Tag Archives: Somme

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

Standard
image

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.

image

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!

image

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.

image

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!

image

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!

image

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.

image

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!

image

Chasing the waves: priceless fun!

image

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.

Le Crotoy, Somme, Thursday 5th November 2015

Standard
Le Crotoy Bay at low tide

Le Crotoy Bay at low tide

Our stay at Broglie was very quiet and peaceful, with only one other motorhome staying for the night. We enjoyed our usual walks around the water gardens, where we fed the ducks, and along the Charentonne river to the old water mill, with Beano off the lead now, as he is getting very good with his recall, long last!

After our visit to the vet first thing in the morning, we set off from Broglie at about 9 o’clock and followed our usual route to Le Crotoy, still one of our favourite spots on our return journey.

 

Too many potholes at Le Crotoy motorhome aire

Too many potholes at Le Crotoy motorhome aire

We were a bit disappointed, however, with the poor state of the motorhome aire, which is in desperate need of repair, being as it is full of potholes, made a lot worse by the recent rain, and one needs to constantly change direction to avoid them: it really felt like a mine field. Given that the aire is always busy and that the fee has increased to €6 a day, there is no excuse for such poor maintenance and it seems a bit complacent on the part of the local council, as motorhomers also spend a fair bit of money in the bars and restaurants in town, which no doubt helps the local economy. We can only hope that Mayor will take notice and carry out the necessary repair work.

 

The entrance to the motorhome aire: simply not good enough

The entrance to the motorhome aire: simply not good enough

Our walk around the bay had a totally different feel to it today, as the tide was completely out and the landscape looked completely alien. It was lovely, though, and we thoroughly enjoyed it, as usual.

Walking around bay at Le Crotoy

Walking around bay at Le Crotoy

 

Bay of the Somme

Bay of the Somme

Bay of the Somme and Le Crotoy

Bay of the Somme and Le Crotoy

In the evening, we went to the Restaurant du Port and enjoyed a most exquisite seafood dinner of mussels in Roquefort sauce, fresh prawns and sole. I can’t wait for next time!

It’s shopping at Auchan in Boulogne-sur-Mer and Wissant for the rest of the day tomorrow, with our Eurotunnel crossing on Saturday. We’ll be back on the road on 18th December for our Christmas holiday in Alsace!

Quend-Plage-les-Pins, Somme, Saturday 27th December 2014

Standard
Lovely setting for motorhome aire at Quend-Plage-les-Pins

Lovely setting for motorhome aire at Quend-Plage-les-Pins

Here we are on our last trip of the year for just a short 8-day break and the weather hasn’t exactly received us with kindness. It blew a gale last night at Wissant, which kept us up for quite a while, and today it hasn’t been any better.

We got up late due to the disturbed sleep and didn’t make it to Boulogne-sur-Mer for our shop until 10.30am, so instead of going to Pont de l’Arche again as planned, we thought it might be easier and quicker to try this motorhome aire just south of Berck. This is a beautiful stopping place opposite an Eco Village, just a few minutes walk away from the town and beach. It has space for 30 vehicles, a bourne for water and electricity for 2 and the daily fee would cost 7, except that the machine doesn’t seem to be working or maybe it’s been turned off for the winter, as it wasn’t accepting any of the coins I put in. Nobody’s been round to collect the fees, so we might have a free stay!

Walking past the Eco Village and it begins to rain

Walking past the Eco Village and it begins to rain

Very rough weather on the sea front, not pleasant for walking

Very rough weather on the sea front, not pleasant for walking

Getting soaked by rain and waves!

Getting soaked by rain and waves!

We got here for lunch and after siesta we went for a walk on the sea front, but the wind was so strong and cold that it made it very unpleasant to stay there for too long, as it was also raining heavily and Beano seemed to be suffering, pulling back on the lead, so we took the hint and walked back to the van. We were soaked through from waist down as, luckily, we have very good waterproof coats, but our trousers were dripping and are now hanging in the shower room, which is like a sauna when the heating is on. They’ll be dry in the morning for sure.

