After leaving St Luniere, we drove back to Normandy to visit Le Mont Saint Michel. This is a major visitor/tourist attraction, due to its beauty and one not to be missed, so we’ve been told.
We stopped off en route in a small coastal town called Cancale. We parked on the cliffs and looking down into the bay it could have been Whitby, North Yorkshire.
The port was lined with seafood restaurants and shops selling the same nautical clothing we’ve seen in every coastal place we’ve been. Depending on the area as to what price they are.
Cancale is know for it’s oysters. They have oyster beds just off the shoreline and a small fish market adjacent to the beds. You can’t get much fresher. The prices ranged from €1 to €7 an oyster! Food isn’t cheap over here. It didn’t stop people buying them though. They’d sit on the edge of the wall and throw the shells to the side. You can see a lot of oysters have been eaten. It was like a blanket of them on the sand.
The town centre was uphill. We set off and Kev stood on a small wooden stake sticking up from the path. Whilst balancing on it he turned to me and said “See if you can do this….without splitting the wood in two!” 😲. He then says “I don’t know why you make me say these things, I’m a nice person really it’s just you that starts me off”. Wondering what I’d actually done to ‘start him off’, I ask him. “You drew breath this morning” he responded. 😅
The small town was quite nice, and all in all a good stop off point. It had views from the cliffs that reminded me of Vietnam.
Onto Normandy and to a little aire in Beauvoir, just outside Saint Michel. It cost us €12.50 for the night, including electricity and water. You could walk 3 miles from the aire (measured it on my fitbit) along the cycle/footpath, or you could get a bus there. Wanting to lose more weight, we walked there and back after our evening meal. We didn’t venture on to the island. That would save for the following day.
The little town of Beauvoir has plenty of restaurants for the passing tourists and there’s also a campsite that was charging €24 a night. The hotels that were close to the island were charging €170 per night. 😮
Up and off by 8.15am we set off walking along the path. I was shocked that we were the only ones on it. It was advised in all the books to get there early. The abbey opens at 7am. There were a few free shuttles on the way back with maybe a dozen people that had been in and out by 8.40am.
Shrouded in fog, Le Mont Saint Michel stood majestically on top of the island. Originally there was just a small abbey on top of the island but over the decades it has grown. Houses, hotels and shops have been added and the abbey itself takes pride of place in the centre. It was a monastery, a prison and now a tourist attraction.
The island is beautiful and I’m glad I saw it but would I recommend people to go see the abbey? Only if you’re interested in the history of the abbey or you’re religious. It was €9 each entry fee but it didn’t hold our interest for long.
The cobbled, steep winding streets were lined with shops and restaurants selling overpriced items/food. The facades were old and you could see they had been beautiful, but now it’s just a tourist trap and the shops spoil it.
We were back at the aire by 12pm, had lunch and set off for our next destination. We weren’t quite sure where to head to so just decided to follow the coastline. We have got the most recent North and South France ‘All the Aires’ books and these have become our guide book as to where to stay. If you use these then take some advice, go on Vicarious Books website and check the publications updates first! We got to the aire we were going to stay at to find it was closed, and had been since September 2017. I’ve now gone through the Northern France book and updated all the info.
We ended up driving for 2 hours to a cliff top aire just outside the town of Hillion. It was free to stay, had service points and toilets.
The coastal walk from here was very scenic. With dense green foliage around and the coastline was lined with green seaweed and sea lettuce. The bay of Saint Brieuc is known for its different birds, and attracts 40,000 over the summer months.
We were getting ready to go out the following morning, Kev was having a wash, then washes his feet. I was sat at the table putting my mascara on. He then sits opposite me and was just going to put the same smelly socks on that he wore yesterday! “What’s the point in washing your feet to put the same smelly socks back on?, you shouldn’t have bothered washing your feet” I said. “What’s the point in you putting your make up, as that’s a waste of time too, you’re still an ugly f*cker!” He shot back at me! I really don’t know how he thinks these things up so fast….the abuse just rolls off his tongue and he sits and laughs, which makes me laugh 😆.
We went out for a walk along the coastal path. It was overcast and foggy. The weather hasn’t been great but it hasn’t stopped us doing anything. We walked along the pathway to the village of Hillion, bought a croissant for me and a thick slice of flan for Kev and walked back to the motorhome for lunch. We’ve walked all these steps then bought some goodies to undo everything! Lol
After lunch and a bit of a chill out, we took the coastal path in the other direction. We’d only been walking 5 minutes when the sun came out 😎. The tide was coming in, the sun was shining and there were wild flowers growing in the fields. It was beautiful.
We dropped down onto the beach but there was an estuary stopping us from getting to a small church we’d seen on the headland. You could reach it via the coastal path but it deviated about 2 miles in the other direction. Kev asked if I fancied walking across/through the estuary. I gave him an ‘are you having are laugh’ look 😣 and said “Yeah if you fancy carrying me over it”. He put his fingers in his mouth and started whistling. Knowing what he’s like, I asked if he was whistling for the army to help him 😉. Cheeky sod said “No I was trying to catch that farmers attention over there with the tractor….it’s got a great big bucket on the front!” 😄
It wasn’t long before it started raining and we had to head back. We’d walked over 24k steps 😁. I’m on a fit bit work week challenge so my step count is currently in the lead haha.
We don’t really have an itinerary for where we’re heading we just search what’s around, Google the place, check for Aires and go. We’re spending 4 months solely in France so we can really see the whole country.
Our next stop off was a place called Binic. It had a free aire, but there was a paying machine being installed so it will change soon. The Aires are cheap anyway. If the UK could create places like this with electricity, water etc for £8 they’d make a fortune.
Binic was a small coastal town. In the sunlight it would look like somewhere tropical on the beach. Unfortunately the sun wasn’t out and it was foggy! However it was really warm and we wore shorts and T shirts all day. We took a walk along the pathway that lead to the tiny lighthouse. Kev peered over the edge into the water (we always look for fish). “Come and have a look” he said. I walked over and looked over the edge of the wall. He gave me a slight push whilst saying “Oh I don’t know what happened, she just looked over the edge and must have lost her balance and fell in the water and drowned, I couldn’t save her” 🤔😂. He didn’t just stop there he carried on! “Don’t worry, if I meet someone else I’ll always think of you. I’ll tell her ‘no don’t be nice to me, treat me like crap like Tina used to do’ 😲”
We had trouble with our cooker whilst staying here. The flames were really low, yet the fridge and water heater were working fine. We met a lovely English couple who tried to help us sort it, but to no avail. Time to get the camping stove out until we find somewhere to get it looked at!
Our next destination was a small fortified town called Guingamp. The free aire turned out to be a car park in the middle of town that was extremely busy with cars. We walked around the town, went to the supermarket and headed off. Not for us.
Just down the road was a tiny little place called Pontrieux. Again nothing to do but so beautiful.
We spent just over an hour here before heading back to the coast for our overnight stop. If the weather was going to be bad then I’d rather lookout to sea……not that we could see much due to the fog!
Hopefully the weather is going to pick up on Tuesday.
My fitbit challenge finished on Friday and I won. 102k steps walked in 5 days 💪😁.
We’re going to stay a couple of nights on our current venue. We took a walk down the steep hill to the harbour, that we could see from the cliff. Apart from the boats, 2 restaurants and some public toilets there’s nothing else here! It’s raining and foggy so a day in the moho, reading and doing sodoku puzzles is called for. We may even finish off painting the cupboards in the van! Rock ‘n’ roll 😎