Category Archives: France – Autumn 2018

France – Autumn 2018

As usual – back in Wimereux – 10 October 2018

Back to Wimereux to see out the end of this trip.

Sat-nav misbehaved a bit again, going on some strange roads and getting lost in Boulougne-sur-Mer.

The last campsite (Camping La Pinède ) was a bit rubbish.  It had nice big pitches but was not at all geared up for low season.  It was also plagued by ladybird type creatures with wings.  Although in theory in walking distance of Etaples, the walk was far to dangerous due to the fact the pavement has been designated a cycle path, and it wasn’t long before one of the selfish morons tried to take us out.  Walk aborted, staying alive is better than nursing wheelmarks over our backs.

Camping l’Olympic is looking very manicured now. The hedges have all been cut back making it a lot easier to park, and the wi-fi seems to available at the pitches (for a fee). Well done Wimereux. The place also seems to be going upmarket with property prices going through the roof. Twenty five thousand euros for a garage to park your car in?

Wimereux – October – still buzzing but the sun is shining

Here is the full trip:

Boiry-Notre-Dame to Etaples – 09 October 2018

The campsite at Boiry-Notre-Dame is very pleasant, but in low season there is not enough to do to stay for more than a night.  Grandfather’s brother died at the battle of Arras, at La Chapelle de Feuchy.  We had not noticed that this campsite is very close to this place.   We previously tried and failed to find great uncle Charles, but now with a bit of help from Google maps, here is his grave at the cemetery in Tilloy-lès-Mofflaines.

Great Uncle Charles

He was not alone – what a waste

Anyway, here is today’s trek:

Langres to Boiry-Notre-Dame – 08 October 2018

Another long drive north to get within striking distance of home.

Boiry-Notre-Dame is a nice enough place but with absolutely nothing to do.  The campsite has shut down for the season but is still accepting guests, who are sitting around in their winter woolies staring into space and telling their dogs to stop barking at strangers.

Oh how sweet… 🤮

Tain-l’Hermitage – 06 October 2018

There is a Saturday morning market here, off we went for a look.  It was a bit rubbish by French standards, just occupying the square by the fountain.  No roast chickens either.

Market at Tain-l’Hermitage

Tournon-sur-Rhône from across the river

We planned to visit Chocolate City in the afternoon, but forgot.  We forgot about the tourist train as well – we are rubbish tourists at times.

The bits of tree we got at Tarascon are now in the bin, as they were going a bit brown at the edges, not to mention transporting bits of tree in a motorhome can be a bit troublesome.

The campsite is full again, with people getting turned away by late afternoon.  We just spotted that it is now part of the ACSI discount scheme, which along with the fact that many other places are now shut, may make it a no-go area for the future at low season.

Tarascon to Tain-l’Hermitage – 05 October 2018

Heading for home now, and Tain-l’Hermitage is as good a place to stop as any, as was the case last year.  No riverside pitch this time, as the place is full.

Took the D35 out of Tarascon, then over the bridge onto the D2.  So far so good.  Then the idiot sat-nav decided it would be a great idea to try the D126 for a shortcut.  Not a good idea at all, and the sat-nav now has been informed we are 4000kg and not 3500kg.  That’s her told.  Just because we are allowed to go on a particular road, it doesn’t mean we want to go on that road.

The Rhône – again

Maybe tomorrow we can visit Chocolate City

Still in Tarascon – 04 October 2018

Finally the weather has turned nice again – a nice breeze has replaced the gales and the sun seems warm again.  We went round the castle next door – Château de Tarascon.  This is an impressive middle age structure, inhabited by various French toffs before it eventually became a prison.  The locals eventually started to restore it in the 19th century before it ceased to be a prison in the early 20th century.

Fountain of Fortune – we could be doing with this

Looks like there could be a few stairs to climb

There were more than a few – there were lots and lots and lots:

On the roof with mountains in the distance

On the way up we got to see a mural of The Tarasque, a local beast of folklore, half dragon, half bear, half ox, and half turtle and half scorpion.  Those are too many halves to make a whole, but there seems to some confusion locally about the relative proportions of the components.  Eventually, it came a cropper at the hands of the villagers following the intervention of some young woman, and now there are images of it all over the place.  Here it is:

Tarasque of Tarascon

The above is an artwork by M. Chirstain Lacroix.  We think this is also the Tarasque:

We can make out the tail, body, head and teeth, but what is that in its mouth?

There were some other strange things on display, like this unfortunate chap:

Wasn’t he in Quatermass and the Pit?

Bye the time we left we realised we spent three hours wandering around this place.  Decent value for money.

Tarascon – 02 October 2018

The local market is on today so we went for a look. It is still very windy, with even the locals getting annoyed with it.

Tarascon market

Tartarin – local hero

Tartarin, it appears, was a local windbag who boasted of his made-up hunting exploits.  To appease his critics, he went to Africa and bagged a lion, turning him into a local legend.  In fact, Tartarin was a character invented in a book by Alphonse Daudet, but the locals are evidently more proud of the fictional character created by the author, than the author himself, who takes second place in the statue.

A clock in the old town

Tarascon is a lovely place that seems just a bit down on its luck at the minute.  Looking at the Google Maps images which were updated two years ago, there seems to have been more going on, with more shops open then.  The town hall is particularly impressive:

Tarascon town hall

Balaruc-les-Bains to Tarascon – 01 October 2018

The weather has finally turned bad – no rain but stupidly  windy on the A9 autoroute going north.  On arrival at Tarascon  and checking the weather forecast, it looked like the winds were up to 90kph on the way up.  The sat-nav also went nuts, trying to take us in to Nimes, then ignoring the correct juntion for Tarascan.   No matter, we got here.

This is the maddest place ever.  There is a car park next to the campsite, which we arrived at an hour before reception was due to open, so parked up in the car park, under the sign saying no motorhomes.  The police arrived, drove around me looking at the sign, then drove off again.  Then some strange man, believed to be the campsite owner, let us into the site.

We parked up on a pitch, soon to be greeted by a small kitten which was very friendly, but scared of sudden movements.  Then the chickens arrived.  They clucked around for a while, then left.  The strange man/campsite owner returned clutching a toy fire engine and a plastic tricycle,  along with a couple of dogs, which he introduced to us.  The were very nice, not biting us.

Eventually reception opened so we booked in.  The strange man/campsite owner returned and gave us some bits of tree.  We have no idea why he did this, or what we are supposed to do with the tree, but but we accepted it gracefully and put in a glass.

The campsite man gave us some tree