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Published: June 15th 2022
Tried to get fresh bread for breakfast today and failed. There is a boulangerie across the road just outside the campsite. I know there is. I have seen it but today I went out the back gate to the campsite, nearest to us, crossed to the boulangerie and it was a beer shop ! Inexplicable.
Actually not quite so when I realised later that the back gate comes out on a slightly different road from the reception main gate. Tomorrow I will go across the toad from that gate instead and we will have Bread,
We have stayed on the Il de Re on quite a few occasions though not this trip but decided a day trip visit would be lovely and it was.
Very easy drive to the Pont de Re from the campsite and delighted to see we had caught it just before the tolls go up for the summer to double the rate on the 20th.
Such a delightful island, Hollyhocks and pretty shuttered white building characterise all the pretty streets. Also cyclists. The island is totally flat so the cyclists come here in the droves. Netherlanders especially. A couple of time we found them
to be rather a nuisance as they really dominate the roads, the back streets and pedestian areas too. Managed not to get run down by any but a few tried.
We had to find proper car parks for the first time. Always on scooter before and scooters can pretty well park anywhere. Getting quite good with the various French parkimg systems though have not retried the pay by phone app again as pretry sure it will reject my card. Parking is never expensive anyway and generally free for first hour or during lunchtime.
First stop at La Flotte. Such a pretty harbour. Surely once a busy fishing village but now like the rest of the island mainly running on tourism. And tourists there are aplenty. We found the market which we remembered from a previous visit where we had been stunned to pay out €20 for a filleted seabass. On that occasion we had decided not to buy any more of the wonderful looking fruit and veg and had instead found them at the little Carrefour just round the corner, looking just as fresh and lovely but for half the price.
Decided sensibly to give food shopping
a miss this time. Not least because it really is exceptionally hot now and don't want to cart fresh food around for hours in these temperatures.
Moving on from La Flotte to Saint Martin en Re. This is the main town and quite delightful, just as we remembered it. A must for a lunch stop and this time for a proper fish meal so Bob had Moules Frites and I, who doesn't eat Moules being a fussy wotsit, had prawn and scallop kebabs with a bisque sauce. Worth every one of the quite a lot of Euros ( ? ). I asked the waiter what they had done during the two years of Covid and he said "not a lot but fortunately it is a lovely island so good to be there to walk around it".
We did note that quite a lot of 'work' is being done across the island and the same in La Rochelle so wondered if they had taken the opportunity when there were no tourists about to get on with sorting things out. Certainly La Flotte and St Martin seemed much more neatly pedestriansied than we remembered.
Next stop much further along
the island at Ars en Re. Had to go there because our little Red Smart car is named Smart Arse (We didn't name it that but the previous owners stuck the stickers on and they stay stuck ?. So we took Smart Arse to Ars on Re and it was very happy.
We were trying to spot the various campsites we have stopped at in the past as we have stayed in several different ones. On one occasion because the one we were heading for was full even in June. This is a Very popular holiday destination. Today it was teeny bit too hot to do much walking about so in Ars en Re we chose to have our icecream in a sit down cafe rather than just from the glace counter. Great decision. Half the price of a cornet, we got to sit down and a free carafe of chilled water. Must remember to try that again.
I am very pleased to find that I can still speak French and have managed several conversations. One with a couple who realising I was English wanted to know how our wonderful Queen's Jubilee celebrations had been. Fantastic I said.
Back then to the car and a drive to the bridge, passing the donkeys of course at the fort in St Martins and wondering if they are still the same ones we saw last time we were here.
Managed to fill the motorhome with flies after dinner so spent the rest of the evening swotting and resolved to keep the flyscreen door shut in future. Tomorrow promises to be a few degrees hotter and in fact temperature is steadily increasing for next several days. We decided in the circumstances to have less ambitious sightseeing expeditions as just too hot to travel or walk far. So hot that i am wearing a shirt over my suntop to protect from burning. Fortunately the campsite pool remains a wonderful cool delight and is excellent for chilling after the intense heat of the day.
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