Tag Archives: motorhome aires in France

St Valerie-en-Caux and Le Crotoy, Thursday 21st Feb 2013

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Le Crotoy

Le Crotoy Quay with motorhome aire in background

 

It looks like fate has brought us back to this lovely town of Le Crotoy again, as our intention was to stop for the day and spend the night at Le Tréport, about 20 miles further south, but the motorhome aire on top of the cliff by the cable lift, or funicular, was a bit too exposed to the elements – if with beautiful views and good facilities – and being such a  bitterly cold day, we thought we might be better off at sea level, so here we are again, protected from the wind by the sand dunes and the town within easy reach.

Sea-side houses on Le Crotoy beach

Sea-side houses on Le Crotoy beach

 

How is this for a holiday resort home?  Le Crotoy sea-front

How is this for a holiday resort home? Right out of a fairy tale.  Le Crotoy sea-front

 

We’ve just been for a long walk along the beach and through the town, as it’s more sheltered than the marshes.  Back on 3rd of January, when we last came here, we had Sasha the Saluki with us and I can almost see her leaping about in the marshes, chasing the birds.  I am saddened that we no longer have her, as she turned out to be so destructive in the house when we were back at work.  Still, it’s just Adonis and I again doing the long walks, like in the good old days.

 

Le Crotoy beach

Le Crotoy beach

 

Yesterday, we stopped the night at the magnificent aire on the pier at St Valerie-en-Caux (free off season), right below the cliffs that remind me so much of Dover.  Again, it was a brilliant sunny, if cold, day and we enjoyed a long walk on the sea front and the marina.

 

St Valerie-en-Caux motorhome aire

St Valerie-en-Caux motorhome aire

 

St Valeir-en-Caux motorhome aire and lighthouse

St Valeir-en-Caux motorhome aire and lighthouse

 

 In the evening, we went for a wonderful meal at ‘Le Restaurant du Port’, run by Véronique et Olivier Warin, on 18 Quai d’Amont, right opposite where the fishing boats moor.  Earlier on in our walk we’d seen the fishermen arrive and unload their catch, so we knew the seafood served at the restaurant would be very fresh.  The restaurant is very pleasant indeed, smartly but simply decorated.  The hostess/waitress was charming and very friendly and efficient and the food was absolutely superb and delicious.  I had the Flan aux Poireaux (leek and smoked fish mousse) followed by the Poisson du Marché (or catch of the day), which consisted of 3 different kinds of fish (cod, sea bream and tuna) and to finish I had the mouth-watering crème brulée.  Adonis had a paté made of pig’s trotters and black pudding in a vinaigrette sauce, followed by scallops and a selection of cheeses.  We couldn’t have hoped for a better meal or setting and it was just the perfect treat to see us on our way back home.

 

Henry IV house and museum at St Valerie-en-Caux

Henry IV house and museum at St Valerie-en-Caux near Marina

 

St Valerie-en-Caux port and fishing boats

St Valerie-en-Caux port and fishing boats bringing in their catch

 

St Valerie-en-Caux Marina

St Valerie-en-Caux Marina

 

We reluctantly left the warmth of the restaurant to face the chilly night on our way back to the motorhome aire and slept peacefully all night, to be woken up by the sound of seagulls and the rising sun: total bliss!

 

Motorhome aire on cliff top at Le Treport

Motorhome aire on cliff top at Le Treport

 

It was an easy drive this morning from St Valerie-en-Caux to Le Crotoy, following the D925, past Dieppe and Le Tréport, where we only stopped for coffee and to fill up with water at the aire on the cliff top.  It was handy that payment at the services borne is done with credit cards and there is a choice of several services (stopping for 24 hours, 48 hours or just use the water and electricity for 1 hour for only €2.

 

Le Treport seen from cliff top

Le Treport seen from cliff top

 

So, after coffee and a few moments to enjoy the scenery and take pictures of marvellous view, we were on our merry way again and got here soon after midday.  It’s going to be another spectacular sunset today, as it’s been the whole week, ever since last Saturday at Boulogne-sur-Mer, where we’re heading for our final shop at huge Auchan once more tomorrow.

 

Le Treport from cliff top by funicular

Le Treport from cliff top by funicular

It will be Wissant’s aire (free all year round, but no water or electricity available) again after that for an early rise and departure from the Eurotunnel back to England on Saturday morning.

We’ll be back at Easter, so watch this space…

La Suthe-sur-Sarthe, Monday 17th December 2012

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This is going to be our first Christmas travelling in the motorhome and we hope to make it as far as Arles, Provence, as our final destination before turning back, but, as always, nothing is written in stone and we’re willing to change our plans on the go if necessary.

We left England last Saturday 15th on the Channel Tunnel as usual and were in Calais just before 3 pm.  We did our shopping at Cité Europe and were at Wissant aire for 4.30 pm with only one other motorhome to keep us company: a far cry from last August when we were lucky to get  a space.  It must have been raining quite heavily here too, as the field opposite the aire where we usually go for our dog walk was waterlogged and difficult to walk on.  Still, it was a dry and pleasant evening and the feeling of freedom at being away is always comforting, whatever the weather.

We had another downpour overnight, which kept me awake for a bit, but Adonis managed a long dry walk on the beach with Sasha, our new four-legged travelling companion, before the rains started again.

As usual, we followed the A16 and A28 south to Rouen and we were making good time until we came across the signs north of the city indicating that the bridge over the Seine was shut and we had to find an alternative route.  We followed some signs to Le Mans, which eventually disappeared in true French fashion and ended up on the A150 and A151 heading north again!!!  We got off at Tôtes and headed west towards Yvetot on D929 and then south on D131 to Pont de Brotonne and finally made the decision to stop at St Nicolas de Bliquetuit for the rest of the day, as it was already 2 pm.

