We made it to Skipper's Bar at Hauteville-sur-Mer and are parked up in a free aire only 200m from the sea. We didn't even know this aire existed, in fact when we last came here about 14 years ago, it was just a normal car park. It took us a while to get here though, as I tapped the wrong coordinates into the satnav!
We were ready for our beds last night and both slept like logs. I woke at about 0815, after about 11 hours in bed and a quiet night - no cars, sirens or loud voices. After breakfast and a brew, we emptied the grey water and loo before heading off. It was at this point I sent us in the wrong direction and didn't realise it until two hours into our journey. So instead of getting to Skippers at 1230, it was now estimating 1630 :-( Given that we stopped off at a Super U to buy some food and drove down the road a while before pulling over for lunch. Something to eat and a brew fortified us for the longer journey. After a while my eyes were suffering so Cathy took over driving for a couple of hours. I finished off the drive to Hauteville.
Surprised at the free aire, we pulled into a pitch and wasted no time walking down to the beach for a paddle. By now it was nearly 1800 and most people were heading home. Now barefoot, we walked across the sand to the water's edge - the sea was WARM! It felt very warm in fact, so much so we turned back to get our swimmers on, grab towels and seats and return. Back at the beach we were straight into the sea - absolute bliss! A dip eased the stresses, strains and heat of our long drive and after a sunbathe we returned to the van for a brew, shower and change of clothes. Now we were ready to eat.
Skipper's Bar is run by a French Moroccan man and his French wife. It sits just back from the beach and is a basic snack-bar, but specialises in the Bouchot Moules, the small, sweet, early season mussels that grow just a short distance away. We first visited here about 14 years ago, when we were on holiday in a gîte in Hudemesnil, just down the road towards Granville. Mr T and Nicola were with us. That time the family had just taken over the bar and they had young children, now clearly grown up and helping to serve customers. We always said we'd like to return and I found its website last week. The Bouchot were as good as we remembered them, perhaps better, accompanied by frîtes and a carafe of chilled rosé. A young local fisherman pulled up opposite, having towed his fishing boat off the beach with his tractor. He was a colourful character and stopping off at Skippers for a few drinks before heading home was clearly part of his daily routine - it's just a shame we couldn't understand his raucous banter! With no room for pudding and tired after our long drive, swim and food, we walked along the promenade for a short while before heading back through the quiet, leafy streets to the van for a hot drink and bed.