Break for the Border; 1st Stop – Radon, Normandy.

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“We must thank the Lord for dogs!”

I walked the dogs before our departure and my little friend, who was having a wash at the drinking water tap, started on about the dogs. Last night he had asked my why on earth I had four and added “One dog is e-nuff. What about your ‘usband?!”

It seemed he was being a little tongue in cheek. “They are your friends?” he asked this morning. I told him that they gave me much love and joy. “We must thank the Lord for dogs!” he replied.

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The plan had been to travel dry, sand-free and with a baguette…

That was not exactly how I felt a few minutes later. I had planned to walk the dogs in the woods so that we could travel dry, sand-free and with a baguette, for the plan included a trip to the bakery. Then, with impeccable timing, Rosie went missing. Luckily, like last year, she had simply gone home, although she was a little put out that Mark was emptying the toilet and not simply waiting to welcome her at the caravan!

Due to Operation Overload, our departure for Europe had been delayed. We were making a break for the border – crossing France in just two days so that we could begin our trip across Germany. We got away at 10:04, which was a miracle. It was a bit later after I stopped at the bakery for a baguette, some emergency almond croissants and a lemon cake, but we were under way in good time. It was a long, straight drive to Radon – not a radioactive gas which seeps up through your floorboards in Cornwall, but a pretty village in Lower Normandy. The site was very sweet and Monsieur solicitously parked us well away from a large group of children.

I filled the water tank. I thought that I might as well not fill it to the top, since we were here for only one night. Unfortunately, I misjudged it slightly and there wasn’t even enough to cover the pump. Mark took this well. It looked like rain, so as I pushed the windsurfers under the caravan and mentioned “We don’t want things to get wet.” he replied; “Yes – we wouldn’t want anything to get wet. Like the inside of the water tank.” Well, that’s just not big and it’s not clever!

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Mark not big and not clever; “We wouldn’t want anything to get wet – like the inside of the water tank!”

We did a picturesque evening walk into the village of Radon, through a wood and past fields of beautiful thoroughbred horses and their foals. We were joined by a rather boisterous Labrador who just wouldn’t go home! We were really worried – we got to Radon and he was wandering on the road. I think he was well known – one of the locals had a quick word with him and he galloped off home!

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We passed fields of beautiful bloodstock horses.

I was missing some garlic, so I stocked up on that, a creditable bottle of Cab Sauv for €3.80 and some ear spray. My ears have been blocked since we left the UK. I nearly blew them off when I realised that the bottle of spray for which I paid more than €11 was simply purified sea water! Until this morning, I had the whole of the Gulf de Morbihan available to me for free!

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Ruby with the Gulf of Morbihan. “Imagine what this is worth if you sold it for €11 a bottle!”

A couple of village lads shouted and approached us on their bikes. They were carrying a small, blue fishing net which was bulging with a mud-coloured mass. “Cinq Euros, Madame!” they offered. I saw that in fact the mud-coloured mass had claws and eyes and various other bits of exoskeleton protruding from it. “Crevettes, Madame! “ they said proudly. It was not hard to decline; heaven only knew where they had fished them up from – or when – but I admired their enterprise!

It rather put me in mind of the other morning at the campsite when Mark had taken the dogs out. He heard a shout; “Let me hold your dog, LET ME HOLD YOUR DOG!” A young lad had run up to Mark. “If you let me hold your dog, that girl over there, she’ll get naked!”

“No don’t let him hold your dog. Don’t let him hold your dog!” but it was too late. The lead had changed hands. Rosie is trained as a therapy dog, but this was not what we had in mind. She has had a profound influence on the lives of the elderly but I am hoping that she has had a less profound influence on the lives of the young…!

And to think that former U.S. President George W. Bush supposedly said; “The trouble with the French is that they have no word for ‘Entrepreneur’!”

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W. nailed it when he said; “The the trouble with the French is that they have no word for ‘Entrepreneur’!”

Want to experience real adrenaline? Drive a large caravan around Paris! Join us next time as we Break for the Border – NE France; Sézanne to Vilsberg.

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