Time to head south again,this time to Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez


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Europe » France » Pays-de-la-Loire » Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez
September 1st 2013
Published: September 8th 2013
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We are still enjoying dry weather even if the temperatures are a bit cool in the morning.

Elisabeth returned home last night and after we packed up the car we said our farewells. It had been a pleasant stay with all the facilities we needed even if took a bit of ingenuity to get the bed as comfortable as we could.

We had a fair distance ahead of us today so we decided again to use the fastest route which would mean dual carriageway for most of the journey. The only downfall of doing these types of roads is that you miss the little villages and towns that are off the main roads. However we have experienced and enjoyed so many now, missing a few won’t be too drastic.

The D137 took us towards and then around the large city of Rennes and then as it changed to the N137 took us around Nantes as well. All of this done with ease and as it was Sunday there was much less traffic than what we might have expected otherwise. With the dual carriageway we were able to speed through at 100kph and cut out the distances very quickly.

It was near noon as we approached Nantes and we took a turn off the motorway to the small town of Heric hoping that we would find a boulangerie open and be able to buy a baguette for lunch a bit further down the road. Sure enough there was a store open and it must have been popular as there was a queue out of the door which we joined.

The French love their baguettes which come in all shapes and sizes and with different names. You often see people just munching on the baguette still in the bag the store keeper puts it in when it is sold. We like to either tear it apart and fill the pieces with camembert or brie, ham and tomatoe.The one we bought today was still warm even at midday which suggested that they had been baking during the morning to meet demand. We really can’t say that we have tasted anything like the baguettes produced here in France back in NZ and we feel there would be an opening to get a chain of stores going at home producing the real thing.

The stop for the boot lunch wasn’t that glamorous but we were hungry and we wanted to enjoy the baguette while it was still warm.

After Nantes the road turned towards the coast and the scenery and style of housing changed significantly. The houses were more like the newer houses in Provence, a sort of low, mediterrean style painted cream with terracotta coloured half tile roofs. There was almost a complete lack of the older style French farm or rural town houses we had been seeing for much of our time in France.

The land too changed significantly from rolling countryside to dead flat and in fact at one point we noticed that the altitude reading on the GPS recorded minus 10metres!!There were drains everywhere although most were empty of water and perhaps years ago this area may have been more of a delta of the Loire River that exits to the sea a little further north at Saint Nazaire.It was all a bit like the Hauraki plains back home with cows grazing above the drains.

Our accommodation for the next 3 nights is a mobile home in a camping ground full of mobile homes. In fact according to the map of the campground that we received when we checked into Les Biches (The Deer) there were over 300 mobile homes on the site.

It was a nifty little mobile home with a sundeck which was partly covered and had two bedrooms, separate toilet and shower and a kitchen/dining area. The tall trees throughout the campground shaded the mobile homes from the afternoon sun which was probably just as well as we noticed that the outside temperature had gone up as we headed further south and was touching on 30C as we did the check in.

There were not many others staying in the camp ground now that the school holidays were over and it looks as though it will be a quiet place to relax tomorrow as we don’t plan to go anywhere other than to stock up the grocery box from a local supermarket.

We ended a long day of travel sitting on the deck in the warm evening temperature under the tall trees sipping a rose wine and then enjoying dinner. The bed again will be a challenge to our backs such is its firmness.

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