Tag Archives: Charentonne river

Quend-Plage-Les-Pins, Somme, Monday 11th April 2016

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Quend-Plage-Les-Pins

It has been a disappointing couple of weeks as far as the weather is concerned, as the initial promise of sun and warmth didn’t actually materialise and it stayed changeable, with loads of rain and wind and short sunny breaks in between.  Still, we did enjoy our relaxing time at Lac de l’Uby and were able to sit outside on and off and even enjoyed a couple of spectacular sunsets by the lake, as usual.  And, of course, Adonis enjoyed his carp fishing, catching a total of 6 fish during our stay.

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Another carp in a lovely sunset

We alternated our shopping between Barbotan les Thermes and Cazaubon and I had yet another puncture on my bike on the way back from the latter, but at least this time I was closer to the campsite.  Time to change my bike, me thinks….

My friend Dani arrived on the Thursday afternoon before we left and, therefore, we only and a few minutes to enjoy together and no chance to have a crochet session like we’ve done in the past.  This was a real shame, as I love listening to her speaking in French, which helps me an awful lot too, as I have to force myself to think in that language.  It is all very well to read magazines and books, but to speak it is a different kettle of fish althogether, which is the main reason why we learn another language. 

Dani had made some mackerel pate and gave us a big kilner jar, which we have been enjoying for the last few days and when I say ‘we’, I include Beano too: he’s got good taste!

A new discovery in Barbotan les Thermes this year was a fantastic little restaurant in the centre of town called L’Estanquet, where we had a lovely Sunday lunch with a jug of their local white wine.  The food was magnificent and it was finished with a delicious Café Gourmand, consisting of a cup of coffee and little samples of various puddings: I highly recommend it!

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My gorgeous café gourmand at L'Estanquet restaurant in Barbotan les Thermes

On Friday morning, after a small shop at Intermarché at Cazaubon, we started our journey back north, our first stop for the night being at the aire in Roulet-St-Estèphe, just off the N10 south of Angoulême.  We were surprised to see how busy it was compared to the first time we came here last Easter, so much so that in the morning there were no more parking spaces left and a motorhome had parked on the other side of the road dedicated to buses and coaches.  It is a lovely free aire in a very pretty location and with a wonderful walk for Beano at the far end and following the stream.  We also saw some large otters feeding on the field right in front of us, which is a very unusual sight indeed!

We continued our journey north on the N10 past Augoulême, Poitiers and Châtellerault on Saturday morning, when we were unfortunate enough to come across the aftermath of an accident that had occurred at around 5 am between junctions 25 and 26, where a large lorry was still on its side, almost straddling the north and south lanes, waiting to be towed away and causing major delays in both directions, adding a whole hour to our journey.

So we carried on the A10 all the way to north of Tours and then the expensive A28 to J. 26 (€6 for just one junction) just to make up some of the time we lost due to the accident.

We spent Saturday afternoon and night at the lovely free aire in Vaas, which was very peaceful and quiet, and continued north to Broglie yesterday morning for our appointment with the vet this morning.

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The magical landscape along the Charentonne river at Broglie

We never get tired of Broglie, no matter how many times we’ve been here, and that walk along the Charentonne river to the water mill has a charm all of its own, which is a great medicine for the heart and soul.  I took Beano for his usual afternoon walk and then I went back again just to photograph that most soothing of views overlooking the valley, river, water mill and half-timbered houses: priceless!

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Fantastic Broglie's water mill

This morning’s visit to the vet was a bit eventful, as Beano wouln’t take his worming tablet required for re-entry in the UK and even my usual trick of wrapping the tablet in a bit of fish mousse didn’t work, nor did the vet’s attempt with a creamy cheese triangle, so in the end we had to opt for an injection, for which purpose Beano had to be muzzled and restrained by myself and the receptionist while the vet did the injecting!  Not a performance I would like to repeat, I daresay!

After that dramatic experience we set off again, this time headed for Quend-Plage-les-Pins, another wonderful aire surrounded by pine trees, as the name aptly discribes.  We came here in January 2015 and it was nearly empty, but again, today it is rather busy, even on a Monday.  The ticket machine is still not working, so we’ve saved €7 again, like last time!

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The charming aire at Quend-Plage-Les-Pins seen from the woods trail

Beano’s afternoon walk today was on the trail through the pine woods, where I was pleased to see some young people doing a tree-top adventure trail, what we know in the UK as Go Ape.  I wouln’t mind having a go myself, as it looks like a lot of fun.

