Monday 26 September 2022

Autumn arrives in Honfleur

Monday 26 September 2022

Nido's parked up on the very large aire in the fishing port of Honfleur.  There's probably over 100 motorhomes here.  It costs €12 for 24 hours which includes electricity.  It wasn't that busy when we arrived, so were able to grab a pitch in the front row with a view of the marina.  It was raining hard on the way here and when we arrived, but it brightened up into the afternoon although now, as the light starts to fade, the clouds still look threatening with the chance of more rain.  We can't complain; apart from this, we've only had a couple of days rain in five weeks away.

After leaving Écouché yesterday morning, we broke our journey with a stop at a basic aire by a road in Saint Julien le Faucon, which had a free service point, so we were able to fill and empty the tanks again.  This service point had one of the water fittings that, as soon as you attach a male connector, it starts gushing water at a huge rate of knots. I've been caught out by this on an aire in a previous trip, when my trousers and shoes took a right soaking!  On that occasion I stopped off at a Leroy Merlin (French equivalent of B&Q) to buy a double-male fitting with an on/off switch.  This meant next time I could plug into one of these weird fittings with the connector in the off position and not get soaked.  So this came in handy for this trip and we stayed dry!  This aire, although by the side of busy road, did have one redeeming feature - another pizza machine!  

Moving on, I had a small aire plugged in at Merville-Franceville plage which was right by a large sandy beach.  However, it being Sunday and as we were a bit late in the day, it was rammed, so instead I found a place a few minutes away at Sallenelles.  There were only two spaces available and one was already taken, so we bagged the other and had lunch looking out at the estuary.  The sun was shining and it felt warm so we all went for a walk around the estuary, which was now showing muddy sides as the tide receded.  We saw plenty of birdlife and listened to the curlews.  Although the aire was fairly quiet, it wasn't really a decent night stop, so we back-tracked about 17km and pulled into the aire in Beuvron-en-Auge, another 'beautiful village' of France.  We almost stayed here before in 2014, lunching in the lovely Creperie in the village square before moving on as we couldn't buy a token to pay for the aire.  This time a man came around later to collect the money.

We left Salty in the van and had a short walk around the old part of the village, buying a 'chicken roti', turning and cooking outside the boulangerie.  With this Cathy made a delicious Sunday chicken dinner, with boiled new potatoes, carrots, green beans and gravy - something we've been craving!  Salty had a good pile of chicken too and was soon fast asleep on the bed with a belly larger than it was about half an hour before!  Well fed and watered, I took him for a walk as the sun was setting.

The wind outside increased during the night and by morning we had the first spots of rain which became torrential as we drove towards Honfleur.  This is the first proper rain we've seen in months.  We stopped off at Deauville so I could do some shopping at the Le Clerc supermarket and Cathy could get online to do her Welsh language course homework.

Once settled at Honfleur, we took Salty for a walk along the quieter end of the harbour before dropping him off back at the van and wandering into the town, which is only about 10 minutes walk from the aire.  It hadn't changed all that much since our last visit (why would it - most of the buildings are hundreds of years old!), but it was certainly busier, with many more cars driving around and loads more people.  The vast majority of them were off a cruise ship berthed nearby (maybe Le Havre?) and almost all were English or Scottish.  After weeks of being the only UK van in most of the aires and campsites, it was very strange to be able to clearly understand what was being said; I had to be careful what I was saying too!  We mooched in and out of the tat shops just for something to do and looked at the menus of the various restaurants as we had hoped to have some moules-frites.  But the prices were much higher than some places we'd seen elsewhere and the crowds kind of put us off.  So we returned to the van to relax and people watch as the motorhome owners walked past the front of our van on the way into and back from town.  Our licence plate had the old GB and EU stars on the left-hand side and we've replaced with the the Welsh flag and the words 'CYMRU'.  All through France this has really confused people and they've struggled to understand where our van is from.  Honfleur was no different; nearly all the passers-by stopped and stared hard at our licence plate then up at the van, taking no notice of us sat in the cab seats looking right back at them!  

Tomorrow we're going to try and find a beach park-up for the day so Salty can have a well-needed run-out; we could do with a walk too after our massive chicken dinner yesterday!

Top tip - get one of these to avoid wet shoes!



We had lunch in this Creperie in October 2014

Beuvron-en-Auge aire

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

This is what a little dog full of chicken looks like!

View at Honfleur

Still a working fishing port

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