France - part one

Well I have just returned to Guernsey after an incredible 10 day holiday in France.

I spent the first 4 days with my friend H in Brittany, we took my car and drove to a campsite near Erquy, up on the coast. We managed to put the tent up within 20 minutes of arrival (no mean feat, helped of course by a glass of celebratory holiday sparkles) and were soon settled on our rug outside the tent, citronella burning and the stars overhead.

The weather was a touch temperamental but we managed an afternoon on the beach and another beside an estuary (note: do not bother attempting to swim in an estuary when the tide is going out as you can be walking for hours and still find that the water only comes up to knee height, plus the sludge under foot can be very sludgy and you never know what you may stand on next...not for the faint hearted!).

The rest of the time we just pottered around. The purpose of the trip was to completely relax and both of us found this rather more challenging than we expected - how difficult can it be to lie around reading books, eating salads, drinking tea(and indeed boiling the water on our little stove), chatting under the stars at night over a few glasses of sparkles, and sleep?

Well harder than you can imagine, especially the sleeping bit, I have a feeling we had the feng shui of the tent all wrong, we clearly should have given more thought to the placement of the door and the general slope of the ground as I am sure we would have slept better if we could have slept the other way around - head away from door and perhaps facing East - oh well never mind, we were just lucky (and I mean lucky as no thought went into it) that we pitched the tent under a tree, affording us some shade on the days that the sun blessed us with its presence.

Last time H and I travelled together with a car we drove along the Pacific Highway from San Francisco to LA and used the Sat Nav to find us Starbucks on route for our much needed tea fix. This time around we were using the Sat Nav to find us supermarkets, how times change. I find this difficult to admit but we actually spent over an hour looking for one particular supermarket as the Sat Nav, signage and indeed the detour around a particular town made it near on impossible to find it - and what a relief when we did, although I am not convinced it was ever worth the effort as it didn't sell humus! Ah the trials and tribulations of looking for a veggie-protein fix!

Still the whole trip was thoroughly enjoyable, the coastline around the area is stunning with all the different coloured ferns and there are lots of different coloured cows to look at too (you know me and my fascination with cows!), plus I always find you get this real sense of space driving around France, the clouds seem bigger and the light is different.

Camping is great fun too of course, offering a back to basics and an incredibly grounding experience, no electricity, no tables and chairs, just us, our tent, our blow-up mattresses, a rug, a cool bag and a little gas stove to make tea. I must admit we did get tent envy, it is quite incredible how much stuff people bring with them, and very clever too, hoovers and washing lines, let alone washing up bowls - now why did we not think of that, would have made the washing up far easier!

I like to think it was a restful break although H may disagree as I dropped her back at the boat looking more tired than when she arrived - a bout of my snoring (do I really snore?!) had kept her awake and when she had finally managed to get me to stop (I was oblivious, obviously!) she still couldn't sleep. Lucky old me though as I had a further 6 days of holiday to go...

Thank you H, great trip, just what I needed, hope you have caught up on your sleep since!!

Ross DespresComment