Causeway Coastal Road

Cathy posting;

Leaving Glenarm we followed along the Antrim coast and it’s Glens which are designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty to the small village of Cushendun, Co Antrim, we are amazed by the beauty of Northern Irelands coast, this island is quite literally living up to its name as the Emerald green land contrasts with the blue grey coastal waters and rocky outcrops. We parked up in a National Trust Car Park, which is free, erm that wouldn’t happen back at home for us we’d have our pockets at least £3-4 lighter, we decide to try out our new wellies bought especially for this trip, we’re not expecting any rain though! well maybe a little, walking along the deserted beach outside the small village the sun warming our backs and the views warming our hearts, stopping to sit on the rocks and realising once again how much we love this travelling life. Continue reading

The Emerald Isle beckons- Ireland 2018

Dave posting;

Hi to you all,

We have been “home” since 10th August 2018 when we came back from our European Tour we have been very busy visiting family and friends up and down the country from Chesham, Oxford, Doncaster and Liverpool, old friends in Prestatyn and new friends in Manchester whom we met in Croatia, we didn’t manage to see everyone this time so if we missed anyone we’ll see you all on our return.

In this short period of time at home we have been living in Pogo on Caravan and Camping club campsites which were both working farms at Rivington and Jumbles Country Park and staying at our daughters’ house at weekends helping our son-in-law with house improvements ready for their baby which is due in the New Year, after all that we need a rest so off we go, the road is calling!

Continue reading

The Emerald Isle…..

Hi,

Well, it’s not long to go now before we catch a ferry and start our next adventure……… we are off to Ireland and we are going to travel along the Wild Atlantic Way.

The new road atlas has arrived!

We are really excited and looking forward to the fun, merriment, the views, the scenery, the history and of course the very friendly locals.

Dave & Cathy

There is no heatwave here! Calais-France

Thursday 9th August 2018

Cathy posting,

We are still at the private aire and today we can’t decide what to do?  Tomorrow we are booked on the tunnel crossing from Calais to Folkestone at 7.50am French time, do we stay here? It’s pouring with rain, it costs €6 to stay and it’s free to empty waste, it’s only about a 30 mins drive but when we check Fridays weather it looks terrible, with 45mph gusts. We decide that we should move to Calais Citie Europe Aire at Calais which is free and has the advantage of being a massive shopping complex including a Carrefour, we want to stock up on cheap beer and wines, it will save so much money for our home budget but also for us to take to Ireland in a month or so time.

The 4G signal was good so we blogged and researched ferries for Ireland and stayed until 3pm. This private aire is completely empty this morning apart from us, yesterday there were 25 motorhomes here, did we miss a bargain on the crossing?

Eventually a decision is made, and we are off to Citie Europe – a straight forward drive and we parked up easily, it’s a huge car park (GPS N50.932779, E001.812194) next to Toys R Us, floodlit, overlooked by the police station, good news! and with high fences, there is no barrier though and you come and go as you please.

P1080956It is chucking it down, so we stayed in Pogo, had something to eat and drink, relaxed and we eventually headed over to Carrefour at 6pm, 200 metres walk, we stocked up on beer and wine spending €90, also there is a hairdresser’s inside and I go in, no appointment needed, yes they can do my hair but no colours after 6pm, flipping heck! I could have come over a couple of hours ago, the first two times I had my hair done in Croatia and Belgrade had been so easy.

Early night for us after trying a bit of the €3 per 1.5 litre wine, not too bad and left-over chilli, which always good, can’t beat a two-day old chilli! Dessert was raspberries, crème fraiche and honey, absolutely delicious, well it was for me! Dave found this in alive and crawling his dish!

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Sorry if you are eating whilst reading this!

Our alarm was set for the first time in months, it feels weird, I hope we don’t sleep in!

Good night

Cathy x

Cap Gris-Nez and a wonderful walk, Pays de Calais – France

Wednesday 8th August 2018

Cathy posting,

Pogo is liking his sleepy spot at Ferme De L’Horloge (GPS N50.86280, E001.64907). The breadman called this morning at 9.am prompt, Dave goes and buys a baguette and a couple of pain au chocolat, my favourites and I’ve managed to resist the indulgent pastry until now. Dave sneaked his favourite sticky affair in too some sort of curled up pastry with apricot raisins and icing, he loves them, far too sweet for me.

Dave took a look at the map and we’ve decided to walk the 7kms to Cap Gris-Nez, the nearest point to England from France, water and indulgent pastry in the back pack and 2 jumpers in case the strong sudden breeze comes back. It was a lovely walk along a very quiet roadway passing a craft brewery and admiring cottages and bungalows with Dover cliffs in their view, we wondered if the locals like their view of Blighty?

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This was on zoom

Arriving at the Mairie (local mayors house) we pick up a trail leading to La Plage and from there another trail to Cap Gris-Nez, we are walking above the beach on the dunes as it looks like the tide is in and there’s a rocky outcrop that we may not be able to get past.

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a beautiful natural beach

We find ourselves at a couple of look out points, one looks directly back towards the other Cap, Cap Gris-Blanc, there were boardwalks with lots of information boards of the history of this strategic position during the world wars but also the history of important migration routes for birds which start their journey from here before circumnavigation of the world.

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Enjoying the moment!

Interestingly also to learn about the many rules on the channel, there are more than 500 ships a day traversing the channel this excludes ferries and fishing vessels, it is the world’s busiest international seaway and in order for this body of water to be safe the rule is that ships travel in one of the two corridors which travel through the channel in the middle of the strait, those leading towards the North sea ports e.g. Dunkirk, Rotterdam etc pass near the French coast and those travelling towards the Atlantic travel along the English coast, known as the traffic separation scheme.

P1080906Walking on to the lighthouse we saw parts of the Atlantic wall, remains of a wall which was a defense system built by the 3rd Reich during WW2 along the western coast of Europe to prevent the allies landing from Great Britain. It extended over 6000kms from the Spanish border to the north of Norway between the two capes Gris Nez & Gris Blanc it was both defensive and offensive as the Germans installed 73 heavy canons located in the area of Calais and Boulogne, 4 batteries could hit targets in England! As we look over to blighty maybe 33kms away it was hard to imagine.

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How big is this beach?

Walking back along the beach as the tide went out we paddled in the warm waters and Dave was keen to see the row of mussels growing and now visible as the tide was out, earlier we could see them from high above but just black lines under the water and we couldn’t work out what they were?

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young mussels

 

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We could see these when they were covered by the clear, clean water earlier

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Horse and riders enjoying the sea breeze and the huge expansive beach

Back at Pogo we get a chilli on and I decide to give myself a pedicure with a nice hot bowl of water and some posh shower gel, a birthday gift from my sister, if I have to have grey hair at the moment then at least I can have nice toes, Dave decides he likes the look of it, so he joins me, his pinkies are all lovely now too!

We sit and enjoy the views again, eating outside and admiring the setting sun a bit of cloud obscuring most of it, so just a few pink streaks showing, we decided to try the cheap wine in the plastic bottle and it was quite good, wished we had bough more now!

Dave drags me out of my reclining position to go and play Swingolf, the Aire has an impressive large pitch and putt more like a 9 hole, unfortunately the clubs are plastic heads and foam rubber balls, but we had a great laugh as we landed our balls into the hedges and I cheated a few times whilst Mr Emms wasn’t looking.

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Poetry in motion!

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Dave’s golf ball is nearest to the hole!

Good night

Cathy x