Brittany delights

Straight off the ferry at 8am with no time for coffee and no plan we headed South. Heading away from the Port the only idea was to avoid anything that looked like a big city. I needed to get used to driving on the right (?!) side of the road. Gurty gurgled along, happy for the re-alignment. Now my worry was kerbs not gutters, and french road signs, oh and junctions and let’s not even go there with roundabouts.

At the first opportunity I pulled over in lay by for a power nap and then coffee, phew no major incidents! We stopped at the first biggish town we saw with a sign for Motorhome parking – Sizun. We wondered into the Tourist Information Centre, to the bemusement of the lady working there, and we all tried out our school girl knowledge of each others language. Eventually we walked away with a map of the Region, which shows the meandering route taken.

Next decision, where to stop for the night. Grateful for Sally SatNav we headed to off to the nearest peninsula with the sun shining and the roads winding opening up vistas and endless possibilities.

Bimble to Savage Fun

Stopping at a local Boulangerie for the our daily pain au chocolat we picked up a leaflet, that had our name all over it…

Savage Fun!!!!

So we headed off in the direction of to Erdeven, obviously taking our time as we had just over 2 weeks to get there – no rush then. Following the coastline and the surfers we stopped at Plozevet, an amazing long beach where we made our first friend. We lent them a pan and they returned the favour in tomatoes and a lovely note.

With love in our hearts we moved on the the arty town of Pont-Aven, parking up in the local Aire. We have worked out, either wild camp with all the young dudes or use the official Aires to visit the old people’s home. Lots of serious chocking and straightening up involved. Generally the women get out to direct their partners into the space. Lots of tooing and froing and then the chocks and spirit levels come out. Too restrictive for our freestyle behaviour, and funnily enough no-one wanted to park too close to us. Too much laughter and cackling maybe?!

Greasy surfers and full moon stones magick

We stayed for a week at Erdoven which gave me a chance to try out the Velo Verde (cycleways) while waiting for the ‘fun’ to begin. One night we stayed at the Municipal Aire, which was on the sand dunes, the rest we parked up by the beach to watch the world go by

Over the weekend there were a number of bands playing, some good, some not so good, but all fun was finished by 8pm. Think they have a different meaning to us of what ‘Savage Fun’ means!

Leaving Kerhillo beach with a heavy heart – well it started raining so time to move, we headed towards Carnac for some mystical megaliths. We arrived for a full moon on Friday 13th, as if we knew how magical it would be. There was a temptation to dance naked round the stones, but I managed to stop myself!

Shar’s fave stone
All lined up – but what does it mean?!
I think therefore I am
I see you
Stoned Love Island
As far as the eye can see
All in alignment
Stones in all directions
As the night draws in
Gurty in her natural environment
Magical woods
What a wonderful night for a Moondance
Dancing in the moonlight, everything is warm and bright

Time for a city break

After all our bimbling, we thought we should try for a mini city break and headed towards Pornic, via Billiers.

Billiers was a lovely village on an estuary, where we parked up for one night due to no overnight parking allowed

Arriving at Pornic, with the help of Park4night we stooped at a small plage for 48hrs and then moved to the other end of town for a further 3 nights.

After 3 weeks by the beach it was time to go inland for a countryside view. We signed up to Workaway and found a host, looking for some help with Animal care, so off to the Dordogne we went…

Dreamy Dordogne

After an extended beach break, we decided to head off to the countryside and try our first Workaway experience. We contacted a few in the area and had a reply from the lovely Lucy, her daughter and their menagerie. Looking at the map I realised we were still over 350km away. so we took a couple of days to bimble inland towards Saint Jean D’Ataux.

Stopover at Mlle on way to Workaway
Old church in Villebois-Lavalette which had a secret herb garden
Bugs on herbs!!
This was called Birdcage Walk – very appropriate as I’d just finished reading a book with the same title – but set in Bristol.

We took 2 days to get there via Melle and Villebois-Lavalette.

I have purposely not put any photos of Lucy or her daughter as she told us she had been subject to much online harassment and stalking, mainly via Facebook. I asked if it was okay to show the animals which she consented to.

After driving across fields and fields of sunflowers and vineyards we arrived and parked up Gurty next to the stable where 2 of the retired horses were living. In the menagerie were:

  • 4 rescue horses – Topee (34), Jazz (26), Mandy (who I sang to on a daily basis) and Tina the Shetland pony.
  • 2 dogs – Border Terrrier Lassoo and a Rumanian mongrel rescue Orio
  • 3 cats which we only saw from a distance at night
  • Onchow the goat – who has huge horns and loved to butt
  • 2 chickens
  • 3 guinea pigs
  • 1 rabbit
  • Moonstone the parrot who loved to call ‘Orio come here’ much to the dog’s confusion. I’m just hoping he didn’t pick up any swear words from whilst we were there!!

We stayed for a week house-sitting, shovelling poo and petting ponies / all the animals, a bit different for the usual 9-5! Unfortunately whilst we were there Topee caught an infection and went to the big stable in the sky. Traumatic to be involved in, but part of nature and life experience. Lucy had new workawayers lined up, so we left in search of a last French beach before heading into Spain.

Au revoir mon petit pois

Every girl needs a unicorn that burps flowers, poos rubies and farts hearts

Bidding a fond farewell to the Dordogne as stormy rainclouds were gathering, it was time to follow the sun back to the coast via a cute little village called Capiteaux for 2 nights RnR by the river.

We pitched up at a free Aire by the river which was a local youth hangout – first sign of any teenage ill behaviour which was refreshing to see!

We finally arrived at a remote beach location between Moliets-et-Maa and Vieux-Boucau-les Bains for a couple of days sublime and ridiculous.

The sublime was the beautiful surfers – sorry surf and the ridiculous was the misdemeanours happening in the woods at the other end of the car park. Why do some men love cottaging so?!!

Things were getting weird, which gave us the push we needed to get to the border and over into Espagne and the Basque region.

Things I learnt in France

The random things I find in Gurty’s cupboards

We ended up staying nearly a month in France and I learnt the following:

  • My school girl french is as bad a I thought it was, but people were patient and always had a smile when you tried to say something, even if it was nothing to do with what you meant to ask.
  • Savage fun means something much tamer in France than the UK, as does Greasy surfers – so tame.
  • Motorhomers of a certain age bracket like everything parked straight and preferable on chocks, even if the ground is flat
    • Outfits are always: women wear stripes and the men wear checks
    • It is the woman’s job to direct the reversing of said vehicle, and always whilst standing in the drivers blindspot
  • Parrots pick up new words quite quickly and not usually the ones you want
  • I love vegetables – meat is a treat but not needed every day, but chocolate definitely is.
  • Finally I developed a new branch of yoga called HakiaYoga, this involves combining the world’s best hakas with some lovely Yoga with Adriene and you get a new way to keep others from parking too close to Gurty when you practice your new technique and is a great stressbuster!