Monday, August 13, 2012

Les Francais en Vacançes

We’ve been camped near St Malo in Brittany for a week in a campground filled with the French on holiday. We vowed that we would never come to France in August because they all take their holiday at that time and we prefer to avoid tourist crowds if possible. However, as you know, we were desperate to get back to Europe and find some sun, so we gritted our teeth and crossed the channel.
MoJo's new trailer

This campsite is typical (I believe) of this time of year. There are large family groups everywhere, the pool is so full you can’t get in it, the children’s karaoke is hideous, the roads are busy, towns are crowded, but despite this – it’s all OK. Our spot is fairly quiet and the sun is shining!!

We left the van here whilst we went to Jersey for a few days to stay with Sam’s Mum, who showed us some wonderful island hospitality. It was pretty busy but easy to get away from the crowds and find beautiful scenery with lovely beaches, and a decent lunch.  We wandered through the tunnels built by the Krauts during the occupation of the Channel Islands. It was so interesting to see what the locals went through under occupation. It was a very personal museum and seemed to really give a sense of how life was for them.
Beautiful Jersey coastline

Of course Lawrence and I had to seek out the local winery and taste some wine. We declined the tour, but sat in the sun and sipped on a couple of glasses, whilst we rubbished the vineyard canopy management, the choice of grape varieties (mostly nasty hybrids) and their wine-making – so a very enjoyable half hour!

Sark bus

Sark taxi
We ferried across to the island of Sark for a day. The island has no cars, so you either walk or ride a bike. You can also take a horse drawn carriage and the local bus is a tractor! We hired bikes for the day, even though I was a bit nervous I soon got into the swing of it, inspired by the promise of a good lunch and a bottle of vino. So yes, we are back to having lunch in the sun – finally!

Kate takes to a bike to find some vineyards on Sark

Small seafood lunch on Sark

Back in France, we revved up the scooter and zipped over to Le Mont St Michel. It seemed a crime to be in the area and not see it. Now, we both knew it would be crowed, but blimey!! It was literally heaving with holidaymakers, thousands of them. We elbowed our way around the village at the base of the abbey, took the obligatory photos then sought out some Moules Frites for lunch. It is a stunning sight, but really no more spectacular than many places we have seen. It is simply its island location that makes it so special.

Mont St Michel

Tomorrow we head for South Brittany for a few days and then onto the Loire.

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