Around Tours

(Well, through it, actually, but then the pun wouldn’t work, would it?)

The rain held off for us to finish packing in the morning (we had begun yesterday evening because rain had been forecast) and we managed to get Billy out of the campsite without any damage. The campsite at Savonnières has some "interestingly" tight corners with very unfriendly metal posts on the inside of the curve. For the unwary, they work a little bit like a can opener on the sides of caravans.

Quite a few people called in yesterday afternoon; some will be weekenders but the campsites are definitely beginning to get busier so heading home is a less painful prospect than it might be, at least until we reach Dover when reality will set in.

Our route out took us along the north bank of La Loire and into Tours. The traffic was pleasantly light and the route through Tours was relatively straightforward. When we are around the area again, it looked like a town worthy of investigation. The most notable feature to me was a fascinating French approach to bus lanes which were in the centre of the roads thus being surrounded by the main traffic. Let’s see, bus empties out travelling public, travelling public has to cross a lane of city traffic to get to the safety of the pavement/sidewalk. Brilliant! I guess they had a reason for designing it that way but I can’t seem to think of it.

The forecast rain started shortly after leaving Tours and was basically with us all the way through most of the remaining four hours of our journey to Neufchatel-en-Bray in Normandy. The skies were black from horizon to horizon. It didn’t look like summer at all but more like winter. Towards Rouen, though, things brightened up and as we were pitching up in our splendidly run campsite, the sun shone so we had a very pleasant late lunch al fresco. This part of Normandy, Pays de Bray,  is dairy country (it has an appellation contrôlée cheese) so the grass is quite lush. Although we love the feel of warmer camping in the south, it was surprisingly pleasant to be able to pad around barefoot on lush green Normandy grass.

We had considered driving into Dieppe, about 20 km distant, to seek out a proper plateau de fruits de mer (as opposed to our DIY version back in La Tremblade) for our evening meal but, after five hours driving and with booty-shopping beckoning in the local Leclerc supermarket, ultimately neither of us could face more time in the car. It was a lovely evening, we had two pleasant neighbours (also homeward bound) and relaxation won hands down.

In Leclerc, Carol found us two good-looking slices of foie de veau (calve’s liver) to grill on George. (What else are they going to do with the male calves in dairy country?) Very experimental but very successful and a quite delicious last dinner in France.

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