Thursday's Child has far to Go
2nd August 2018
Fresnay-le-Samson, Normandy, Department: Orne, France
According to the old rhyme, Thursday's child has far to go which seems very apt as its Thursday and we have finally wrenched ourselves away from the coast, hopefully to put considerable distance between us and the holidaying Madding Crowd.
As predicted our choice of venue near Honfleur at the mouth of the Seine went very quiet after sunset, yesterday. Despite being parked hard by the foreshore we were the only overnight stayer as Eurocampers are excluded with a height barrier. Overall, not a bad end to a bit of a frustrating day.
Usual early morning deserted foreshore run for Amy, today and she had a particularly good time as we could walk a long way along a coast that is fringed with reedy, marshy areas that she vanished into for simply ages.
Down the road to the dreaded seaside resort of Deauville for the nearest Lidl store, but not too bad at that time of day as the holiday crowd were still, presumably, all at their breakfasts.
Having come to the conclusion there is no solace to be found along the coast of Normandy in August I made the decision to strike a route due south, using secondary main roads but avoiding motorways whose tolls are frequent and fierce in this part of the world.
As we travelled further south the roads started to get quieter and after Lisieux became practically deserted, nice bucolic countryside too. At Vimoutiers we opted for what I would describe as third tier main roads - they still have a 'D' classification but are invariably roads less travelled. it was a good decision as the countryside has been stunning (real rural France, finally!) and the roads in good repair and deserted.
We are travelling in the general direction of Le Mans and are about one third the way there from Honfleur at, or near, a place called Fresnay le Samson. Late morning we pulled off the 'main' road into a lane and then on a ways until we found a leafy mature Oak woodland with a convenient shady pull-in just off from a single track lane. It's as quiet as the grave and I'm going to chance our arm at staying the night here. Even if I encounter hassle in the pull-in (seems unlikely) there are umpteen nearby roadside spots that will do perfectly well for tonight and nobody will move us on from any such. The Oaks are magnificent being tall and arrow straight, obviously cultivated for building frame and roof timber and I'd hazard a guess they are collectively worth a fortune.
If all goes well here tonight, we'll head off towards Alencon tomorrow where two very large areas of Parc Naturel conjoin. It will be interesting to see what they are like as my previous experience of European PNs has been disappointing to say the least. Either very touristy or just desolate places, sometimes both!
From Le Mans, an impressive university city I have passed through several times in the past, we have a directional decision to make. We can continue due south - direction: Poiters, Limoges, Toulouse - to the Pyrenees, or go west to Brittany via Rennes (Amy's home town!) as I know several stunning and guaranteed quite places in the general area of Corlay to see out August in if we feel the need, or go southeast towards Lyon and on over the border into Italy (Torino direction).
I don't imagine we'll get to Le Mans before Monday as this coming weekend is one of the busiest, if not THE busiest, in the French year on the roads and we may well find ourselves hunkering down somewhere tomorrow (being Friday) to avoid the worst excesses of the French motorist. They are bad enough on ordinary days, believe me!
Tonight's location then, all being well:
Latitude : 48.87218 (48° 52′ 19.86″ N)
Longitude : 0.19471 (0° 11′ 40.96″ E)
accuracy of signal : 8 m
A whisper from the wolves? Friday Frazzle