but we had a lovely visit with the England’’s and Bill seems to be bearing up remarkably well. They are close to family and friends and despite having to sell their ''van, have plenty of plans for the future. We’ll keep in touch.
Then it was load Smartie onto the trailer in the ‘Peter Kaye’ rain and off to Pulborough. Entered the house to find no power. The main fuse had tripped and after investigation we found a leak from the upstairs bath into the dining room via electrical sockets and light switches. Water down the walls tripping the leccy. However, we soon sorted it but a fair bit of damage has been done and if we hadn’t come home early, another weeks of dripping might have made things much worse.
Another more spooky thing happened on the drive from Ashurst. We stopped for petrol and saw the lady owner of a Smartie having her car fixed. As we left she approached and said she knew us and read our blog. She was the cousin of Pauline Greaves who we know from Vilanova and since. Small, SMALL world.
We bought some new bikes and accessories today (12th) and will pick them up on Friday. Got 2 new tyres for the trailer as well.
So, just hanging about till we see you on Friday night.
All for now,
M and D
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