Another chilled out day in Rotheneuf, France

Dinner is on the boys tonight as they haul in their catch

Dave the motorhome hasn’t moved his tyres once again, he’s starting to like Rose and Paul’s way of doing things – drive for a bit, stop somewhere and sight see using the car. He hasn’t had to move a cylinder, sitting on the motorhome camping in Rotheneuf, about 7km outside of St Malo.

We dined like kings on all the free seafood that Paul and Jay had collected the day before. After sitting out until it got dark we moved inside for another movie night – our bedtimes are getting later by the day. With that our wake ups are getting later too – this morning it was five to ten before either of us surfaced – if we’d done the same this time next week we’d be just in time to open the curtains and watch our ferry sail past!

'Oysters Paul Patrick' - they were massive and tasty
‘Oysters Paul Patrick’ – they were massive and tasty

Today we’d planned a relaxing day (aren’t they all?!), the boys were off spear fishing, Rose had a bit of food shopping to do, and I had some work to do on my CV – have you ever tried to start one from scratch after two years of being out of the loop, it’s not easy! After a very late breakfast, Rose dropped the boys by the water and headed to the shops while Charlie and I stayed by the vans – Charlie isn’t allowed on the beach here until 30 September.

After a couple of hours Rose, Charlie and I jumped into the car and popped over to the beach to see if the men were back from hunting. They were just walking out of the water, perfect timing, and were carrying one huge fish in their net. Paul had speared it right through, and then had to stab it quite a few times in the head to kill it, Jay described it as a momentous fight – I’m so glad I wasn’t around to see it. Jay got to see a cuttlefish close up and watch it change colour and also had a couple of goes with the spear gun, but those fish are speedy blighters.

Dinner is on the boys tonight as they haul in their catch
Dinner is on the boys tonight as they haul in their catch
The bay where our dinner came from, it's not often you get to see that!
The bay where our dinner came from, it’s not often you get to see that!

We chilled out in the sunshine and chatted, but feeling that we hadn’t really seen our local surroundings we set off for a walk around Rotheneuf. There are two main tourist attractions here in the town (three if you count the chocolatier, which I normally would but it was very expensive so we just looked through the window). One is the house of Jacques Cartier who set sail from St Malo in 1535 to discovered Canada, his house is now a museum. The other are the Rochers Sculptes – the work of Abbot Fouré, a deaf and dumb priest who chose who chose sculpture as a way to express himself. Over 25 years he carved out the granite rocks by the shore using only a hammer and chisel, creating “The Hermit Village” which contains about 300 carved figures.

Jacques Cartier statue in the centre of the village
Jacques Cartier statue in the centre of the village
Rotheneuf beach (the smaller one of the two!)
Rotheneuf beach (the smaller one of the two!)
Safety first, life jacket must be worn at all times!
Safety first, life jacket must be worn at all times!

We’d already driven past Jacques house and didn’t fancy a museum on a sunny day like today, so we followed the signs to the Rochers Sculptes. Reaching the car park we made our way past a very posh looking restaurant next to which sat a little wooden hut. Outside it hung a couple of racks of postcards and a sign €2.50 to see the sculptures. At this point we knew nothing about them, we’d only seen the signs pointing to them, so we peered at the postcards. They showed loads of figures carved in the rock. We debated for about five seconds and decided we’d rather spend the money on an ice cream – sad I know, but the budget is getting tight.

Looking out to see from Rotheneuf
Looking out to see from Rotheneuf

We followed a path along the coast and from the next headland could make out people wandering among the sculptures and some of the carvings themselves. As we turned to head back up the path I noticed an anchor carved on the rocks. Looking closer there seemed to be a worn body above it, maybe we were on Abbot Fouré’s practice rock – we’ll never know.

Rose snapping the carved rocks from the headland
Rose snapping the carved rocks from the headland
Fee paying people admiring the carvings close up
Fee paying people admiring the carvings close up
The carving by our feet that we hardly noticed!
The carving by our feet that we hardly noticed!

Back at Dave it was BBQ time. The wine was opened and the massive fish, gutted by Rose, was salted up and grilled on the BBQ along with some kebabs and sausages. We heated up a Spanish omelette (on offer in Lidl!) and had the last of our salad sitting in the sunshine, it felt like a proper holiday.

The boys discussing the one that didn't get away over a beer
The boys discussing the one that didn’t get away over a beer
Charlie eyeing our dinner - he got the head
Charlie eyeing our dinner – he got the head

We’ve been so lucky to meet up with Rose and Paul for these last few days, they’ve really helped to lift our spirits. It’s a big help talking to like minded people who are going through the same situation and emotions, leaving our home, jobs and family to embark on this adventure was scary, we never dreamed that going back would be just as nerve racking, but it is.

