Back to England

Weymouth

2 August

Today we woke to torrential rain and we were, very sadly, leaving Le Pouliguen and returning to England. The manager of the apartment was arriving at 10am by which time we had packed up our belongings, cleaned the apartment and packed the car. The latter had to be moved under the cover of the garages to be loaded because of the rain, and, at one point, the garage floor had water flooding over it when the drains couldn’t cope with the torrent. Luckily, by the time the bikes had to be strapped to the roof, the rain had eased, as we had to do this outside, the garage roof being too low to load in there.

Raining at the apartment
Raining at the apartment

We stopped in Le Pouliguen for the essential purchases of croissants, chausson de pommes and, of course, tartlette de mirabelles, and set off towards Cherbourg at about 11am. Navigation with the assistance of the delightful sat nav lady resulted in a great deal of discussion, some merriment and eventually slight alarm, as she led us across country and really not in the direction we wanted to go at all! However, shutting her up and reading a map, saw us on the right road, by which time we had to hunt for a petrol station, which for some reason are not easy to find in France. When you track one down, there is a tendency for them to have no option to pay cash and you have to pay by card and they are very, very choosy about which ones they will accept!

After encountering a traffic jam, we left the motorway and detoured along a minor road very successfully without the sat nav lady, for some way, before re-joining the motorway at the foot of the Cherbourg peninsula.

Torrential rain whilst driving to Cherbourg
Torrential rain whilst driving to Cherbourg

About mid afternoon, we decided we were all hungry and required coffee, so turned off into an ‘aire’, which is like a motorway service station. This was horrendous as everybody (and I mean everybody), had done the same, so there were queues everywhere. Nevertheless, we bought our sandwiches and coffee and then set off again.

Queueing at the 'Aire'
Queueing at the ‘Aire’

Throughout the day, the weather had been decidedly changeable, with torrential rain one minute and mere clouds the next. By the time we reached Cherbourg, however, the sun was shining and the sea looked very calm, which was very reassuring.

The Barfleur ferry at Cherbourg
The Barfleur ferry at Cherbourg

As I had booked as a foot passenger, I had to go through the terminal onto the boat whilst my friends drove the car on. Once onboard, after an incredibly slow process, which included a bus ride to the boat, I rejoined them and we went up on deck to watch as we left the harbour on our way to Poole.

Leaving Cherbourg
Leaving Cherbourg
The fortifications at Cherbourg
The fortifications at Cherbourg
Our car is the one with the bikes on the roof!
Our car is the one with the bikes on the roof!

My friends had booked seats and, whilst I hadn’t, I was still able to sit in a reclining seat for the journey, despite being told that they were all booked. It was a very smooth crossing and extremely comfortable! Unfortunately, on arrival in Poole, they were virtually the first car off the ferry and then had to sit and wait for me as, for some inexplicable reason, the foot passengers weren’t allowed off until all the cars had gone. It did very little for my blood pressure and I felt obliged to complain to the information desk (who, needless to say, couldn’t have cared less!). I will have to remember never to travel as a foot passenger with Brittany Ferries again.

Once disembarked, it took about 3/4 hour for us to drive to Weymouth, eventually arriving back at about midnight after a very long day.

Weymouth

3 August

Today was a sorting out day! It was a beautiful day and we managed to get a lot of washing done!!

Upturned boats next to the harbour
Upturned boats next to the harbour
My borrowed bike on the coast path
My borrowed bike on the coast path
Lots of kite surfers in the harbour
Lots of kite surfers in the harbour
Kite surfer
Windsurfer

We went for a bike ride at about 5.30pm  and set off along the Rodway trail towards Chesil Beach. The conditions in the harbour were perfect for kite and wind surfers so we stopped and watched them for a while before returning to the house and having fish and chips for dinner.

Surf kites
Surf kites
Harbour entrance
Harbour entrance
Figures on the Rodway trail
Figures on the Rodway trail

Weymouth

4 August

Today was a very early start as we were driving to Surbiton to clear anything left in my friend’s mother’s house that had just been sold. It was where he grew up so it was a bit nostalgic for him.

Racing past Hampton Court
Racing past Hampton Court

We arrived about 11am, packed up some garden pots and one or two other things, and whilst they attended to the last minute administration, I waited in a cafe, where we then had lunch. After that, it was back to Weymouth via Claygate to look at the house they used to live in many years ago. A real nostalgia trip!

View from lunch time cafe - not quite like France!
View from lunch time cafe – not quite like France!

We eventually arrived back in Weymouth, after encountering fairly heavy traffic, at 7pm where their daughter and her boyfriend had arrived and cooked us dinner, which was very welcome after the long day.

Milborne Port

5 August

The morning was spent packing up and collecting the hire car that I would need for the next couple of weeks. I left Weymouth around lunchtime and drove to Milborne Port, going via Cerne Abbas, as the ‘top’ road that I would normally take between Dorchester and Sherborne was closed (or at least, the signs said it was and, of course, I believed them!)

The Cerne Giant
The Cerne Giant

After chatting to Mum for a while, I went off to see Dad at the nursing home in Yeovil. He seemed fine and was coherent for a reasonable amount of time. Back in Milborne Port, a quiet evening was spent in front of the television on which, coincidentally, there was a programme partially about the coast and history around Nova Scotia, which is one of my next destinations.

Milborne Port

6 August

The next couple of days were spent very quietly at Mum’s and visiting Dad in the nursing home. We did experience a blocked drain but the less said about that the better!

View from today's bedroom window
View from today’s bedroom window

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