Heading Inland to Cognac

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Day 19
Distance – 1875kms
Weather – cloudy, clearing in afternoon

We actually slept quite well last night, the road noise eased and we think the two churches stopped chiming every quarter of the hour around 11. Sadly we’re in bed between 10 and 11 and don’t wake til around 9 (at the earliest), we must have some catching up to do!

After a couple of pain au chocolat for breakfast with milk – uht milk no less, I’ve finally swapped as there is so much more of it and it’s loads cheaper – we headed off and said goodbye to the Ile d’orlean. As we crossed the bridge I took some photos of the fort next to it, and we thought we’d make a detour for a better look.

All around that area are the oysters farms and farmers with nurseries for the baby oysters then bags in the sea for them to grow in. The fort is also in the sea and the walkway to it is only passable at low tide. Luckily we arrived at 11, and the walkway was open from 11.15, so we hung about and wandered over. Once we reached the fort, we figured we’d probably done the best bit as inside was an oyster museum, so wandered back. But not before I managed to witness my third urinating french man of the day. The first two had been by the side of the road, which would be understandable if they hadn’t got out of camping cars to do it, the third man was happily relieving himself up the side of the fort. Nice.

We hit the road and headed for Saintes, but when we reached the Aire mentioned in our guidebook, it seems the Abbey had decided not to allow overnight parking in its car park. We weren’t very impressed with what we had seen of the town so far, so decided to carry on inland (we later read about it’s wonderful history and sights, but oh well it was too late to go back – note to self to read about places before we get to them).

We carried on to the town of Cognac and found an Aire with three spaces for camping cars next to the Hennesy distillery. The spaces were full so we parked in a free space nearby for ‘normal’ cars. Then took a walk into town – only 5 mins away – to wander around. I kept fretting that we’d be woken by the police in the middle of the night for not being in the official places, but now there are around 11 camping cars here so I don’t feel so bad (and one of them is from Sweden and is the size of a bus)!

Being Saturday night we left Charlie in Dave and headed back into town for a drink, and of course being in Cognac we had…… a beer and a pink wine, come on, you know what we’re like!

The old town of Cognac is quite pretty, but sadly our memory will be of the brilliantly over-engineered dog poo bags that are free around the place. We picked up a load of them and Charlie will proudly fill them in the next few days.

Ju x

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