This time next week we’ll be back home in the UK, it’s still a very surreal thought at the moment, but one that is becoming ever more real. We’re starting to look at jobs on the internet, houses to rent, places to house sit, campsites to live in – we still really don’t have a firm plan. Until we get jobs I guess we won’t know where we’ll live, which is a very strange sensation. Our adventure may be coming to an end, but we’ve certainly got a new one ahead of us.

We’ve also discussed what will happen to this blog when we get back. We’re starting to find it a bit of a chore, but I think that is more because we’re in France and doing normal holiday stuff so it doesn’t feel like we’ve anything exciting to tell you. We get such great comments and emails from people who are also out there on the road or planning their first or next adventure that we don’t want to stop altogether, so we’ve decided to keep it going. It won’t be updated every day, but when we have news or something to say we’ll post something. If you want to see what life is like once you return from a trip like this, then be sure to subscribe to receive email updates whenever we post something – the form is at the top of the box on the right of the screen.

Ju x

10 Comments

  1. Hi, just wanted to say how much I’m enjoying your stuff. We’ve not even done 2000 miles yet in Hettie the Hymer! However our big adventure starts on Sunday. We’re looking at houses in the Toulouse area next week hope to sell our house in order to buy. At 66 today it’s maybe crazy. However, our theme song is Jools Holland’s enjoy yourself before it’s too late & we will. All the best . Don’t forget to save those tesco vouchers &triple ’em up for Eurotunnel. Past 2 years we’ve travelled to France for note.
    Roger

    • Thanks Roger.

      Happy Birthday for today and you’re not crazy – you’re taking control of your life and doing what you want, it’s a liberating feeling.
      Please pass on Dave’s love to Hettie.

      Julie :)

    • Hey Dave ..This girl Hetty Hymer would like YOU to write your stories when your owners are at work .Sort of secret diary to let us other Hymer family know if you are ok and I know a lovely field in Dedham Suffork at £10 a night …John Constable country I lived there for 6 months last year ..my Dad was working nearby so I trailed mi mums Smart car down and she jad some lovely fun wandering about with her camera. Keep in touch Dave and dont forget to tell them you will need an anti freeze rop up xxxx Hetty Hymer

  2. I second Roger’s comment – my wife and I really look forward to your daily updates and think what you guys have done is pretty inspirational.

    It’s great to hear the blog is being kept open and I guess the journey doesn’t end with you crossing the channel. Getting back on the hamster wheel after being away for so long must seem daunting, even if it is temporary. However by the look of it you’ve had such a blast that the feeling of sadness should be balanced against what a fab time you’ve had !

    Tanya and I plan to travel full time next Spring, I’ve now quit work, we are in the process of down sizing and the reason I’m typing on my I phone at stupid o’clock is because our beautiful new whippet puppy Archie, has celebrated his 12th hour anniversary of being with us by waking up at 2.30 am. He’s our travelling companion in the making for next year. Tomorrow ( later today ) I start training him. I suspect I will struggle with him responding to ” top me up ” when proffering an empty wine glass, but it’s worth a go.

    Enjoy your last week and safe journey back !

    Best wishes.

    Rich and Tan. ;-)

  3. Hi guys. Every day has been interesting to read about and it’s amazing to see how your writing styles have changed since day one – you sure there isn’t a future for you both as authors? Are you going to convert your blog into a best selling memoir? You’ve certainly inspired us – come next March we shall both be retired and it’ll be a case of “have Hymer will travel”. Take care and keep blogging. Mark

  4. We too enjoy your daily blogs. We are at the moment enjoying some welcome shade under the pine trees in Carcans. Quite out of the blue a few days before my 50th birthday I was diagnosed with Myeloma (a form of blood cancer). It goes to show even more the importance of enjoying life to the full and living in the moment.
    We are looking forward to heading further south and hitting Portugal for some winter sun early next year.
    Thank you for sharing your experiences
    Deborah & Colin
    Aka Helga the Hymer

  5. Hi guys…just wanted to echo the above sentiments…I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blogs over the last two years, they are entertaining and informative. Have learnt lots about different parts of Europe I have never visited (which is most of it!!!) and enjoyed finding out about travelling long distances in a motorhome….We managed ten days in our new van (the longest yet) with three children and no arguments, which also included three different sites and we loved it…your trip must have been such an amazing adventure.
    Thank you for taking the time out to write the blog and post all the amazing photographs you have taken … Safe journey home and best of luck in settling back into urban life!! Will look forward to hearing how it goes (alongside updates from your Mum (Ju) via my Mum on trips into town on the bus!!!
    Take care x x

  6. Hi guys It has been great following your travels I will miss reading about your adventures and seeing you fantastic pictures. We are going to France next wed for a month just as you are coming back and may use some of the Aires you have shown us. Good luck with everything you both do in the future
    best wishes
    David & Carmel

  7. glad you will keep the blog going it will be interesting to hear about your first days home and back to work, enjoy your last week and thanks again for a great read

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