After our pleasant stay at Veigné, we went straight to Pont-de-l’Arche for our appointment with the vet on Tuesday to get Beano ready for our return to England, but again, things didn’t quite go according to plan. I duly turned up for my morning appointment, but while I was waiting, the receptionist received a call and, judging by what she was saying to the person on the other side of the phone, I knew it was bad news for me. Indeed, when she got off the phone, she very apologetically explained to me that the vet on duty had been held up with an emergency at their other surgery and she wouldn’t be able to see me at the appointed time but that I could return at 5 pm if I wanted. I knew immediately that that time wouldn’t work for us and I replied I would check with my husband back at the motorhome aire and I would ring back confirming or cancelling the appointment. Back at the aire, Adonis wouldn’t even consider this new arrangement even for one moment, so I phoned back as promised and explained we had to go.
A quick search on the internet informed us of a vet in Neufchâtel-en-Bray (2 Boulevard Industriel) and I phoned hoping to get an appointment for that day, which we did at 4pm, but at least we were that bit further up north and well within the time limit of 24 hours after the vet’s check-up and worming tablet for Beano to be allowed back in the UK on Thursday morning. We were delighted with their efficient and helpful service and even more delighted when I actually went there and found that the vet could speak perfect English, which always helps, even though I can manage quite well in French. So we have now made a note of this newly discovered vet surgery and might make it a regular thing.
Whilst in Neufchâtel-en-Bray, we stayed at the new and wonderful motorhome aire by the camping Sainte Claire which we discovered last year. This aire is gated and costs €12 for 24 hours, payable on departure, and includes water, electric hook-up and the best recycling facilities I have seen anywhere so far in our travels. It is also very close to Leclerc hypermarket and other retailers, so it’s very handy for shopping, as well as within walking distance of the town and the vet. It was a very hot day and we made the most of the sun enjoying our meals and drinks outdoors, both in the sun and shade (when the sun proved too hot) and wished we could have stayed there another day.
I had to laugh when we were ready to leave the aire at Neufchâtel-en-Bray and I went to the payment machine only to find that it was out of order and I had to phone the guard, who came after a couple of minutes on his bike to collect cash from me and open the gate manually, so that was very efficient too.
From Neufchâtel-en-Bray, we carried on to Auchan in Boulogne-sur-Mer for our usual big shop to stock up on enough wine, beer and cheese to see us for a few weeks until we return and we were happy to see that Junction 31 was open again, al least on the northbound side of the motorway.
Our final stop of the holiday was to be at Escalles, where we stayed for the day and night at the big car and coach park, at the foot of Mont d’Hubert, which is popular during the day for walkers who wish to enjoy the magnificent views of Cap Blanc Nez from the top of the cliff. It is not an official aire as such and not many motorhomes stop for the night, but we have done a few times now and we have been allowed to stay, so until an official guard tells us otherwise, we shall carry on stopping there, as it is more pleasant than the one at Wissant, which has got too overcrowded in the last couple of years.
We treated ourselves to a wonderful meal at L’Escale Hotel and Restaurant, just down the road from the car park and, although initially we were told they were full, while we were having a drink at the bar, the barman came back to say they had now a free table if we still wanted it, which of course we did. We both ordered from the set menus, which work out very economical, starting from €16.50 for 3 courses, and thoroughly enjoyed our ‘last supper’ in France. A bientôt, ma cherie France!