La Belle France (2)

Tuesday was Le Touquet. The day began with rain and wind.

We did a roundabout kind of meander into Le Touquet and parked on the seafront. It was blowing a right gale. I had a jolie conversation with a pleasant Madame at the horodateur about the parking charges. As we arrived during lunchtime the first hour was free so for a couple of euro we had most of the afternoon.

It wasn’t beach walking weather, you could barely stand upright and it was more than a little moist so we headed in off the front for a bit of shelter. I gave the boy child a piggy back because the poor little sausage was struggling. He’s not a fan of wind at the best of times.

Once we got our bearings and recognised a few spots from a previous visit we decided to seek out the crêperie we visited before. Despite the town being quiet Aux Mignardises was rammed, so the p’tit m’sieu put our names down for a table and told us to come back in twenny, after complimenting me on my lovely French and asking if I’d ever lived there (cheeky).

When we got settled of course the adults had a Jambon Oeuf Fromage as tradition dictates, the offspring settling for a Jambon and a Fromage respectively. On this occasion dessert was necessary. I opted for a vanilla ice cream/honey/chantilly arrangement with flaked almond spinkles, thus:

and Monsieur pushed the boat out with a peach/cherry/booze scenario as follows:

Kids just had une boule de glace and were satisfied.

After lunch the weather had calmed down and we headed to the beach for a still very blustery but drier perambulation.

Tea was an indoor picnic which mainly consisted of Knackis, crusty bread and cheese. It made us happy.

Wednesday was Le Tréport, which on our previous adventure to this region was our preferred seaside spot, although I did like Le Touquet un petit peu de plus this year.

It was a drier and brighter morning and we managed to get off before lunch.

We decided to head for the car park under the cliffs for a lunch stop, but the 1.85 height barrier put paid to that so we parked in a roadside bay to enjoy a mug shot. When I went to put my 2 euro in the machine, it informed me that I had paid until Thursday lunchtime, which was nice.

As we were by the cliffs we thought we’d take a trip on the funicular, as you do. Pleasingly, it was gratuit. It was also much fun.

At the top we encountered small shops, ruins of an old hotel and countless far reaching views which was all smashing.

We descended again and mooched through town, stopping off for ice cream and a go on the merry go round followed by pebble collecting and meandering back along the beach.

You’d think on leaving town it would be pretty uneventful. But no.

Part way back we had a blinking warning light, a loss of power and a need to pull over on a grassy verge. We consulted the manual to find the meaning of it all, tremendously startled that with less than 5K on the clock something may be amiss. The dashboard screen showed a fault with the start stop technology, but when KB did the classic switch it off then switch it on again we resumed and made it back to camp without further incident. Turned out to be summat connected to the accelerator gubbins, which on returning to the UK was fixed by the nice mesters at VW.

Thursday we had no plan except explore Montreuil, so we drove up the hill to the citadel for a look around.

It seemed pretty quiet, being La Toussaint, but some of the eateries were opening up, one in particular seemed to be popular so we headed in.

Moules frites, steak haché for the Bean and yet more crêpe based desserts followed:

V. stuffed we didn’t do much walking after lunch and returned to camp to dismantle the mess tent whilst it was dry. The tarp went back up which promptly became junior spy HQ and as the temperature dropped we settled in snugly, despite the frost forming outside. Nocturnal tinkling confirmed the presence of ice, as the zip was jammed on the John which was most inconvenient.

We packed up in good time on Friday am ready to head for a 3pm sailing from Calais.

The camp had been great, about 140 euro for the 5 days, easy to get to out of Calais and handy for the autouroute so worth remembering for future trips.

In Calais we didn’t have too much waiting to get through security and again were bumped on to an earlier, calmer crossing home.

With the time difference on the return leg we arrived back in Dover only 30 mins later than the departure time although we were 90 mins at sea.

With toblerone and top trumps cards we had a long, slow road ahead, reaching home many hours later after having averaged only 43mph the whole way.

Stonehenge for the next caper, end of November.

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