We are back home after our first year of adventure. Well as close to home as a homeless couple can be. Britain still looks the same, except wetter than we remember. But most importantly everyone is fit and well. Our final week in France was spent in pleasant but not outstanding places, taking in the technical wonderment of Futuroscope, the tattiness of Mont St Micheal, the blandness of Brittany and the supreme wonderfulness of Narbonne Accessoires, a Homies heaven.
Homies Help: Do not waste money by going to low-rent motorhome shows that take place over the British summer. Everything you buy at these places is not-fit-for-purpose-Chinese-junk. Instead, get yourself over to France and into your nearest Narbonne and indulge. You can even have time for a Gallic slap-up before returning home to Blighty.
We did not plan to leave our splendid base at Cenac for another day but after a series over-priced and early-closing rebuttals, we sulked, upped sticks and headed north. As is the French want in not following convention it transpires that the last Sunday of May is Mother’s day in France. How sad to think of all those mothers who died between March and May and missed out on one last special day if born French and not English. C’est la vie.
Anyway, what this meant was we could not find a restaurant that was willing to sell us some decent food for less money than the Greek debt. Consulting our lexicon of guide books we headed for Perigeux to camp. En-route we managed to find a decent restaurant selling great food at a reasonable price, a variety meal for me, and 8 hot wings for Tracy. God bless you KFC.
The Aire at Perigreux was a dump, we moved on. We tried Chateau L’Eveque, a soulless village next to a railway line, we moved on. This is one of the great things about being in France as a homie; if you don’t like the look of one place, don’t worry, move on.
We pulled into Brantome, a beautiful town known as the Venice of the north. I wouldn’t go that far but we did spend a pleasant evening in a riverside bar with a carafe of vino watching a gang of mallards harass the only duck on the river.
Here are some pictures of Brantome:
An uneventful drive through some uninspiring country side brought us in the early afternoon to the car park of Futuroscope, Poitiers. For those not in the know Futuroscope is a Frenchie version of Epcot in Disneyworld. Mostly staged around the medium of film. There are no high speed roller coasters or any other gut wrenching, vomit inducing rides to be had. The plan was to bed down for the night and plan a full-frontal assault on park in the morning. I was a bit restless in having to wait so long so decided to take a mosey on over to the park. To my delight I found you can have access to the park from 5pm for only 19€ a pop. This we did. The place was empty and we went on every ride at least twice, saw the spectacular evening show and got parking all for the price of a KFC bargain bucket back home. Top Chicken.
Toursit Tip: Go to Futuroscope out of July and August and buy the after 5pm ticket. You have loads to have time to see and do it all. Plus you do not have to hang around hours for the night show.
Here is a little video of us of the Dancing with Robots ride.
Mont St Michael 02/06/2015
A day spent mostly driving through North Western France. Not a lot to report really except for the discoverer of the aforementioned Narbonne, a true Aladin’s cave of homie heaven. We left many Euros lighter for the experience. We arrived on a windswept Brittany coastline after driving through kilometre after kilometre of dreary blandness. Even the temperature had plummeted by the time we arrived. Mont St Michael was a place I had always wanted to visit with its Arthurianesque projection rising obliquely from the sea. Tracy, who had been before, warned me not to expect too much.
The next morning we cycled along the promontory towards the mount and then leapt upon a push-me-pull-you shuttle bus for the final few yards. I could not wait to get behind the walled façade of this magical place. I wished hadn’t of bothered. It was just a sea of heaving bodies entering and leaving batchy tat shops. We probably only spent an hour here, and that was about fifty minutes too long. Give me the ‘lesser’ Cornish version any day.
Ploermel 03/06 – 05/06/2015
Frozen to the bone we headed inland for the last bit of sunshine before inevitable wetness of an English Summer. The town identified for our last long day of summer was Josselin. It was quaint, it had a castle, a river, a small old town full of American tourists and consequently overpriced restaurants. We took a picture and left.
We next headed for the town of Ploermel. A town sat upon the lake where King Arthur pulled excalliber from the lake.
A picture of the lake;
We had not been long in our spot when a fleet of old brightly painted lorries turned up. Yes the circus was coming to town and they were setting up right next to our van. This was no Cirque do Solleil, this was no Billy Smarts. This was a new wave, multi dog owning, multi child scavenging circus show. Think Bath city centre. The good thing about a new wave circus show is they are not up all night prctising their skills or building human pyramids. No, they are smoking weed and after a couple of spliffs are in a dope induced coma for the night. Excellent.
The next day we went for a cycle ride around the forest. A ride that mainly involved pushing or carrying our bikes through forest and over rivers. This was a trail meant for serious mountain bikers and we were on townie electric bikes. I must improve my french to stop a repeat.
On arriving back at our camp we were slightly startled to find The Great Serpendo and his followers had built a high wire act around us. An early night and early departure ensued before the Lion act turned up.
Roscoff 05/06/2015 – 08/06/2015
We spent the last few days in car parks around the ferry port of Roscoff. This included the towns of St Pol de Leon
itself. Morlaix is a wonderful spot and a good place to spend your last day in France. St Pol has a great parking spot for free on the Quai and a quiet couple of days can be whiled away in Roscoff itself.
The ferry trip home was smooth and calm. We had had a wonderful first trip and now looked forward to the birth of our first grandchild before leaving again in September, this time heading East. However, before that we arrived back in Britain. We had only been back five minutes when I stopped to let a car out. This gesture of good will was met by a tirade of abuse and hand gesturing by a lorry driver. Welcome to Britain.
Loe to all
Some pictures of Brittany and a Hobbit: