6th to the 9th January 2010

10 01 2010

6th January 2010 Port Louis.

Having not much to do today I was up surprisingly early and took Jack for a walk into town to get some bread, croissants and pain au chocolat, I also took the opportunity to visit the Tourist Office to find out if there were any places that offered wi-fi in the town, unfortunately, nowhere did but the lady did mark on a map two places in the next town that did offer it. After breakfast we walked all along the coast to the next town, Locmiquelic, Port Ste Catherine. We found both places that were marked on the map but typically they were both closed, not wanting to waste a good walk we headed for another bar that we saw open.

Right on the Port, the bar was really nice, nothing like I was expecting at all. Artworks were hung on every wall and every chair at every table was mismatched giving the place a real bohemian feel to it, the music playing also struck a chord with me so I pestered Lorna to ask the barman what it was.

‘Man of Constant Sorrow’ was a song I have not heard before and this mix was very nice. The barman wrote it down in our little brown book and I had difficulty reading his writing but decided not to pester any more.  The album was definitely ‘Mazzanine de l’Alcazar – Vol4’ and I couldn’t make out the artist. A little while later we were chatting to another barman, Lorna talking in French and him talking ion English, which I found very funny. Lorna reckoned afterwards that she didn’t realise that he was speaking English at all!

Hail Storm over Lomiquelic

We walked back soon afterward, through a small hail storm which turned the sky much darker than it had been all day, and by 4pm we were both sat in the warmth of the motor home sipping spirits, most pleasant.

I think that we are both settling down into this new lifestyle we have created for ourselves. I particularly remember the profound sense of freedom that I felt when we first left our home in Telford, locked up and empty. It also seems that the days are easily filled, some days it even seems like there is not enough time to do what we want to get done. It’s strange for example that yesterdays shenanigans took up what seemed like the majority of the day, maybe it’s to do with rising not particularly early and wanting to be back in the motor home snug and warm by sundown?

7th January 2010 Port Louis.

It feels strange writing a blog post so soon after uploading an update earlier today but I did promise myself that I would chart every day of our travels, so here it is.

It was probably the coldest morning we had experienced so far, the frost was thick on the ground and ice was hanging off parts of the motor home. We were snug in bed but after a bit of a marathon tv watching session last night (disc 1 of Cambridge Spies, only to realise at the end of the three one hour episodes that I hadn’t bought disc 2 with me!), heating on higher than normal and no movement during the previous day, the leisure battery had reached its low limit of 11v and was cut off during the night, meaning no heating for us first thing. A nice hot cup of tea soon sorted us out though and the phone call was made to Loic at Queven Camping Cars to see if our hose has arrived from the UK, it had…………yippee!!

A walk with Jack and then back to the motor home was the plan and when we had done that and returned we spent an hour or so cleaning out. Jack sat outside tied to the step and was constantly harassed by a Spaniel who wanted to play so eventually I let him off the lead and they both ran around like nutters for a while. Motor home cleaned, full of water, empty of waste and battery recharged we made the short journey to Queven where the guy fitted our new hose, and a 90 degree adaptor that means that the hose won’t be under any pressure when the door is closed, thus ensuring that we don’t have the same problem again. We were only charged 19 Euro for the work too.

We then spent too much time in a certain burger chain (Hi Colin) tapping away to get our blogs and pictures uploaded and making Skype calls to those that would answer their phones (Mother!!) I even managed to download an album off iTunes!

I find this thing quite amazing. I was very late into the digital music thing and could never see myself downloading an album off the internet, I’m one of those people who likes to have something to hold once I have paid my money, the CD case with the booklet for example. I searched on iTunes for the song that I heard in the bar yesterday and found out eventually that the particular mix was by a band called ‘Skewiff’. The album that it was played from in the bar wasn’t available so I searched on the song title, found the correct version, previewed it and now the album sits on my iTouch, amazing considering I had only visited two ‘shops’ and neither was a record store (I’m probably terribly old-fashioned thinking that this is in any way amazing, but, it is!)

We then returned back to Port Louis (in France Julian) and settled for the night intending to move further south tomorrow.

8th January 2010 Port Louis to L’Epine.

Today is the day that our house in Telford is occupied by our new tenants, strange that also on this day we end our 5 day stay at Port Louis, longer than we had planned to stop anywhere, but necessary to get our little problem sorted out.

We knew that we wanted to carry on going south and even did a small bit of planning to work out where we wanted to head for, taking in two aires so if we didn’t like one, we would go to the other. We decided on L’Epine which is on a peninsula just over 220km away from where we were. It felt good to finally be on the move again, down toward St. Nazaire, then heading to Noirmoutier-en-l’ile,, the road to which ploughed through salt fields before abruptly ending as it hit the end of the peninsula at the other side of L’Epine. The area reminded me very much of Portugal with the houses changing from typically French four-story houses with balconies and fine architecture to bungalows with whitewashed walls and brightly coloured doors and window shutters, a taste of things to come maybe.

Parked right on the beach at L'Epine

The aires book said that the parking for motor homes was directly on the beach and it couldn’t have been more descriptive. We pulled up right next to a sand dune and immediately took Jack onto the beach for a run where again he managed to befriend another dog and wear himself out running around in circles in no time at all.

Jack runs with his mate.

I’m sat in the van now, typing this on my iTouch watching the sun fall into the sea, trying to turn the sky a deep red and failing miserably. It’s cold and there is a biting wind, we are hoping that it doesn’t snow tonight.

Sunset

9th January 2010 L’Epine.

It was extremely windy overnight but it was quite relaxing to be going to sleep in a gently rocking motor home. We managed our 12 hour sleep which seems to be something of a habit these days. I’m blaming the sea air!

The wind continued as we got up and whilst sat in a warm motor home the view outside was idyllic, sand dunes, blue skies and those wisps of sand blowing across the beach. Outside however was a different matter completely, the wind was bitingly cold and set along our top temperature of 3 degrees that day must have been something -8 with wind chill factor included.

After some home-made tomato soup, yes really home-made from scratch with fresh ingredients by Lorna, we headed into Noirmoutier to stock up on supplies. Noirmoutier is a lovely French village with a beautiful church sat next to a large Chateau which hid behind its walls and empty moat.

Eglise St. Philbert in Noirmoutier

Noirmoutier Chateau

It also had a few shops that were open so we bought our Saturday night steaks and a couple of bottles of wine, one from Saumur and the other a very nice bottle of St. Nicholas de Bourgueil. Whilst Lorna was in the supermarket I decided to see if there was a wi-fi signal and was very pleasantly surprised to see one called ‘Free Hotspot.com’. With only my iTouch having any charge we decided to return to the beach for the night and then come back to the car park in the morning to fill up with water, recharge the batteries (both leisure and laptop) and make use of the free internet. Again, hoping that it didn’t snow overnight.

Looking out to Sea, L'Epine

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10 responses

10 01 2010
David Turner

Great to have your update – and some fine photos too. I’m pleased that Jack hasn’t had any difficulty in making friends with French dogs 😉

10 01 2010
nezza

He must be good at languages. 🙂

It’s always good to hear what you’ve been up to. I’m sure some of us are living vicariousy through you!

10 01 2010
Tobers

Hi Steve. Just found the blog and what a nice read it is. It looks like you are both (plus Jack) settling into your nomadic lifestyle.

Any links to the aire guide that you refer to? Also, when you did your motorhome research how did you decide which one to buy?

11 01 2010
Jake Perks

Good to read your updates and glad to hear that “living the life” has not been disappointing. Long may that continue.

Here’s an idea: how about maintaining a personal Google Maps page with details of your route?

11 01 2010
suetortoise

Yes, another interesting installment in the travelogue, and a pleasantly problem-free episode for a change. Man of Constant Sorrow is a very old American folksong. It’s modal, rather than in a normal major or minor key, but don’t ask me which mode. Lots of versions out there (the only one I have on disc is Bob Dylan doing it – very badly). I think I learnt it from a version in a Joan Baez songbook, but my memory may be playing up. Happy travelling!

11 01 2010
Jason Dale

Glad to see you are adapting to your new lifestyle and making the best use of the “free” facilities along the way. Looking forward to the next installment. Best wishes to you both!

11 01 2010
Liz Greaves

Most jealous of you three – sounds a wonderful way to start the new decade, and definitely beats the 9-5 grind – Have fun, take care and keep writing xx

12 01 2010
Steve Evans

Hey Steve, I’m loving the Blog. It sounds like the three of you are having a fab time. Keep it coming.

Evo x

Ps , I’m on Skpe – evo839

1 06 2010
SIMONE MCBRIDE

I have been looking around stevegreenphotography.wordpress.com and actually am impressed by the great content here. I work the nightshift at my job and it is so boring. I have been coming right here for the past couple nights and reading. I simply wanted to let you know that I have been enjoying what I’ve seen and I look forward to reading more.

2 06 2010
Steve Green

Thanks for the comment Simone, glad I have managed to help you while away the hours on the night shift!

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