Northwards into Normandy

Friday 25 September

We have another early start today and drive up to a little favourite aire of ours. On the way we took the opportunity of stocking up with wine and beer to keep us going until next time we visit the continent ( of course it will last the year ! )

The aire is at Sainte Saire and is just above Rouen and about 3 hours from Calais. When we have stopped here before, as now, it is not busy and although the pitches are on the grass, there are the usual dump and water points including electricity if it’s needed for 3 Euors per 55 minutes ( I know, why not an hour ? )

Sainte Saire aire

Sainte Saire aire

One of the reasons why we like it here is that there is another Green Lane right at the side of it that goes to Neufchâtel to the west and Forges les Eaux to the east. We get on the bikes and head of to the east and arrive into Forges les Eaux in around an hour and had a brief wander around the town centre before sitting outside in the still glorious sunshine with an ice cold beer to replenish the old liquids. This is the town which I visited early one morning and wrote the post ” Bare Naked Ladies in the Park” for those who read it last year. There is a Casino ( which we didn’t visit ! ) and also it is famous as a Spa town hence the name Les Eaux , “the waters”.

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Feeling suitably refreshed we returned to Sainte Saire and sat around outside “Cis” until the sun was almost down and then changed for dinner. At the aire is an old train station which has now been made into a lovely restaurant with bar called la Quai du Gormande and run by a lovely lady called Katia who speaks excellent English and translated the menu for us. We both settled on Duck breast, Jane’s coming with a Raspberry sauce and mine with a peppered Cider sauce along with mashed potatoes. We also finished off with a very nice dessert of hot apple slices in a salted caramel  sauce with vanilla ice cream and a chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream, both of which were delicious. ( No, not two each ! )

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The restaurant at Sainte Saire

The restaurant at Sainte Saire

Feeling very full and satisfied, we retired to bed and vowed to return here next year when we come back to France and to cycle west instead.

Saturday 26 September

We are only driving 2 hours today so we had a slow steady start and had a nice Belly Buster breakfast before continuing our journey ever northwards. We arrive at Hardelot where there is an unofficial aire in a large wooded car park with lots of room in an upscale area of the town. Lots of beautiful houses and very quiet. The only downside is that there are no facilities not even a water tap. That didn’t bother us a bit as we are fully self sufficient and we have plenty of water on board for tomorrow’s shower and washing up.

It is once more a beautiful sunny day and we get the bikes out one last time and cycle down to the beach and into the small town. There are plenty of bars and restaurants as well as quite a few posh shops. The resort is fairly small but quite pretty apart from the awful blocks of holiday apartments on the sea front that spoil the view from the town centre. ( they look like a typical cold war soviet housing block ! Ugly or what ! )

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Hardelot Beach

Hardelot Beach

As it is such a lovely day again we find a table in the sun and settle for our last beer in France before cycling back up to the aire where we spend the rest of the afternoon sunning ourselves whilst reading, before having a delicious fish and vegetable dinner baked by our resident Chef Jane, before calling it a night.

Last Beers in France

Last Beers in France

Sunday 27 September

Happy Anniversary Jane, 29 years today we were wed at Sutton in Ashfield and still going strong ( That’s my creeping out of the way ! )

We are only an hour away from Calais and after passing the tent city of the hoards of unfortunate Refugees hoping to sneak into Britain any way they can, we arrive at the port side and have breakfast. Whilst waiting, we see an English car stopped as it arrives from the UK and the driver arrested and dragged away in handcuffs whilst his car was taken away. Jane surmises he was a Migrant Trafficker ( No, I have no clue why she would think that ! )

We have a smooth crossing and arrive back home around 4.00 having had a pretty good drive.

Our whole 3 weeks in France have been great with beautiful weather throughout except for the one wet day in Digoin. We of course have eaten too much, drunk too much and now we need to limit our intake whilst boosting our exercise to ensure we are in shape for our next trip. This is likely to be in November as we have a busy October including our friend Teresa from Ausatralia who is coming to visit us in the next few weeks.

Catch up with us then as I post the next instalment of the ongoing saga of 2 folk in a Motorhome named “Cis” travelling aimlessly throughout Europe and the UK.

Catch you later Pat & Jane xx

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