Tag: Caravanning with Dogs France

Vents Violentes, The Beautiful Village & The Eternal Hill – Vézelay to Les Abrets, Isère, France

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Atop its ‘Eternal Hill’ – the village of Vézelay, ‘one of the most beautiful villages in France.’

A wet morning gave way to a better afternoon – and the opportunity to explore the medieval streets of Vézelay, ‘one of the most beautiful villages in France.’ Continue reading “Vents Violentes, The Beautiful Village & The Eternal Hill – Vézelay to Les Abrets, Isère, France”

Trying to Watch the England Match – World Cup Semifinals, Auvergne, France

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All set up to watch the England Match.


Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it’s much more serious than that. Bill Shankly

We had no internet and no TV reception. Last night, we had driven thirty fruitless miles in two directions to try to find a bar showing the France / Belgium World Cup Semi Final. We didn’t try watching the game via the free WiFi at reception. Someone had been ridiculed for even making that suggestion. 

Although when Mark had gone up to use the free WiFi to check the result, he found our new Dutch friends and the French family next door all watching the game live on their iPads!

Continue reading “Trying to Watch the England Match – World Cup Semifinals, Auvergne, France”

A Change of Heart – & A Change of Direction!

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Ruby gazes wistfully out of the caravan window. “It’s too hot to do anything!”

The temperature in Brittany continued to hover in the mid 30°s. With hardly a breath of wind, I found it too hot to do anything. The poor dogs were expiring.

Then we met a Dutch guy who lived in Portugal, our planned destination. He said that the temperature there was breaking records and pushing an unprecedented 50°C! Continue reading “A Change of Heart – & A Change of Direction!”

Beacon 6 & Black Magic in Brittany – And All Because the Lady Loves… Poole to Penthièvre, France

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The Exquisite Light at Poole Harbour

6am and our ferry ‘Barfleur’ slid across a Poole harbour so smooth that it seemed almost solid. The water glistened like a jewelled mirror, just as it had on so many wonderful days when we had flown across its surface on our windsurfers.

Poole Harbour is a very special place. The light is exquisite and unique. Everything seems keen and in focus. Even the air surrounding you seems to shimmer with the brilliance of a magnesium flare; sharp and clear, as though it is charged with its own strange energy.

Poole is Europe’s largest natural harbour and its excellence for windsurfing is partly because it is shallow – so shallow that in the huge expanse of water, you can stand waist-deep almost everywhere! Needless to say, large ferries need to stay in a well-dredged shipping channel to avoid grounding. Professional pilots are employed by large ships to guide them safely out of Poole harbour.

A small boat accompanied us across the harbour. “Do you think that’s our Pilot boat?” I asked Mark. “I doubt it.” He replied. “It’s got ‘Captain Cod’ written on the side!” Continue reading “Beacon 6 & Black Magic in Brittany – And All Because the Lady Loves… Poole to Penthièvre, France”

Break for the Border – NE France; Sézanne to Vilsberg

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If you want to experience adrenaline, drive a large caravan around Paris.

If you want to experience adrenaline; drive a large caravan around Paris.

To increase the thrill still further; be a passenger in the tow vehicle!

Continue reading “Break for the Border – NE France; Sézanne to Vilsberg”

St Coulomb – Back Home to Mr Cock Up!

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The view on which we set our hearts. But was it worth it?!

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

It was a long-ish drive from Noirmoutier to St Coulomb, near St Malo – the last stop of our French Odyessy.

It appears that we have been getting a bit cocky with our caravan skills and it was time for the gods to hand us a leveller. Mark had nonchalantly reversed onto our pitch at Barbâtre perfectly; first time. However, it appears that we were to end our trip the way we began – on a colossal note of incompetence…! Continue reading “St Coulomb – Back Home to Mr Cock Up!”

Holy Fools – Île de Noirmoutier

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Noirmoutier – the beach at Barbâtre. The locals are friendly – here a surfer plays with the dogs on our first evening!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Search of The World’s Most Expensive Potato, The Longest Submersible Road in Europe & The Perfect Storm.

14th September – We wondered if we had made a mistake leaving Oléron. As we departed the Charente Maritime for the Vendée, we drove through a featureless coastal plain to Longeville, recommended to us by Friederike and Dieter.

It was always a risk; Campsite Petit Rocher advertised that it took only one dog – which seemed to be a worrying standard in this area. On our travels, most campsites have stipulated ‘maximum 2 dogs’ although we have not yet encountered a problem checking in with four. In Longeville, however, even my “ils son tres petit et tres gentile” made no difference. The 1 dog policy was politely, yet strictly enforced.

While the campsite looked pleasant, with lots of woodland and the beach nearby, it was quite commercial. “Didn’t want to stay there anyway…” – the sour grape rebuttal of the snubbed!

As always, however, it worked out better in the long run. It was early afternoon, so we decided to push on to one of our planned stops a couple of hours further up the coast. I love arriving at new places and exploring but it is a while since I have been this excited about arriving somewhere! Continue reading “Holy Fools – Île de Noirmoutier”