Monday 6 July 2015

La Cotiniére

Monday 6 July 2015

Anyone know who's wearing the maillot jaune in the Tour?  We're staying away from Wifi and news, so I'm not up to date with the tour.

We're on a small aire next to the municipal campsite just outside La Cotiniére, a working fishing port with lots of restaurants - even a fish and chip shop! The aire is basic but at least has some shade from trees and space to hang our washing line.  We packed up camp this morning after 4 nights.  We enjoyed putting down roots for a short time and got to say hello and good evening to our neighbours and watch the children play (and occasionally paddy when they could no longer play!).  I paid up and we drove a couple of hundred meters to a car park in order to walk up to the market to buy some food - tonight is curry night!  

It was a short, 20 minute bimble down to this aire.  We picked out spot and set up the table and chairs and had lunch.  You're not supposed to get anything out on an aire, just park and use inside the van, but everyone does it in France, so who are we to buck the trend.  The beach was about 100m away, through the campsite and over the dunes.  It was a very hot still day and we'd forgotten the tide was out.  There was loads of seaweed and rock pools and we cooled off in the shallow water. It took about 3 hours for the sea to be deep enough for swimming, so after a dip we'd had enough sun and walked back to the van.  On the way we used the free cold showers, perfectly fine for us so all we had to do back at the van was dry off, slap on some body lotion and change, then hang the wet stuff up on our line.  Dinner tonight was Thai green chicken curry and rice, made from a kit but with extra garlic, onion and chilli, cooked and eaten outside.  We also washed and dried outside before packing up and walking to the centre and port area in town, as the sun started to set.  It was a lovely cool walk and the waterfront was very busy with restaurants full, shops open and people queuing for ice creams, as we did.  The fish and chips looked very tempting (at least I was tempted, Cathy was too full!).  Now back at the van, we spotted a boulangerie just a few metres from the campsite, so that's breakfast sorted tomorrow.

This will bring an end to our week on Ile d'Oleron.  We've really enjoyed being in one place and with very limited driving.  This is probably our last beach day as we start to head inland towards Livarot, for the tour, and ultimately back to the tunnel.  But we're ready for a change, perhaps looking around some old towns and villages and we might come across some good freshwater wild swimming spots.  So we still have some adventures ahead of us.

'Free' aire by the municipal campsite at Cotiniere

Cotiniere port

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