There are so many beautiful walks to choose from close to our base at Clohars-Carnoët, and today we decided on an estuary walk.


La Laïta is the river that heads to the coast and the resort of Guidel-Plage, and this was where we were headed for our chilled drink before our return journey to the car along the bank of the river


There are so many hidden gems that would be missed from the comfort of the car, and it’s always good when you have made an effort to put on your walking boots and you find places like this!


And when you get to your destination it’s alway special when you are rewarded with a view like this!


Another day another dilemma, this time we chose to visit Quimper which is the ancient capital of Cornouaille (sounds like Cornwall). Although it is a lovely town, I think that it’s the natural beauty I prefer!


The rocky coastline, as well as being stunning to look at, is also great for hiding geocaches……….some were a little more difficult to get to and Jane was a bit concerned when I started climbing up a rock face……


This cache was cleverly hidden by sticking the container to a large stone hidden in a crack in the rock covered by foliage!


I’m glad to see that we are now following France here in the U.K. by having more areas set aside for the cultivation of wild flowers.


Hold on to your hollyhocks!


It’s great to see the wild flowers in their natural habitat but in France they are grown on many many roundabouts and in the verges alongside the road!


Some properties are lucky enough to have commanding views along the rocky coastline.


Even with the help of the map, Kev wasn’t too sure where the sea was!


Glad to say that it wasn’t chilly in Concarneau!


Whilst we were in Concarneau we watched the contestants taking part in a new French game show trying to collect as many mussels as possible in 15 minutes……………it’s called who wants to be a mouleinaire!


Do you ever get the feeling someone is watching you?


I was not expecting this when I ordered the van blanc!


We have travelled down many interesting and beautiful roads whilst we have been travelling in France……the route de Napoleon…..the route Leclerc, but I’m not too sure who this Barree is!

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We are now in a small quiet campsite near the quaint fishing village of Doëlan in the Finistere region of Brittany. The temperature here is a more bearable mid 20C during the day and in the mid teens during the night so we are back to having a comfortable nights sleep!


This lovely little port is where they film the French version of Doc Martin!!!!


You can certainly see why this stunning location was chosen for the filming of this T.V. series.


A short walk through town brings you to the coast path. It is so like Cornwall it’s untrue, the major difference is that they walk on the right over here!


There are wild flowers here in abundance which makes every walk that much more enjoyable for us both, and for me it gives me an extra challenge of trying to capture that beauty on camera!


This immense coastline is full of little bays where you can certainly enjoy a bit of seclusion if you want it, or if you fancy a bit of company then all you have to do is find the nearest resort and then you will find a huge great beach full of about a dozen people!


Or if you fancy something a little different you could just sit out on the rocks and watch the world go by!


We have done many walks whilst we have been here for this 10 days but we haven’t scratched the surface of the walks we want to do, so we will definitely have to come back and explore some more. The amount of times I have said that I want to return to places I think I will need another lifetime to be able achieve this goal!


Whilst Kev and I are scrambling around on the rocks looking for geocaches Jane and Val take the opportunity to discuss the latest fashion trends in M&S


When you walk the coastline here you get the chance to stroll up some of the many estuaries and there are some lovely houses in such stunning locations.  I don’t think I would get bored with watching the tides come and go !


A little inland there are many small villages to explore………..


The best time to visit these little towns and villages is just after midday, when the parking is free and the shops have closed!


Mind you there are often markets open, but I don’t mind strolling around these if the background is always as good as this!


Even the loos are rather interesting !


How come even the weeds in France look that much better than those at home!

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Domaine De L’Etang


What a brilliant campsite with a great ethos.  What really makes them different from other campsites is that camping de l’Etang is part of a not-for-profit organisation. Their policy is to employ people with disabilities wherever possible. You’ll find all their staff are knowledgeable, friendly and helpful.


The site is nestled at the heart of the vineyards of Angers and the Loire Valley, and is set around the former farmhouse of the Château de Brissac. Camping de l’Etang benefits from a preserved natural environment that’s perfect for rest and recreation.


The campsite belongs to the Sites & Paysages chain which I can high recommend.  We have visited many on our recent travels and they operate a loyalty scheme where you get a stamp for every 4 nights you spend at a new campsite, and once you have 4 stamps you get 5 nights free. We have already had one 5 night stay for free and are well on way for the next one!


One of the things that I particularly liked about the site was the feeling of space.  The site is 20 acres and they only have 110 camping pitches and 40 rental properties.


Each pitch was a lot larger than many you find in France. There was plenty of room to swing a cat but we didn’t have one and we weren’t able to catch a local one so we didn’t bother!


