8 Brays a Week

When we woke in our field at Cap Hague, the breeze had blown the fog away to reveal a beautiful sunny morning for a tootle along the coast in Vince. As we left, I noticed a French couple had unloaded their scooter from their trailer and they followed us out. While we were trundling along the country lane I spotted the driver of the scooter waving furiously at us. I checked the mirrors to see if we’d left any of Vince’s hatches or flaps open, but nope – nothing was amiss. I eased over a bit in case he wanted to get past, but he still sat there in my mirror waving and gesticulating. There was nothing for it but to stop and see what he wanted so I pulled over and jumped out. As I reached him he said ‘Vous are not in Angleterre Monsieur, in France we are driving on ze right!’ Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! I blame Gill – she’s always telling me what to do, and the one time she doesn’t…? Clearly her fault.

Traditional country Post Office!
Traditional country Post Office!

After thanking our benefactors profusely I slunk back into the driving seat to continue (on the correct side of the road) our travels. We had to make a pit-stop for fuel, currently €1.14 per litre, and LPG as we’ve had the heating on a bit. The LPG is great value at around €0.55 per litre, much cheaper than gas cylinders, and a 20l tank lasts us a couple of weeks. We pulled in at Carteret on the coast for a lunch stop and a wander; I know I’m getting a bit repetitive but I still can’t believe how quiet everywhere is after the mayhem we suffered in July and August. We hardly saw a soul, and couldn’t find a boulangerie open anywhere so we had to resort to a supermarket bread purchase for our sarnies. During the season, Carteret is used as a ferry terminal for Jersey and Guernsey but sailings stop between September and April. Wandering round the terminal buildings was very eerie as the fog had descended once more. The terminal buildings were open but all the ticket windows were shuttered, the café was closed with the chairs upended on the tables and it appeared completely unmanned. There were a few stands of tourist leaflets, and the loos were open so I suspect it was open to provide facilities for the odd traveller like us using their massive car park.

After lunch and a stroll we drove off once more, to an aire in Coudeville. This was another village on a beach which invited a little walk around, but mostly we were there to sleep. This aire was chargeable, but unlimited fresh water was included in the €6.50 cost so Vince filled his boots! Yesterday we left there mid-morning to find a campsite as our batteries needed a top-up. I suppose it’s not too bad, paying for only two campsites in a ten day trip, but I think over the winter I’ll have a look at adding a second leisure battery and maybe upgrading Vince’s solar panel so we can stretch it out a bit longer.

vp1020714We found a lovely site in Courtils, almost at the Brittany border, half a mile or so from the coast. The pitches were under chestnut and conker trees so we got the occasional fright as a conker landed on Vince’s roof in the night! We took a long walk down towards the coast, passing fields of sweet corn which had been allowed to turn dry and brown. We picked a cob, to find it was rock hard and totally inedible. I imagine the whole field will be harvested for cattle feed but oi b’ain’t no faaarrmer so I could be wrong.

When we reached the coast we were presented with a beautiful vista; sheep-covered marshland stretching two or three miles to the sea, with the iconic silhouette of the Mont St-Michel rising into the mist. What a photo opportunity! Our phones and cameras took a hammering, hoping to get at least a couple of decent shots. You can judge for yourselves below.

If any of our other travelling friends are reading this we’d just like to let them know we managed a full house in our ongoing game of campsite bingo… Our early-morning alarm call started at 5am with a rooster crow, closely followed by a yappy dog setting off all the neighbourhood mutts, a loudly braying donkey (really!) and don’t get me started on the church bells… As we were up anyway we decided to make today our longest drive, setting the controls for Honfleur so that we need only make a couple of short hops over the weekend back to Dieppe for our early ferry on Monday. I’m writing this a few bays down from where we stopped in April at the start of our travels when we were still finding out how everything works on a big trip. Having been here before we know we have access to power and water – and we know exactly which restaurant we’ll be eating in tonight… We’ve self-catered the whole trip so far – so one night out shouldn’t break the bank.

Tomorrow it’s off along the coast again so I’ll see you when we get to Dieppe for the ferry home. Take care til then 🙂

Mont St-Michel and some sheepses
Mont St-Michel and some sheepses
Harvest scenes are everywhere
Harvest scenes are everywhere
Fighting the urge to make a corny joke...
Fighting the urge to make a corny joke…
Lovely views over the marshes to the Mont St-Michel
Lovely views over the marshes to the Mont St-Michel
About Ken Tomlinson 217 Articles
Semi-retired biker, blogger and world’s best grandad. Doesn’t take life too seriously. Discovered motorhoming in 2015, sold up and downsized to fund more travels. Now with added Yorkshire.

4 Comments on 8 Brays a Week

  1. Great pics of MStM.
    Doesn’t your engine charge your leisure battery ? In just a few miles our hab batt is back up to full strength, and when two or three days wilding off grid, 15 minutes of engine idling will restore the hab power.
    We only feel the need for a campsite to empty the cassette, which hesitate to do elsewhere.
    Keep ’em coming.

    • Hi Bill, Thanks!
      We’re probably a bit paranoid, we don’t like to drop much below 70% on the leisure battery. In summer it’s fine with just the solar charging it but at this time of year the sun isn’t sufficient. I’d expect the cab battery to recharge quickly from the engine but our leisure battery charges much more slowly. It was checked last winter & was fine but maybe it’s just getting tired…

  2. Zut alors Ken, you didn’t tell the helpful Frenchman you were a driving instructor?

    We started to get a bit fed up with all the off season shut up places in France even though the weather was ok. Seems better in Spain so far, are tackling the Picos de Europa at the moment.

    We have two big leisure batteries, new, and have to top up at camps now and then as we don’t have solar.
    We have started turning our fridge off when travelling so all the charge goes to the batteries. Stuart doesnt trust the charge level indicator in our vehicle.
    Have a good trip back

    • Oh don’t make me feel any worse Jane! I’ve lost count of the times I’ve said to Gill – leaving campsites & leaving fuel stations are when it happens so be on guard!

      We loved the Picos – I don’t know if you’ve been to Fuente De yet? Amazing views from the cable car if it’s not cloudy, or try Potes for an amble round a pretty town. Eating out is cheap there too 🙂

      Good tip on turning off the fridge on short journeys – I wouldn’t have thought of that.

      Enjoy Spain

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