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Adventure trail at Quend-Plage-Les-Pins

Afterwards, Adonis and I walked into town and the sea front and enjoyed looking at the high tide breaking against the promenade walls and the children chasing the waves: great fun!

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Chasing the waves: priceless fun!

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Looking towards the sea from high street in Quend-Plage-Les-Pins

It’s back to Wissant, Pas de Calais, tomorrow and then home.  We’ll be back in May.

Wissant, Pas de Calais, Tuesday 1st September 2015

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Attractive Rugles

Attractive Rugles

We arrived at Wissant’s aire early enough this morning to be able to pick and choose a bay for our day and overnight stay, which is quite a luxury here these days, as the last couple of times we tried, it was absolutely packed and we ended up in Escalles or Audinghen, but, as it happens, there were only 3 other motorhomes on our arrival at 11 am. I am very pleased about this because I really enjoy our walks on the wonderful beach and it looks like the weather is brightening up a bit after a very wet day yesterday at Le Crotoy.

motorhome aire at Rugles

motorhome aire at Rugles

After La Fresnaye-sur-Chédouet, we travelled just a little further north east to the very attractive motorhome aire at Rugles, right by the park and the old water mill, which was free and also provided a free electricity hook-up and water, which is very unusual indeed! It was a hot day again and we enjoyed strolling along the old village and park, although we were slightly disappointed about the fact that most of the shops, including the butcher and pizza takeaway, were closed so I ended up making a Spanish omelette after a quick visit to the local grocery store, which was open, fortunately.

Water mill in background at Rugles

Water mill in background at Rugles

Looking toward the village from Rugles Park

Looking toward the village from Rugles Park

From Rugles it was only a short drive slightly north west to Broglie, where we spent all day Saturday and Sunday and, luckily, the weather remained sunny and very warm and we were able to eat outside and walk Beano along the Charentonne river to the lovely old water mill. On Sunday morning, there was a car boot sale by the aquatic gardens and we went to have a look, but there wasn’t anything of particular use to us.

Quaint Broglie

Quaint Broglie from Aquatic Gardens

Broglie

Broglie

Broglie

Broglie

Feeding the ducks in Broglie

Feeding the ducks in Broglie by aquatic gardens

The wonderful motorhome aire at Broglie

The wonderful motorhome aire at Broglie

I took Beano for his Pet Passport check at the vet’s on Monday morning and we left Broglie just after 9 am for Le Crotoy, which we so much like and always makes the end of the holiday that little bit more pleasant. The weather turned nasty again though, raining most of the morning and early afternoon, but it cleared sufficiently to allow us a long walk along the bay with Beano, where we can safely let him off the lead so that he can enjoy a good run to his heart’s content.

Beano's walk on the Bay of the Somme

Beano’s walk on the Bay of the Somme on a bleak summer’s day

We went for another seafood meal at Le Saint Pierre restaurant on the seafront and, as always, we were most impressed with the quality and freshness of the food, as well as the friendly and efficient service.

A very wet Le Crotoy, but beautiful all the same

A very wet Le Crotoy and motorhome aire, but beautiful all the same

I’ve just been for another walk with Beano on the newly built promenade at Wissant, but I hadn’t been there very long when a young gendarme approached me on his bike and told me the dog wasn’t allowed on the promenade and that I had to walk ‘in the street’. Very surprised by this, I got off the promenade and started walking on the road, following another dog walker a bit further on, but to my astonishment, the gendarme came cycling behind me again and said the dog wasn’t allowed there either!!! I felt most indignant about this and took off to a side street and started walking back to the aire without having been able to take any pictures and cursing under my breath at this most ridiculous of rules and I fear that until Beano and I develop the ability to fly, we won’t be going to Wissant’s promenade ever again!

The tide was right up and there wasn’t a patch of sand available, but I bet dogs won’t be allowed there either now that it has been all tarted up. I still think this goes absolutely against the wonderful and relaxed French attitude of ‘laissez faire’. Quel dommage! 

And so it ends a wonderful holiday that last lasted for 8 weeks and 4 days and I feel I am ready to start all over again, but it is home tomorrow morning and we’ll be back on the road again on 23rd October for 2 weeks for our autumn half-term break.

Quend-Plage-les Pins, Thursday, 1st January 2015

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Sand dunes on Quend-Plage-les Pins

Sand dunes on Quend-Plage-les Pins

On this first day of the new year, we find ourselves back at the motorhome aire at Quend-Plage-les Pins, as when we came here last Saturday, the weather was rather atrocious and we didn’t get to enjoy a long walk on the beach as we had intended. So, after 4 very cold days at Broglie and La Suze-sur-Sarthe, we thought we would like to give it another go and we haven’t been disappointed.

