Thursday 26th July 2018
We are still at Camping Du Lac Vauban, Le Quesnoy we’re glad we parked near the conifer tree as that is where we had breakfast this morning very early and everyone else is still snoozing, the children on camp sleeping in after their energetic water sliding. It hasn’t cooled down much, but we head into Le Quesnoy, 200 metres from the camp we pick up a trail around the ramparts and moat walking in the lovely shade of the trees, it only gives a little comfort as the humidity is high.
It’s a typical looking small French town with a small square, post office café, bar and church we spotted a Tabac and popped in to buy a map of France, the Tabac itself had everything going on there was a bar, coffee, phone top up machines, cigarettes, maps, we are quite literally dripping with sweat as the humidity is high today and I was talking to the lady about a map and mopping my face at the same time, Dave says its beer time, in the shade outside, oh go on then, 2 small beers at 11.35am, that’s a first for us at that time but we were up very early!
Map and stickers bought and we take a wander through the streets of the town, as is usual for France everything is shut after 12pm until 2pm.
So we just amble around in the shady side of the streets, we came across a memorial to all those who died in the wars from Le Quesnoy.
Dave spotted a lovely Patisserie and so we popped in to get some bread but the gorgeous cakes actually spoke to us ‘’eat me’’ raspberry tart for me and lemon for Dave.
I saw a boutique and apparently it belongs to me!
We wandered along to find the trail to the Memorial to the New Zealanders of 4th Battallion who just a week before the end of WW11 captured the town of Le Quesnoy after 4 years of German occupation, The New Zealanders fought the Germans from 5.30 a.m that day and sometime later 2nd lieutenant Averill using old style techniques was first up the ladder on a near vertical climb 12-15 metres, the New Zealand 4th Battallion fought on top of the walls of the City, the Germans retreating and captured, the locals coming out of their cellars to greet the soldiers who had liberated them, laughing, crying and giving them flowers and food. There are streets today named after places in New Zealand and the town continues to remember them, the local primary school is named after the brave lieutenant Averill the first to scale the wall, 400 NZ soldiers were wounded and 93 died and are buried in the local cemetery of Le Quesnoy.
Strolling along the footpath following the ramparts of the former fortification and some bits of the moat still exist, we saw some ducks sitting in the moat area which is mostly dry but actually they were in the water the algae looking like grass from a distance
Strolling along further through some lovely little wildflower areas, we find some tunnels and passages, Dave goes through one and immediately bangs his head, who crouches to enter a low dark narrow tunnel wearing a peaked cap and sunglasses? A daft Yorkshireman that’s who! Once he’d finished seeing stars and had given the damaged bonce a good rub we eventually came across the memorials.
It was a really nice walk and even though we were really hot we still enjoyed ourselves, it beats working any day, heat or no heat!
Heading back to camp we walk firstly over to the lakeside and discover the French version of Peter Kays Phoenix Nights, there was a club with loud music, disco lights on outside, peering inside through the darkness there was a tea dance in full swing, we sat outside and had a lime frozen slush thingy and headed back to camp.
It’s been a nice day today, not too busy but with enough to keep us occupied, nice cool showers in the new shower block, bring your own loo paper though! good job I had a packet of tissues in my wash bag. We sat outside and had a bit of shade whilst we watched the sun setting between the trees at the edge of camp, the kids were having a disco in the hall and we enjoyed watching them all making friends and having fun, there is nothing more exciting for kids than a campsite full of kids!