After our 3-day break at lovely Avoise in the Sarthe, we continued further north to Broglie in the Eure Deparment, Normandy, still one of the best aires we know, with electricity now included in the €6 fee. We walked through the aquatic gardens and into the little town and Adonis went for a long cycle ride to Bernay and back. It is always comforting to come back somewhere you know and love and we spent 2 days as we were in no particular hurry to be anywhere.
The next stop was another one of our favourites at Neufchâtel-en-Bray, Seine-Maritime, where we stopped for another 2 days and had a nice meal at Le Catanzaro Italian/French restaurant, about 10 minutes’ walk from the aire. I had a lovely vegetable lasagna and a delicious Panacotta for pudding and Adonis en entrecote, cooked to his liking or ‘Au point’. I would very happily recommend this to those visiting the town. It was very popular too and it soon filled up with customers, so get there early or book a table.
On our last evening here, whilst having a drink outside, I felt a burning sensation in my foreman, to be followed by the flight of a wasp taking off from it. I don’t know what it prompted it to sting me, but it left me with a very swollen red arm, all the way from my elbow to my wrist, and an irritating itch for about 4 days afterwards, making sleep difficult. I did not have any antihistamine with me then, having to make do with my Mari Rose post-sting cream, but I have since bought it and will make sure to have it in stock from now on just in case…
We then headed for the coast at Quend-Plage-les-Pins, which was absolutely heaving, but we were relieved to find a good corner spot on the motorhome aire with plenty of space around, even to put the awning out. We went for a swim on the beach, which was also very busy, and there was even a car boot sale through the middle of town, where we bought a Ricard jug to go with our bottle already in the fridge!
In the evening, we went out again to eat at one of the many ‘moules’ restaurants and Adonis had his beloved mussels with Roquefort sauce and I had a delicious egg and cheese galette (pancake), all served by a very cheerful and charming waitress: a nice way to end our holiday.
After our meal, we walked the short distance to the beach again to witness one of the most stunning sunsets I have ever seen: an unexpected and glorious farewell from the Somme.
When we got back to the aire, we were surprised to find a motorhome had parked right on the little grassy spot at the end of our lane (our corner) and they even pitched a tent! Feeling a bit caged in and canned like sardines, we decided to leave the next morning, forgetting the idea of making this another 2-day stopover. What a shame! We had never seen that aire so busy and there was clearly not enough space for so many motorhomes to be allowed in, but the electronic sign at the barrier kept showing that there were spaces available, so more and more people kept coming in. It was also disappointing that after paying the €8 fee a day, there was no water to rinse the toilet cassette and that’s simply not acceptable! Going for quantity rather than quality is not the way forward and I fear greed is going to ruin this formerly delightful place.
We had a short drive to Boulogne-sur-Mer the following day to do our usual big shop at Auchan and then drove down south again to Neufchâtel-Hardelot-Plage, where we parked for free in the shade with a lovely green area outside. Being still very hot, we went to the beach again, still heaving with people, and even the water was warm: very unusual for the Atlantic!
Our last stop of the holiday was the campsite at the top of the hill at Escalles, which command great views of Mount St Hubert, the coast at Cap Blanc Nez and even the white cliffs of Dover across the Channel! This is a nice and quiet site and I’m sure we will use it again, although it wasn’t really great for walking Beano as this needed to be done on the narrow road, not ideal, but luckily it is a quiet road and we didn’t encounter a lot of traffic. Not a bad place at all to spend our last night in France!