The stunning setting sun at Quend-Plage-les Pins

The stunning setting sun at Quend-Plage-les Pins

We’ve just come back from said second attempt and it was just absolutely lovely, with a beautiful sky lit by a stunning setting sun and the tide completely out, which gave us masses of sandy beach to stroll on and for Beano to enjoy some proper ball-chasing time. It is obviously a very popular area for walkers, judging by the number of people joining us, even on this cold, winter day.

Belle Dune Eco Village

Belle Dune Eco Village

On the way down, we walked through what looks like a brand new Eco Village by the motorhome aire, and very charming it looks too, but I have the feeling that it is more a holiday complex rather than permanent homes, as most of the houses looked quite small. Still, it is very pretty indeed.

Closer

Closer

So we went back to Broglie yesterday after our two-day stay at La Suze-sur-Sarthe, which turned out to be free after all, as nobody came to collect fees and the paying machine was out of order. At Broglie, we took Beano for his pet-passport check and worming tablet, which made him very sick, and spent another very pleasant afternoon at the aire and walking along the Charentonne river to the water mill and beyond.

Christmas Break 2014 029

This morning, we got talking to a couple of ladies parked next to us on their 8-week break heading for Almería in south east Spain, as their 2 leisure batteries had packed up and their van wouldn’t start, so Adonis helped with a jump-start so that they could go merrily on their way to warmer climates. It just made us feel very grateful for our Elddis Autostratus serving us so well and not letting us down in the freezing cold. Our heating has worked very well, both on gas and electric, and it only takes a few minutes first thing in the morning to warm it up enough for me to get out of bed.

A very cold morning at Broglie's motorhome aire

Broglie’s motorhome aire

This is it for now. We’ll do our shop in Auchan in Boulogne-sur-Mer tomorrow and then we’ll spend the rest of the day at Wissant, where we hope to go for another long walk on the gorgeous beach.

The start of a stunning sunset at Quen-Plage-les Pins, seen from the motorhome aire

The start of a stunning sunset at Quen-Plage-les Pins, seen from the motorhome aire

Take 2

Take 2

Take 3: fire in the sky!

Take 3: fire in the sky!

We’ll be on the road again at Easter and we hope it’ll be much warmer then.

Berck, Pas de Calais, Thursday 31st October 2013

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Berck seen from the beach

Berck seen from the beach

 

 I am delighted to say that John and Julie were absolutely right in recommending this top aire by the Base Nautique, Chemin aux Raisins, right by the enormous beach and lovely sand dunes, very much like Le Touquet-Paris-Plage. It only cost €6.50 a day and has room for 75 vehicles, but it’s free from November to March inclusive and there’s free water, although no electricity.

 

Berck's motorhome aire by the Base Nautique

Berck’s motorhome aire by the Base Nautique

 

We arrived here at around 1.15 pm, as we decided to do our big shop this morning instead of tomorrow, being Toussaints and a Bank Holiday here and we were not sure if Auchan in Boulogne-sur-Mer would be open.

 

Sand dunes on Berck's beach

Sand dunes on Berck’s beach

 

We had lunch a bit later than usual, followed by a rest after the long drive from Broglie (3 ½ hours plus shopping time), and have just returned from a very pleasant walk in a very strong wind on the magnificent beach and pier where we were able to have a good look at the seals resting there and, of course, I took loads of pictures!

 

Seals at the end of the pier

Seals at the end of the pier

 

I'll just have a rest!

I’ll just have a rest!

 

It's more fun with a partner

It’s more fun with a partner

 

Mingling with the seagulls

Mingling with the seagulls

 

Beano thoroughly loved chasing his ball on the hard sand despite it being blown into his eyes and getting his fur covered in it.

 

A great beach to chase a ball

A great beach to chase a ball

 

I can imagine what a wonderful place this will be in the summer months too, and again, this is another destination to come back to in the future, whatever the weather.

 

Lighthouse seen through the sand dunes

Lighthouse seen through the sand dunes

 

We also had a lovely sunny day in Broglie yesterday and it was great having a dog again to walk along the Charentonne river, with its picturesque water mill and beautiful views of the countryside around. We met a very friendly Dutch lady who’s moved here and we chatted with her in French for a while, as she spoke very clearly and was easy to understand. She told us she lived in one of the houses on the hill on the opposite side and that she regularly walks the round tour from her house down through the village, to the library by the motorhome aire and through the woods, which only takes one hour, so we might try this when Beano is a bit older and can walk for longer.