From the campsite, a delightful pathway takes you right into the small town of Brissac-Quincé in about 10 minutes. Brissac Quincé is a quaint little market town, with lots of old stone buildings, a very laid-back atmosphere and plenty of shops.


Funnily enough the shop that most interested me was the boulangerie.  I visited there so often the lady behind the counter decided to give me a few lessons in French pronunciation, who knew that a baguette traditional was feminine whilst an ordinary run of the mill baguette was masculine? Well I do now!


Our pitch was very close to the fishing lake. It became quite noisy in the evening when the frogs came out to sing………..strangely enough they didn’t have a french accent!


But the best place of all was the swimming pools. You might have read that France was experiencing extreme weather in the form of a HEATWAVE.  Well we were right in the middle of it!  The only place to be when the mercury hit 40C was in the pool.


Even then when you got back to the caravan you had to improvise. It was so hot that we all decided that we should move up to Brittany 4 days earlier than planned where the temperatures were a chilly 15C cooler at 25C.

More from Brittany later.


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Back in the Saddle (driving seat) Again!


Well it’s been quite a while since I last updated the blog but we are back on the road again so here goes…………..

We are off for a short 3 week break with Kev and Val in France………little did we know of the impending HEATWAVE that we were about to experience, but more of that later!

Our first night was spent at Camping des Capucines which is only a short distance from the port at Ouistreham, and as we arrived at 9.30 pm and I didn’t really fancy driving too far this was an ideal place for a rest, ready for an early start in the morning!



Early the next morning I set off for a short walk to the local boulangerie to get a baguette and  pain au raison for our breakfast.  Whilst out on the walk I took the opportunity to sneak in a quick geocache, this one being hidden in a hedgehog which was itself hidden in a tree in a church yard.  Luckily there weren’t too many people around to see me ferreting around!


After an uneventful drive we arrived safely at our new campsite in Brissac Quince in the Loire region of France.  Not that I’m always thinking of food but this was the little river that I walked beside every morning to get my fresh bread and croissants!


Oh there was a castle there as well…………


I told my sister-in-law Sally that we were going to the Loire and she insisted that we visit the Abbey at Fontevraud because it has so much history……..

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It was founded as a monastery by Robert of Arbissel in 1101 and the first permanent structures were built between 1110 and 1119.  We were very lucky to virtually have the place to ourselves and were able to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the surroundings.


The Abbey is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (I should have made a note of all these that we have visited over the last two and a half years!)


This is the bit that Sally was interested in, the King of England, Henry II, his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, and son King Richard the Lionheart were all buried here at the end of the 12th century.


It was disestablished as a monastery during the French Revolution.


So much for the history………the food at the local bistro was stunning (if a little small!) – braised ox cheek and frites!


The local Ferrari owners club had turned up to visit the Abbey, I couldn’t make up my mind which one I wanted so in the end I stuck with my Kia!


The next day we set off to see the Chateau at Angers. The temperature was rising and there had been several weather warnings of an impending heatwave in France. An amber alert, the second highest, was given as there was possible danger to life!


We had heard that this Chateau was the home of the Apocalypse Tapestry and it was housed in air-conditioned luxury, well luxury for us! The tapestry was produced between 1377 and 1382 and depicts the story of the Apocalypse from the Book of Revelation by Saint John the Devine in colourful images, spread over a number of sections that originally totalled 90 scenes. It is the oldest French medieval tapestry to have survived. And we got to see all this in the lovely cool!


There was a great view over Angers from the top of the castle, but it was too hot to wander around the city so we had a picnic in the local park in the shade of the trees, and then back to the campsite for a well-earned swim!

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Back at the campsite,  right next to Kev and Val’s pitch, this blue tit was encouraging its baby to fly the nest. K&V had already seen two other fledglings take their first flights and I managed to get this shot of the last one having its preflight meal!




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Mountaineering in Norfolk



One of the main things we wanted to achieve on our short break to Norfolk was to climb some of the many high mountains that this part of the country has in abundance! As luck would have it we spotted our first summit whilst on a cliff-top walk from Cromer to Sheringham.


The name of this mighty peak was the Beeston Bump. We managed to climb this majestic a lot quicker than we expected, and I mainly put this down to the fine weather which produced perfect visibility!


The only sad thing was that there was a huge queue as we approached the top, but patience is a virtue and when we eventually reached the peak it was all worthwhile!


The views from the top were stunning, you could see over the lovely Sheringham golf course and we even managed to see this steam train thundering by!



We managed to get another glimpse of the train when we visited a National Trust property in Upper Sheringham…….


