Monday, 8 July 2019

On Noirmoutier-en-l’île

Monday 8 July 2019

Nido’s parked up at an aire in the north of the island of Noirmoutier-en-L’île, close to the beach.  It’s quite a busy aire and earlier today we were all packed in, awnings partly out to catch some shade, but it’s emptied out a bit now. Even at 9.30pm, it’s still very sunny and warm and an hour ago I was swimming in the sea.

We enjoyed our day on the beach at Saint Vincent-sur-Jard yesterday, taking a picnic and our beach shelter, soaking up some sun and having a cooling dip in the sea.  Mid-afternoon we packed up and headed for an aire at Olonne-sur-Mer.  It was €8 per night including electricity and servicing; on arrival I plugged in and the electric worked straight away. It looked like a couple of vans had been here for a while, so I suspect the tickets aren’t checked by anyone from the Commune.  So I could probably have got away with not buying an aire ticket, but I’m too honest for my own good.  Besides, the village has provided this aire, so I believe in giving something back, paying the fee and using the local shops.  We had good long, hot showers to wash off the salt and sunscreen and I cooked a couple of pork chops on the cardiac, with a salad.  

This morning we woke very early and after breakfast stopped off at the Super-U supermarket for food and diesel.  I’ve noticed food and fuel are much more expensive in France these days and the budget’s taken a bit of a hit, but we have to eat and we have to move!  The drive to the island was about 1.5 hours, heading over a long bridge similar to but smaller than the one over to Ile de Ré.  The island has a feel of a mix of Ile de Ré and Ile d’Oleron, with muddy estuaries where wooden shacks and restaurants are selling the local oysters and mussels, either raw or cooked on the premises.  

Arriving at the aire I, along with a German, a Belgian and even a Frenchman (sounds like the start of a joke) scratched our heads at the payment machine - why do they have to make them so complicated to use?  All worked out in the end and I came away with an overnight ticket until 0900 tomorrow, although parking here during the day is free.  A quick lunch of prawns (always a special and enjoyable treat when in France) and bread, we were changed and walking along the coastal path toward a beach in the distance. The coast directly opposite the aire was rocky, so no chance of a swim there, but it only took about 10 minutes to reach a gap in the rocks and we were soon enjoying the clear, very salty and quite cool sea water.  We walked on to the large sandy beach, which reminded us of parts of Rhosneigr, Rhoscolyn and Trearddur Bay at home - we didn’t need to have come this far after all!

Back at the van, we chilled with a cup of tea before I made us a meal.  Later in the evening we popped down to the beach for another dip before returning to the van to spend the rest of the evening lazing around. We’re both feeling quite tired at the moment.  We’ve been in the sun quite a bit and travelling some distances over the last few days, plus we’ve been waking up early.  Hopefully we’ll catch up on some sleep tonight before heading toward the rose granite coast of north Brittany. 

Noirmoutier aire




Nice spot to sit and eat



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