 

The water mill at Broglie by the Charentonne river

The water mill at Broglie by the Charentonne river

 

 I went to the local bakery for the daily baguette and cakes, then the butcher’s for a couple of delicious fillet stakes, which I cooked and served with chips, salad and bread.

 

Lovely views from the river walk

Lovely views from the river walk

 

The visit to the vet’s was quite straightforward, even though the nurse seemed quite surprised that the rabies vaccine was done in 2 separate doses in the UK and she queried me about this. Other than that, it was plain sailing and Beano is now wormed and ready to return home.

 

The Charentonne river at Broglie

The Charentonne river at Broglie

 

So, it’s Wissant’s aire tomorrow and another long walk on the beach, we hope.

 

Ferries heading for the UK

Ferries heading for the UK

 

Broglie, Monday 13th February 2012

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Broglie

 

Amazingly, this place is even more stunning in the snow.  We are used to seeing it in the sun, with the well-kept lawns, but it certainly hasn’t lost anything in this unusual cold spell, quite the opposite.

It snowed heavily for a while last night and then it turned into rain.  In the end, our neighbour didn’t leave: he was just emptying his water tank, then another one arrived late in the evening and, when we got up this morning, there were 2 more, so ‘ The Hollywood of the Atlantic Coast’ wasn’t just for us after all!

 

 

 

We felt tired and went to bed just after 8 pm last night, after watching another episode of the 2nd series of ‘The West Wing’ and didn’t get up until 8.30 this morning.  The Gendarmes came to check we had a ticket as I was tidying up ready for departure and Adonis was out walking Bramble and, after the usual chores, we set off at the late hour of 9.45 am on the D939 to Étaples, where we did a small shop for groceries and wine at Carrefour Market.  We then joined the A16 motorway south to Abbeville (€7.10) and then the A28 to Rouen, the E402/46 past Oissel and west to junction 24 to join the D438 past Bernay and finally here for 2 pm.

Broglie

 

The whole way and countryside were covered in snow, which surprised me this far south and west.  We’ve just made an appointment with the vet at Broglie so that we don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the journey.  It’s a good thing that the law has changed in that respect and pets can have their worming tablets 5 days before the journey back to G.B. and there’s no need for the spot-on flea treatment, which makes it a lot cheaper too (€38 last time, compared to €50 previously).

 

 

 

 

Quaint water mill at Broglie

 

I really enjoyed my long walk in the snow with Bramble along the Charentonne river, past the quaint water mill and charming houses on the hill overlooking the river.  I took losts of pictures again, as I was completely bowled over by the sheer beauty of the place.

Earlier on the caretakers of the aire came by to try to clear the snow off the pitches with shovels, but they gave up after a while.  They came back later to collect the €5 fee for the overnight stay and I also bought some jetons (tokens) for the water machine (€2.50 each) as you never know when you’re going to need them.

 

 

 

Woods walk at Broglie

Easy meal tonight of burger and chips.  Tomorrow after vet we will try and wash the van, as it got filthy in the snow.  We’ll then drive up north again towards the Seine, to Jumièges aire, and the Rouen itself to visit the cathedral, which I’ve been wanting to do for some time.

walk near aire at Broglie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Houses near Charentonne river

 

The Charentonne river bank

 

Aire at Broglie in the snow

Brogley, Saturday 9th April 2011

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Superb Broglie aire

Another beautiful aire by river.  We are sitting outside in glorious sunshine and, according to thermometer, inside it is  27 °C!  Just been for walk with Bramble, who thoroughly enjoyed swim in the river.

So we are now on our 3-week Easter holidays and the start couldn’t be more promising, with the weather forecast predicting sunshine all through the week!

We left Bognor yesterday at 3.15 pm and took 7.20 pm train to Calais.  We did small shopping in Cite Europe and stayed the night there, as it was nearly 10 pm by the time we ha dinner.

 

 

We got up early this morning and were on our way by 8.15 am.  We witnessed a charming tractor rally going through Bourgtheroulde-Infreville, where we stopped for baguette, patisserie and croissants.  We had a short break for coffee at 12 and carried on to just south of Bernay, at Broglie, just by the Charentonne river (on the E402, about 50 km southwest of Rouen).

Tractor Rally

 

We took some pictures of charming water mill and Bramble swimming: it’ll be nice to see them on bigger screen.  Now Adonis has promised to walk me into town.  Great start to holidays.  Sausages and couscous tonight!

Beautiful water mill at Broglie

 

 

 

 

 

Off to Le Chateau-du-Loir by the Varenne tomorrow.      

Charming walk at Broglie

 

 

 

Bramble enjoying a swim on the Charentonne, Broglie