Dave the motorhome has squeezed himself onto a free aire (N47.23800 W2.30096). We’re just across the road from a fantastic beach in the seaside resort of St Marc sur Mer made famous by a 1950’s French comedy – although the reason we’re here has nothing to do with that!
Last night, glass of wine in hand, we sat and watched the sun set over the Atlantic. This is probably our last sunset straight into the sea on this trip as we’re heading north now and the land will get in the way. Almost as if someone had tipped off the sun, and it, along with a few clouds, put on a lovely display.
This morning we woke around 9am to cloudy skies so spent the morning chilling out (me) and snoozing, eating, snoozing (Charlie) while Jay updated his Linked In profile. The imminence of our return and soon to be lack of funds has spurred us into action. Cheeky plea – If you know of anyone who needs a fabulous IT Project Manager for a short-term contract, then please put them in touch with us!
By 1pm (after another eating session for Charlie) it was time to head off. We quizzed Jean, who along with her husband Bill were the other British van on the aire and had travelled quite a bit around this area, as to where was good to go. She suggested St Marc sur Mer so we plotted the details from her ‘All the Aires‘ book into our satnav. Our old ‘All the Aires’ book has been renamed by us as ‘Some of the Aires’, the St Marcs one was one of the missing ones!
It would have been great to have a few days on Noirmoutier-en-L’ile, but time is quickly getting away from us and we want to try and meet up with Rose and Paul again before we finally head for Calais. Winding our way around the salt pans, we couldn’t leave the island without a little trip to see if the causeway was open. This connects the island to the mainland a little bit further north of the bridge, but is only crossable an hour and a half either side of low tide. We had no idea when low tide would be, but a huge electronic sign at the side of the road did – 8pm. Surprisingly we weren’t the only ones hanging around the end of the submerged causeway – it seems to be quite a picnic spot.
On the other side of the levee sea birds gathered around murky water, the only thing which told us that it was brimming with fish (other than the hungry looking birds) were the ripples caused by the fish swimming around, it looked like something from Dr Who. We wandered along the shore, some of us closer to the stinking water than others, taking snaps of the various birds hanging around. I know there are some twitchers out there among you, hopefully you can tell us what they all are.
Finally we dragged ourselves away, after Charlie had a wash) and headed off over the bridge and back onto mainland France. Then made a little detour to see the other end of the causeway. Dave nearly caused one woman to have a heart attack as he started to drive down the obviously submerge road – don’t the French know about being silly?
We followed in our tyre tracks from almost two years ago and made our way up the coast road to St Nazaire, crossing over the Loire river in the process. Satnav guided us into the aire and we nudged Dave into a space between the last two motorhomes and after a late lunch set off to explore.
Just across the road you are on a cliff overlooking a golden sandy beach, we walked along the cliff top as Charlie is persona non grata on French beaches at this time of the year. Reaching the viewing point at the end of the cliff, we looked out across another golden sandy beach – so followed the road along to that.
We had a good stroll along the promenade of that beach too, Charlie is only allowed on that one between 9pm and 10am – guess where he’ll be in the morning?! At the next look out point at the far end of the beach Jay found that if he and Charlie nipped over a low fence then they had a small sandy cove all to themselves.
After some serious stone chasing we headed back towards Dave, amused by the fact that all the registration plates around here are French, we haven’t seen a single English one – maybe the French are keeping these little beaches to themselves!