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.
“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 Barbâtreperfectly; 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!”→
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”→