6th November was the day we left home for our next adventure. We said our goodbyes and waved to the house, with barely a backward glance.. except we had to go straight back before we made it to the motorway as Calv had left his phone behind…!!
1st stop Brighton for an overnight at the Caravan Club site situated just inland from the marina. We had a bite to eat in the marina; a first ever visit to Gourmet Burger Kitchen, and later in the afternoon (although it felt like the evening by the time we came home (by which I mean ‘van’) at about 6.30pm, as it was so dark), we headed into town to visit the Pavilion and the ice skating rink.
We drove around for a while trying to find somewhere to park for less than £10 for 2 hours; on the seafront you will pay £6 for 2 hours closer to Palace Pier, but we parked nearer to West Pier where we paid ‘only’ £4.20 for 2 hours.
I’m glad we did though, as it was just a 15 minute walk back to the Pavilion which looked perfect all lit up for the ice-skating. We didn’t partake (we didn’t want to risk either of us breaking a leg before going away!) but it was great fun to watch. (We have no idea who these lads are in Calv’s photo – but they seem very happy with themselves!!!
Our ferry was leaving Newhaven at 11.30am so we didn’t have to get up too early – we just headed off about 9.30am and were at the port by 10.15am – so in plenty of time for our crossing. It was a bit rough out there, but I managed to ignore it!! Until we headed out of the safety of the harbour that is… See videos below for a small taster of what we experienced!
Once docked at Dieppe we had already decided that we were going to stay on an Aire (Quai de la Marne), for the very first time – there are 2 in Dieppe, 1 just 2 minutes leaving passport control, and the other over the other side of the harbour overlooking the beach. We stopped at the first, and the whole process was completely painless 🙂 And there were goats!
Once recovered from the trip (a nice cup of tea did the trick) we went for a wander in town, crossing the swing bridge and lifting bridge, seeing the deep, wide lock into the fishing port and finding the large church, Eglise St Jacques on the edge of the Place National.
Before leaving the next day we took a stroll up the hill to see the view and the Chapelle Notre Dame de Bonsecours which overlooks the harbour, and is considered a sentinel watching out for all seafarers.
It had taken us a while but we finally decided on a site (Les Abrias du Perches) from the ACSI book, situated a little to the west of Dreux (slightly off our route, but there seem to be very few sites still open at this time of year..). After an uneventful journey, and just a short stint – about 2-3 miles costing 5.60Euros – on a toll road, we arrived in La Ferte-Vidame after about 3 hours. The site was quiet and rural and the nearby town absolutely charming – we passed the ruins of a chateau just before arriving at the site 🙂
The next day (today – check out how up-to-date I am!!) we went out for a short cycle ride, first visiting the castle & it’s park and the town before trying, and failing, to follow the cycle route given to me by the campsite owner. We managed to find the Chappelle de Reveillon which is open only on Sundays for a tour. We came across a group of pensioners eating their lunch in the graveyard – each to their own!
It was very windy on the long straight road back to the site, and when we got back Calv informed me that he had hated every second as he was frozen to the bone (he wore the wrong coat out..) I, on the other hand, was toasty warm 🙂
We quickly headed back out, on foot, to get some bread from town. A quick cup of coffee and hot chocolate first though in the cafe next to the town hall. What a charming town this is!
Tomorrow we will move on – we’re going to a site we’ve found just to the east of Orleans. We’re hoping to stay for 3 nights and visit Orleans properly while we’re there.