 

Although our original intention was to stop at Broglie aire for the night, we quite welcomed the sudden change of plans, as the view from the free aire is just stunning, right on the river Seine, especially with all the Christmas lights and decorations.

 

View of St Nicolas de Bliquetuit from motorhome aire

View of St Nicolas de Bliquetuit from motorhome aire

 

 

Our Festive Motorhome

Our Festive Motorhome

 

Sasha and I enjoyed a long walk along the river bank and I never tire of admiring such beautiful view.  I took a lot of photos, of course, both of the town and our festive decorated motorhome, full of tinsel and baubles.

 

Lovely walk along the river Seine

Lovely walk along the river Seine

 

Motorhome aire at St Nicolas de Bliquetuie

Motorhome aire at St Nicolas de Bliquetuie

 

Gorgeous sunset

Gorgeous sunset

 

 

The view of St Nicolas de Bliquetuit at night.

The view of St Nicolas de Bliquetuit at night.

 

 

Our festive motorhome

Our festive motorhome

 

 

Relaxing before dinner

Relaxing before dinner

 

We were on our way by 9.30 this morning still headed south on D913/313 to junction 25 of A13 and south on A28, all the way to north of Le Mans, where we joined the A11 southwest to J9 for la Suthe-sur-Sarthe.

 

A very full river Sarthe by the motorhome aire at La Suthe-sur-Sarthe

A very full river Sarthe by the motorhome aire at La Suthe-sur-Sarthe

 

 

A very swollen river Sarthe

A very swollen river Sarthe

 

We were on our way by 9.30 this morning still headed south on D913/313 to junction 25 of A13 and south on A28, all the way to north of Le Mans, where we joined the A11 southwest to J9 for la Suthe-sur-Sarthe.

We love this wonderful aire and we’ve been here in all kinds of weather, but this is the first time that we have found it flooded in some parts, as the river is all the way up to the landing bays and the swim where Adonis was fishing last summer is completely under water, so no fishing today!

We have decided to move away from the river bank and we are actually parked in the ‘proper’ motorhome aire, right by the campsite, which is shut this time of year.  The fee is still €3 a day, which usually includes electricity and water, except that due to the ‘ freezing’ weather the water supply has been cut off even though it is not cold at all, just wet.  Still, we are not complaining as we have plenty of water and we can always fill up somewhere else when needed.

We’ve just been for a coffee and a beer in the village, followed by another dog walk along the river Sarthe and it feels just as charming and magical as the first time we came.

We are off to somewhere in the Loire tomorrow….

La Suze-sur-Sarthe, Wednesday 28th Dec 2011

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aire at La Suze-sur-Sarthe

Well, I’ve got to take my hat off to the French: they’ve done it again.  We’ve found another superb aire right on the river Sarthe, just 10 km southwest of Le Mans.  We’ve already decided we want to spend a couple of days here and Adonis has bought himself a 2-day fishing permit.  I definitely don’t want to move either.

The aire is right next door to the campsite, which is closed this time of year, and for 3€ a day you get free water and electricity hook-up included in your parking fee.  Where else but in France would you find that?  It’s got room for about 20 motorhomes, according to the aire guide, but there are only four at the moment.  We are a couple of minutes’ walk from the town centre, where all the shops are and where I’ve just been for a walk.  There is, of course, a very handy river walk for dogs, so we really don’t want for anything.

 

We had a very quiet night last night at La Mailleraye-sur-Seine and slept until 8 o’clock this morning after watching the first two episodes of The West Wing until 9 o’clock, as we were tired and had an early night.  We really enjoyed the programme and look forward to the next episode(s) tonight.

La Suze-sur-Sarthe from riverside walk.

It was still dark when we got up this morning at 8, but the fog had lifted and I took a few pictures of the aire, still illuminated by street lamps, and the opposite side of the river bank.

We left again at around 9.15 am and carried on the D913 to Bourgtheroulde-Infreville, where we joined the D438 southwest to Broglie to top up with water using the jetons we bought last time we were here.  We had a panic moment when we tried to empty the grey water tank and nothing would come out and Adonis used his plastic tube to check for any blockages, but still nothing would come out.  We tried using the plunger on sink and unscrewing the draining hole, but to no avail, so Adonis resorted to unscrewing the big tank cap underneath the van and that did it, except that there was hardly any water in it and we found out that’s what the problem was: not enough grey water in waste tank.  We can only assume the outside tap had been left opened the last time we emptied the tank and it had been emptying itself all the time as we used it!

La Suze-sur-Sarthe from riverside walk.

Panic over, we carried on our merry way on the D438 past Alenҫon and the D338 to Le Mans, then the D23 to Allonnes and finally here for 2 o’clock.

It’s nearly 5 pm now: Adon is fishing, I’m going to crochet for a bit and then cook Spaghetti Bolognese.  We weren’t that impressed with those Vietnamese spring rolls last night, as they had more crab than king prawn, and will not be buying them again.

A hapy man: fishing available too

 

 

 

 

 

One more thing: I navigated all the way through today without taking my eyes off the map and the road and I’m pleased to say we did not get lost or take a wrong turn.  Anyway, Homer Simpson was getting on my nerves!!!

 

And Father Christmas came by boat!

 

As it is getting dark, I can see the Father Christmas and Rudolf decoration on the boat on the river: Really pretty and original!