Gimme Shelter

The Marais Poitevin is an absolute haven for wildlife. On our first afternoon/evening here we saw, for our first time ever, a stoat and a pine marten. Being a combined marsh and woodland area though, probably the most striking feature here is the bird life. From our campsite we have seen or heard:

  • chaffinches (of course);
  • robins
  • cuckoos;
  • spotted flycatchers;
  • black redstarts;
  • black kites;
  • blackcaps;
  • green woodpeckers;
  • nightingales
  • golden orioles;

Today, however, we could see nothing; everything was taking shelter, just like us, and getting very fed up with the rain. It began just after we awoke, around 7:00 AM and continued without pause for 15 hours finally dripping its last at about 10:00 PM as we were going back to bed.

We did have a worthy highlight, though. Mike, Linda and their daughter, Imogen, came down from Arçais to visit us and have lunch. Actually, they really wanted to visit Billy and get a taste of what life in a caravan might be like. They are planning to move over to France full time and are thinking of running their house in Arçais as two gîtes. At times when both the main house and its converted dependence are let, they are thinking about a caravan to go travelling in themselves. Billy, of course, is a very comfortable, modern van and they seemed quite taken with him. Time will tell if it’s the right solution for them.

We had planned to barbecue some duck breasts and some duck merguez (spicy sausages) but, because of the pants weather, we changed the menu to a salade tiède (a warm salad) of confit de gesiers avec lardons (preserved gizzards with bacon) followed by some cheese and bread. This was all washed down with lashings of local vin rosé.

Not only did it rain all day but it was cold, as well; a T-shirt and a rugby shirt in France in mid-June!

(Carol has pointed out that on each occasion that we have moved on, the following day has been dreadful. Maybe we should stay put.)

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