Wednesday 8th August 2018
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?
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.
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.
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.
Walking 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.
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?
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.