…. which was full of rhododendrons all in bloom.  It was an absolutely lovely way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon!


We are certainly getting our moneys worth from the National Trust this year. Blickling Hall was on our list of places to visit whilst in Norfolk.


It has an interesting history because behind these doors during WWII this was home for RAF officers based at the nearby airfield.


It’s hard to believe that this quiet tranquil place was home to all these brave men. They have kept one of the barrack  rooms exactly the same as it was during the war, I have to say that it didn’t look very comfortable!


Plenty of places for reflection between missions.


I liked the walled gardens and the many doors that led you through to another hidden gem!


We were lucky to visit Blickling on a quiet lovely sunny day, and it really made you think of all the airmen that were based here during the war and what they must have been thinking while sat on this same bench!


On our way back to the caravan there was time for another cliff-top walk……..however this time it was only a short stroll as it got very chilly very quickly!!

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Norfolk And Good!


Fish and chips in Cromer, delicious and very welcome after not too long a drive, but a very long time getting settled on the pitch. The time was spent trying to get a spot where I could get a signal for sky TV as I wanted to watch the last episode of Game of Thrones, and Jane had a few programmes she wanted to see. It has worked for us all around Europe and we even got Sky movies in the south of Spain, but one tree in north Norfolf was giving me a lot of grief! We eventually moved pitches away from the tree and then all was right with the world!


The sun was shining when we set out for our tea, but by the time we left the restaurant it was bloody freezing, just as well I had my coat and that there was a hat in the pocket! It’s probably not the best of looks wearing shorts with a coat and a woolly hat but I was so cold I didn’t care!


The next day the sun was shining again, so we headed off to Blakeney Point for a walk along the coast.  This was my first time on the north Norfolk coast; I had spent a week on the Broads about 30 plus years ago with a group of mates, but we were either on the boat drinking or in a pub drinking so I didn’t get to see much of the surrounding countryside!


The wind was a little bracing but with the sun out it was a lovely walk!


In this part of Norfolk it’s like time stood still, I was half expecting Captain Mainwaring to come around the corner leading the rest of the cast of Dads Army!


Although there were quite a few people close to the car parks you didn’t have to walk too far to find yourself completely on your own!


And what a great way to get the 1/2 time refreshment……..a Cromer crab salad!


There was still plenty more to see of the lovely unspoilt coastline on the walk back to the car. It seems to me that the council have been very careful about letting any development change the characteristics of this quiet place!


After a long walk this seat really got the “seal” of approval!



On Wednesday 22nd May, my birthday (ok, but don’t forget next year!), we took a trip to Wroxham to visit the broads. A very helpful young lady in the broads national park tourist information centre told of us a walk along the River Bure that would take you to St Benet’s Abbey which was celebrating its 1,000 year anniversary.


The walk was again lovely and peaceful and when we got there you could see how the original building had been cannibalised and used to make a mill by what at one time had been the main gate!


This was a great place for peace and reflection…………..and time to strike a pose!


When you stopped and stood still, it was completely silent.  You couldn’t hear anything, not even the sound of a car in the distance!


There was the occasional interruption of the peace when the gentle putt-putt of a boat engine would enter your consciousnesss as it passed you by on the river.


This was more like the boat we had when we tried to drink Norfolk dry all those years ago, although this one was being driven far more sedately!


Jane was a little worried when she first saw this sign but she relaxed when I explained it was the name of a pub and not a sordid get together in a carpark!


My birthday meal was back at the fish and chip shop that we had visited on our first night, and yet again they were delicious, and this time Jane was driving so I could have a glass of wine!


When I first saw this egg I was a little worried at the size of seagull I was about to meet…..


But it turned out to be a peace of art……….eggcellent!


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Golfing Weekend


“Houston we have a problem”.  Well, luckily enough for us, not too much of a problem as it turned out.  The bolt that held the jockey wheel had sheared in half leaving us unable to secure it.  A quick trip up to see Wesley at Shootash garage soon had the bolt out; now all we had to do was get a new one!  We managed to get one at Northampton so luckily we were able to set up camp when we got to Peterborough!

The plan was to set up camp at Ferry Meadows in Peterborough and Jane was going to stay there whilst I went up to Belton Woods to play golf for the weekend. Jane chose this pitch, the furthest one away from the playground………..however what we didn’t know was that over the hedge there was an adventure playground!  Oh well I’m off to play golf!


So here are the gang that I joined for the golfing extravaganza.  It was a pleasure to play with such a shy, retiring and quiet group of golfers. It is not often that this many Sunday School teachers get together and it’s sad that they can only be spared their duties once a year!