A very wet husband walking back to safety of van

A very wet husband walking back to safety of van

Shower room becomes drying room!

Shower room becomes drying room!

The Eurotunnel crossing was nice and easy as always and, as we arrived much earlier than anticipated, we paid £30 extra to jump on the next available train, which left at 3.06pm, so we arrived in Calais at about 4.40pm local time and were very pleased to see there was plenty of room at Wissant’s motorhome aire, which we have been avoiding of late, especially in the summer months, for being too crowded, but it was lovely and quiet last night.

We are thinking of spending tomorrow in lovely and reliable Broglie and then La Suze-sur-Sarthe.

Conty motorhome aire, Somme, Wednesday 29th May 2013

Standard

 

Walking around one of the lakes at Conty, Somme

Walking around one of the lakes at Conty, Somme

 

 

We thought it was going to be a short drive here from Versailles this morning, as Satnav said only 90 minutes and, giving the fact that we were a bit worried about navigating through all that spaghetti junction south west of Paris, we decided it would be a good idea to follow the TomTom again north towards Beauvais and then join the D1001 towards Amiens and do some shopping for food, etc. However, as Satnav didn’t seem to know that the motorway it took us on had height barriers on every lane and we weren’t allowed on, they put us on the slip road back out and Tomtom took us all the way round again, still trying to follow the same road. So we had to miss 2 exits and the only way to go from there seemed to be east, as it finally took us to Paris ring road via Meudon, where we had a chance to wave at the Eiffel Tower as we caught a glimpse of it amongst all the chaos inching forward and, one hour and 20 minutes later, we emerged north west of Paris by Clichy and finally on to the A15 to Pontoise and A16 by L’Isle-Adam towards Amiens. To say we were not amused would be the understatement of the year and we don’t understand why that track of motorway by Versailles was shut to tall vehicles. We have agreed that we need a Satnav that includes height and width of vehicles in order to prevent this type of unnecessary agony happening in the future. Why has Paris ring road got so many traffic lights? Isn’t the idea of a ring road to keep traffic moving fast?

 

Inching forward on Paris Ring Road

Inching forward on Paris Ring Road

 

So, although we had left Versailles’ Huttopia campsite at 9.20 am, we only joined the motorway at 11 am!!! We thought better of using the scenic national road by then, as we felt we had already wasted enough time, and we stayed on the A16 to junction 15 north of Beauvais, where we joined the D1001 towards Breteuil and here found a Leclerc hypermarket to top up with diesel and food.

 

From there is was pretty much straightforward to Essertaux and west on the D920 to Conty. I must mention here another infuriating wild-goose chase when we saw directions for another Leclerc at Froissy, just 10 miles or so north of Beauvais, pointing east at the junction between D1001 and D23 saying it was just ‘5 minutes’ from there, but we drove for about 10 minutes through beautiful rapeseed fields before knocking that idea on the head and retrace our steps. This has happened before and this is definitely the last time we fall for such directions. In future, if we don’t see the supermarket, we won’t bother to follow the signs.

 

The spacious motorhome aire at Conty

The spacious motorhome aire at Conty

 

This aire at Conty is very spacious (room for 70 motorhomes) and it’s free for emptying facilities and parking, with a water borne for €2.  There are 2 lakes nearby which look good for fishing and it’s also very popular for horse riding, with the riding school only just opposite the aire. We thoroughly enjoyed the walk around the lakes, but haven’t been to see the town yet. I expect we’ll see it on our way out tomorrow as we head for Embry, just east of Montreuil-sur-Mer.

 

The other lake at Conty

The other lake at Conty

 

Some quaint caravans by horse riding school at Conty

Some quaint caravans by horse riding school at Conty

 

Horse riding at Conty

Horse riding at Conty