(An old pathway leading to the château beside the campsite near Bordeaux)
Well it’s been too long….. I’m starting to get phone calls and texts asking where we are and when are we coming home so it time for a check-in. Last time we chatted (well I chatted, you guys have been very quiet!) we were just outside Carcassonne. Then we moved to Bordeaux, which I loved, lots of vineyards and a beautiful campsite beside a château with loads of birds and loads of birdsong. We also visited a wine cooperative there (hello Dave, we have your wine!) Well… don’t tell Dave but I think it might have just been a one man small business vineyard. He was a lovely man though and his wine was lovely too. The entire transaction was conducted in French. And not just, “I’ll have some of your wine for Dave“, “here you are, hope he likes it” No, we were in his house, shaking hands, patting the dogs, tasting two reds, two whites and a rosé, hearing about their merits, calculating costs, visiting the storeroom and shaking hands goodbye. And he had great hands, working hands. We were delighted with ourselves and with Dave for sending us on a quest…. to a wine cooperative… Mum’s the word, though.
(A very old church in Surgeres)
Then we went to Surgeres which is near La Rochelle. We saw the Blood Red Moon there and coincidentally we heard and felt some Blood-sucking mosquitos. I always react badly to bites so I was feeling a little poorly (Hello Helen! you taught me that word and it exactly describes how I was!) and bad-tempered and grumpy and not a happy blogger… sad face 😦 I’m all better now though!
(Place Royale in Nantes and possibly St. Nicholas church in background)
Then we went to Nantes, a lovely city with a great, easy-to-use tram system. The campsite was very well landscaped and the trees through the bedroom window were absolutely perfect. I used to lie down and look at them when the itching got too bad and they were very soothing. Even more soothing was the French anti-histamine.
(There’s a bunch of people kite surfing on the beach in front of our campsite. I just took this picture of one guy setting up. Once the kite is up he then has to walk all the way out to the water with his surfboard under his arm. Although it’s not clear from this picture the tide is out about 1km from the shore)
So, you’re all up to date, today we’re in a place called Asserac in Pays de la Loire. It’s north of Saint Nazaire and on the coast. In fact our campsite is right on the beach. And the weather isn’t too bad… 16ºC bright with the odd burst of sunshine. We thought the Nantes campsite had the best toilets of our trip (yes we’re back to toilets…) but this site in Asserac beats all the rest. Maybe I’ll get some pictures later…. what’s the French for “your toilets are very photogenic”? In case I don’t, think very nice hotel lobby and then add some toilets and some trees! And automatic sliding doors (not the toilet doors.) And self-flushing toilets! There’s even brightly coloured hand-washing sinks for children, in three different heights! Don’t get me started on the dish washing sinks… you know those professional hose things that people washing dishes in a restaurant kitchen use (you might have seen them on the telly?) well they’re here! And they have plugs for the sinks! I used to think a plug for the sink was no big deal… It is a big deal.
(Hello Laura! The beach here is beautiful and reminds me of your beach at Ballytrent!)
So that’s it, we’re on our way home from here. The big ship will be leaving Cherbourg on Wednesday evening and arriving in Rosslare on Thursday afternoon and we’ll be on it.
See you soon, Ireland! Mairead.