“Turn left at Place du Bac, then board the ferry….”
It served us right. Regular readers will be well aware of our love-hate relationship with Mr Garmin from previous posts. This one came out of the blue as we were enjoying the run from Honfleur to our next port of call at Fécamp. If we’d looked a little closer at the planned route we’d have seen we had to cross the Seine where no bridge exists. Luckily Vince wasn’t too big for the little ferry, and luckier still, there was no charge for the service! It saved us a forty minute round trip so we sat back and let Capitaine Pugwash do the driving.
Fécamp turned out to be a busy fishing port, with free parking slots set aside for camper vans all along the quay. And there were hundreds of campers! The French half-term starts this week so most of France’s motorhoming population seemed to be trying to find a space along with us. We found a handy slot right beside the sign which said ‘No Campingcar Parking’ but as the French vans were all ignoring it, we did too! «bof»
The town is known for its long promenade, so we joined the dozens of French families strolling from one end to the other alongside the pebbly beach in the late autumn sunshine. There were cafés and a few souvenir shops still open along the way so we’re not quite at the end of the season in these parts. We spent a little while watching the yachts berthing in the busy marina, and the footbridge lifting and dropping to let them pass. It was going up and down like a…., like a…, like a thing which goes up and down a lot. Before turning in for the night we took a drink over to the harbour wall behind Vince to look at the lights of the town and the reflections on the water. There we got chatting to a lovely couple from Belgium who introduced us to their two Chihuahuas. They were very nice, but not like proper dogs – they’d barely make a decent sandwich.
This morning was quite simply stunning. There wasn’t a breath of wind, and the sun felt amazing on our faces as we took a final tour round the town, picking up une baguette, and marvelling at the Benedictine Abbey which we’d somehow missed the day before. The biggest surprise of all was the crowd forming on the beach. It looked like a social club of some kind, all very friendly and chatty chatty until at some unseen signal, they all ripped off their clothes to reveal swimming cozzies and then they ran full pelt, screaming into the sea! Rather them than me, that’s all I can say; the cold water did nothing for the fellas egos as they emerged to warm towels and hot coffee…
All good things come to an end sadly, and we have just completed the short hop back up the coast to Saint-Valery-en-Caux for our last evening here. It’s forty minutes from Dieppe where our ferry departs at Oh God o’clock tomorrow morning. We land in the UK at 8.30am ready to tackle the Monday morning M25 traffic eek! I guess we’ll have to say our goodbyes here as it’s straight back to work tomorrow evening for me, and Tuesday for Gill but that’s ok; we deliberately chose that sailing so we could squeeze out every last second of our time away in Vince. When we get home he’ll need his annual service and habitation check but then we’ll be all good for a few winter weekends away, and hopefully another hop over the channel in the February half term.
So as always, thanks for coming along with us – it just wouldn’t be the same without you!