To save a bit of money we made a few sandwiches for lunch from the breakfast buffet……Ammo was the only one that cut them into triangles!


And Hastings was the only one who didn’t manage to drive over the ditch in front of the ladies’ tee.  Nobody laughed……….oh yes they did!


Belton Woods is only a half hours drive from the pork pie lover’s mecca, Melton Mowbray ………so it just had to be done!


And I did it, a pork pie with stilton for now and a family size one for next week in Norfolk, heaven!


The sad news was that the pork pie didn’t do my game any favours.  Well that’s not quite true…………..I played the back 9 in 4 over par and I lost to the better man.  Well done Bradley, it was a great game and I look forward to the rematch at Hockley in the summer!


Bradley was so excited that he didn’t want to waste time going back to the bar.  So he adopted this unusual way of carrying the drinks………..I have never seen Craig look so worried that a drink might be spilt!


After a hard weekends golf it was time to return to Ferry Meadows and the chance to catch up with an old friend from the days when I used to work here for Nurdin and Peacocks. It was great to catch up with Carol Cover and talk over the good old days, and to hear of her plans for the future………that cruise with the family sounds like fun!


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After India


We had a great time in India, but all good things must come to an end so back to the UK we came!  When the weather is on your side this country is the place to be, and our first week back turned out to be bright and sunny!


We live not too far away from the National Trust property of Mottisfont, and we can be there in 10 minutes to have a look around and enjoy the gardens as the seasons change.


The early spring flowers were just beginning to show their heads, and with the clear blue sky it all looked wonderful.


We are 10 minutes walk away from the world famous Hillliers Gardens, so again we can take the opportunity at the drop of a hat to see the trees and flowers as the seasons change.


The magnolias were out on our last visit and it looks like the rhododendrons are about to burst into bloom so another visit is on the cards! One of the bits I like the best is the fine selection of cakes they have on offer after our leisurely stroll!


We also took a short break in Devon at Crofton Farm so we could enjoy some sunshine and a few clifftop walks. We did get a little sun but most of the time it was really chilly!


On one of the colder days we took a train ride from Starcross to Paignton along the Devon Riviera. It was great to get a view of the sea for virtually the whole journey. When we got to Paignton it was so cold that after a brief stroll along the prom we decided to go to the cinema and see Dumbo (we know how to live)!


There were a few lovely days where we could stroll around in shirt sleeves, one such day was when we visited Hope Cove.  We had a lovely meal there at the Cove Cafe Bar, it’s great to find a locally owned restaurant which sources all its food from local suppliers and the food was excellent.  We would both highly recommend this place!


We were joined in Devon by Kevin and Maggie with “Scruff and Dottie” their dogs. Kevin pushed their pram for 7 miles just in case they got tired and couldn’t make it back to the campsite!  I think you can tell from the look on his face that he didn’t really mind.


The bluebells were just about to show but I think the cold weather made them change their minds!


It’s not often you see a storm trooper walking along the coast path; this one was on his way to Exeter raising money for charity.  I hope the force was with him!

We took a drive down to Coleton Fishacre, a National Trust property once owned by the D’Oyly Carte family.  Richard D’Oyly Carte was famous for bringing together the librettist Sir W.S. Gilbert and the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan producing many of their operettas in London’s Savoy theatre, which he had established in 1881.  The house was lovely with a great garden and stunning views.  I only wish the weather had been warmer so we could have fully enjoyed this place!


We cycled from our campsite along the river Exe to Exeter. We passed the grounds of Powderham Castle where we saw the deer grazing and they were completely oblivious to our presence.


I can’t understand how the deer missed me………no one else did!


Time for another cliff-top walk, this time with a bit of geocaching thrown in.  Still bloody cold though!


The sun came out briefly on our trip to Salcombe.  I liked this place and would like to return for a bit more exploring.


When the tide goes out along the River Teign it exposes a footpath on the west side of the river. A brisk morning walk along here, then a roast dinner in the local pub followed by the papers is in my mind; a great way to spend a Sunday!


I have managed to get quite a few rounds of golf in since I’ve been back…………


And it’s lovely to still be able to play a few holes with dad.  In this photo it looks like he has shrunk, but really it’s just an extra long flag pole!


Down to Chideock to catch up with K&V, time to drink a few glasses of wine and sort out a few more caravan trips!


Oh and whilst we are there, take in another stunning coastal walk!

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Life On Board The Constellation


I have never been a great fan of curries so it was with great delight that I boarded the Constellation and knew that food wouldn’t be an issue for the next two weeks!


