Monday 5 September
It rained through the night again and was pretty grey as we ventured further South & West towards our next stop where we are planning to stay for 7 nights near St Jean de Monts at La Yole campsite in Les Mouettes. We had a brief stop at a Hyper U for a bit of shopping and filling the old diesel tank again and arrived at our destination just before 2.00. When booking in we were told that the bar and restaurant on site had closed yesterday so no food or drink was available for the rest of the remaining brief season. Merd ! We had planned to eat at least one night on site and pop to the pool bar at lunchtime ! Mais Non it was not to be.
The site is very nice with plenty of room and if everything had been open would have been ideal. We settled in for a while and then cycled out for an hour or so exploring the nearby small place next to the sea. We found a cabin type bar & snackery on the beach and a wine cave with seats outside and a Hyper U Express. That was about all that was open at this time of year.
Venturing a little further down the road we found a campsite that was open and had a bar, restaurant, indoor swimming pool and outside swimming pool. It also took the ACSI card and cost about 18 € a night which seemed pretty reasonable.
Having found this other site albeit not quite as nice as the one we were on we decided to move tomorrow so at least we could eat somewhere other than “Cis” for at least one night without walking a long way.
We returned to La Yole site and sat outside enjoying the warmth because by now the sun was out and those cloudy rain clouds had gone away giving us the chance to eat alfresco cooked once more by my most capable of chefs Madame Jane. Once it began to get dark we retired inside before settling down for the night.
Tuesday 6 September
Having found “La Plage” campsite yesterday we move the 10 minutes and get in nice and early. This costs us 18 € a night which isn’t bad especially as the restaurant and bar are still open should we need them ( How likely is that? )
The only problem that we find is that there doesn’t appear to be an electric box to hook up to. After further exploration ably assisted by a French neighbour we find one 3 chalets down but well out of the reach of my electrical lead. Not to be outdone we return to the reception and borrow a rickety looking lead from them ( now made good with a touch of electrical tape to hide the wires and protect from damp ! )
We join the leads and squeeze at the back of the chalets ( Watch out for those humoungous Spiders ! ) to attach to the electric box. Oh no we are still about 8 feet short. I solve this by moving the van to the very edge of our pitch and take my lead off the drum it is wound on. Yeh ! It now just stretches far enough !
Having solved that we take up position around the outside pool and frazzle for a while with a brief respite at the bar for one at lunchtime. After sizzling there for a few hours we return to our pitch and enjoy the sunshine followed up by a beautiful steak supper cooked by the master chefs schooled in the famous Gordon Blue school of Chefery, Elle & Moi ! . Best steak we have had in France ( brought from England ) Delicious !
We chill for the rest of the evening until it’s dark and the nocturnal nibbling things come out to play so we bid a fond Au Revoir and retire inside to read and do crosswords until it’s time to sleep.
Wednesday 7 September
I went for an early blast round on my bike this morning going south to St Hilaire de Riez & St Gilles Croix de Vie following the green route for bikes known as the Vendee Velo her in the Vendee area of France.
The sun had been up a while but there was some interesting cloud formations which took my fancy photographically and so I tried to incorporate them in some of the photos today. St Gilles was the nicer of the two places with a market just setting up as I arrived. Apart from the photos stops this took about 25 minutes to reach so it is well within Jane’s range so we plan to visit and spend some time exploring later in the week.
On my return to “Cis” we had a nice bacon baguette for breakfast before returning to the pool to chill out for the day catching up on reading several magazines which I receive but have not had time to read for a while.
The sun was hot today around 31 degrees which to my Aussie readers may not be too special but it is pretty hot for us more used to the climes of Bilghty ! We made the most of it and early evening headed off for a brief walk round locally before stopping for a small glass of wine in the only place open in Les Mouettes, a wine cave for tasting. We returned to our campsite for a lovely couple of pizzas in the restaurant there. After eating we had a saunter down to the beach and watched the beautiful sun go down before returning to “Cis” for the rest of the night.
Thursday 8 September
We had to get up unfortunately at 4.30 ( Yes there is more than one a day ! ) when the wind had got up to put away the Motohome awning ( My stupid fault ! ) to ensure it didn’t get damaged as we know some nice people who didn’t do that and ended up with damage to the van ( Names withheld to protect the guilty ! ). This was followed by an hour or two of squeaks from the nearby trees rubbing on the side of “Cis” before the wind dropped. On getting up some major pruning was instigated before breakfast ! Chop Chop !
Today the weather app ( Jane the Weather obsessive ! ) showed that it will be much cooler than yesterday so we ventured off to St Gilles on our bikes. The weather was alright but it was still mid 20’s but was no problem as we took our time and the return trip was pretty much shaded by the forest between the dunes and the cycle track/road.
As previously mentioned St Gilles is very pretty with the harbour and there are plenty of restaurants, bars, cafes etc which are still mostly open as St Gilles is a thriving local community in its own rights without having to rely on the tourist economy. We locked the bikes up and removed my pump ( as you may remember I had it nicked in a similar place on a previous occasion ! ) and had a wander around for a while.
When we were on the first campsite here we met a nice couple from Stockport and chatted with them on a number of occasions before we left for the present campsite that we are currently on. They had also cycled here which was no mean feat as they have got fold up city bikes with about 12 inch wheels compared to our large ones on our bikes which meant they had pedaled a lot more than we had. We bumped into them in St Gilles and without much persuasion on anyone’s part decided to sit outside a small bar near the river for a drink. ( see we were only being sociable to our fellow Brits ! )
Suitably refreshed, Jane & I continued our wander around whilst George & Nuala went for a lunchtime meal having agreed to meet up in our site bar at lunchtime for a drink tomorrow should they be free.
After a while we ventured back to the campsite with the shade as mentioned on our side but unfortunately the wind blowing a little against us made it a more of a workout but my partner Laura Trott ( Britain’s Gold Olympic Medalist ) managed admirably to reach home once again without much problem.
On our return we sat out for the rest of the afternoon and had warm Camembert cheese with baguette for tea. The cheese was ready to walk out of the fridge on its own accord as we have had it for several days now and every time we open the fridge door we get a waft of extreme cheesy feet ! It tasted reallydelicious and now we are living in a smell free zone ( well almost ! )