Our year on the road has sadly come to an end, although to be precise, it has been 13 months and 5 days, and we both feel very proud of our achievement and have no regrets whatsoever. It would be fair to say that we are also feeling a bit deflated today, but I am sure that, as we adapt to our new ‘sedentary’ life in the next few weeks, we will be just fine and happy with our surroundings and we still have our school holidays to look forward to for the next couple of years, the first one being only in a couple of months…
We spent 2 days in Broglie, still sunny and warm, and I loved walking down to the water mill with Beano, so beautiful and picturesque, and now sporting a brand new roof. On Thursday morning, we followed the cycle route for a bit towards Bernay just for a change and ended up in the water gardens and the old village centre before returning to the motorhome aire. The aire filled up both days, confirming my impression that it has grown in popularity since we first discovered it a few years ago.
From Broglie, we went straight to Neufchâtel-en-Bray, one of the best aires around, with its new shower block with disable facilities and a washing machine and tumble drier, which I used again (the machine that is, preferring to dry clothes in the sun) my last lot of laundry before returning to the UK. Once again, we enjoyed the superb walk along the ‘voie verte’ cycle path that leads all the way to Dieppe, 34km away, and stopped to admire the idyllic pastoral views with the cattle grazing on lush green fields.
We did a bit of shopping and I stocked up on crocheting supplies at La Foir’ Fouille and bought a new pair of Ipanema flip flops at La Halle for next summer as they were going half price and I couldn’t resist. All these shops are a mere 5-minute walk from the aire, which makes it even more desirable a place to stop. We also took Beano for his usual check-up and worming tablet at the vet in town, signalling the end of the trip.
The Somme was next on our schedule, stopping at the aire in Quend-Plage-le-Pins, which now has a new barrier-operate entry and exit system costing 8 euros a day. Once again, it was very busy, being a Sunday, and the town itself was very lively with visitors, giving it a very happy feeling and jolly atmosphere. It was, however, a little too windy to enjoy a day on the beach and the orange flag was up with the loud speakers warning people it was dangerous to swim, but we still enjoyed our walk on the seafront and many people seemed undeterred by the wind, relaxing on the beach.
Our next and final stop was at pretty Wissant, Pas de Calais, so handy for the Eurotunnel, and always a delight to visit. Once more, we went for a long and relaxin morning walk on the beach, along the sand dunes and the attractive view of the town from the shore. It was cloudy in the morning and we couldn’t really see the English coastline, but it all changed in the afternoon when the sun came out, as did the tourists, including ourselves, for a final sunbathing session and a dip in the ocean for Adonis.
The only thing that spoilt our visit to lovely Wissant slightly is that the aire itself seems to have been neglected since our last visit a couple of years ago, with overgrown bushes, messy water disposal area and the access to the town through the back of the aire has been blocked. Did the Neighbours complain about too many motorhomes taking a short-cut through their street? Is it under new management who’s not too fond of travellers? Nevertheless, this is a very attractive town to spend our last two days in France, and indeed in Europe, after our 13-month road trip and I am sure we will be coming back soon enough.
This morning, we got up bright and early at 6.30 and were boarding the Eurotunnel by 8 a.m., making it indeed the end of the road. For now!