It was nice to get onboard ship safe in the knowledge that we didn’t have to get up early anymore to catch a coach to our next destination.  Here we could have a meal, take in a show, have a few drinks and when we woke in the morning…………….


we were already at our next port of call.


Most mornings I got up early to go to the gym.  It was quite nice to walk outside on the deck as the sun was rising at that time of the day and it was so peaceful.


Also at the other end of the day it was great to stay up on deck sipping a cocktail and watch the sun sink slowly into the sea!


I don’t know where Jane got this fish from but it tasted delicious!


During the day it could be a bit of a struggle to get a sun lounger next to the pool so we had to venture to the front of the ship to do our sunbathing…………


Even the sight of me in my best poolside attire didn’t put anyone off (and you can’t see the knee-length black socks!)


Not a bad place to have a morning coffee and check the emails!


Jane warned me that if I didn’t cut down on the eating this life belt wouldn’t fit me! So of course I took this advice to heart and from then on only had two desserts with each meal!


You had to be up early to get a well-positioned sun bed.  The professional cruisers were out with their towels well before breakfast time. Already having a golden tan it didn’t bother me………….


I could always go to the back of the ship and watch a bit of telly!


Jane found a beverage that she liked so much she had it every day and sometimes several times a day.  Apparently it was called wine, and she would recommend it!



There were other drinks available on board and this likely looking couple introduced us to the finer points of cruising, namely the cocktail bar! Mike and Sue and Jane and I were often to be found here………..


watching the entertainment……..


and sampling the cocktail of the day!


It was always nice to meet a fellow traveller who had the same sense of sartorial elegance as myself.  I feel he went one better here with his socks matching his shirt!


We met another couple who were also called Mike and Sue which was great for us when it came to remembering everyone’s names!


Well here we are again at the Martini bar, just off to dinner, with Sue and Jane looking as lovely as ever and Mike his usual colour coordinated self!  What do you think of my new Indian shirt, is a little too subtle and understated?


There are many things I miss about the cruise, but the biggest thing is the breakfasts ……..


so until next time, farewell my little eggs benedict.  I will miss you!

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Driving in India


Driving in India is a real art in itself. Not only do you have to master the skills of manoeuvring your car, bike or bus, but you also have to have a sixth sense as to which way the traffic, pedestrians and/or animals are going to move!


The Indians do drive on the left, well that is to say that they mainly drive on the left, but if it is quicker or easier for them to drive on the wrong side of the carriageway then that’s what they will do! Many times we saw cars, motorbikes or bikes with trailers coming towards us in the ‘fast’ lane of a motorway.  Thankfully we missed them every time, but I don’t think I will volunteer to sit in the front seats of the coach again!


It was amazing to see how many people they managed to get on a motorbike, the lady here sitting side saddle is cradling a small child, in front  of them is a small boy and then dad!


Horses and carts didn’t really slow the traffic down in town very much at all, it couldn’t get much slower with them or without them.


Getting the milk from your dairy to the market was easy, just put it on your motorbike!


Watch out for the cows!


Four on a bike!


Good views from on top of the elephant.  We didn’t see that many on the road, they were mainly at UNESCO sites!


The lorries were all decorated very ornately and sometimes I wondered how the drivers saw out of the windows!


I nearly became a nervous wreck sitting in the front seat of the coach for a day as you were witness to many many dodgy overtaking manoeuvres!!


Due to the extreme heat and the lack of air-conditioning most buses and coaches didn’t have any windows!


From what we saw most public transport seemed to be very busy and in a lot of cases there was standing room only!


It’s amazing to still see so many of the Hindustan Ambassadors cars on the road. These cars were based on the old Morris Oxford, and have been built in India since 1957.


The last “Amby” rolled of the production line in May 2014 so I expect they will still be around for a few more years yet!


Riding a pushbike is still the most popular way of getting around………


And its amazing what you can carry on a bike, this guy is taking Jane’s new shoes back to the hotel!


If the bus is full then a tractor and trailer will do!


It does take a time to figure out who wants to go where at busy road junctions!


Some cows had a little more sense and sat in the middle of the road out of the way!

And if you can’t fit in the car then just hang on to the outside!

And if the cab’s full then sit with the cargo….


And then there are the cities, just don’t expect to move anywhere in a hurry!



Cows take priority!


Motorbiking with a hijab!


The family out for a ride!


Yes, no problem I can get that bag on the back of your bike!


And if you need to take a break then there’s no better place than a traffic island!


Sadly this was an all too common sight!

However, considering the strange chaotic ballet of Indian driving we thankfully left India unscathed.

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