La Gazilly (Aff) – Ireland
It is Wednesday´s task to retrieve car and trailer from Mayenne. In the morning the child and myself board a taxi to Redon. There we await the arrival of a regional train to Rennes, where we change to the TGV (train à grande vitesse) to Laval. I always wanted to ride on this French icon. And as tickets were so cheap, I even booked first class. The train is absolutely amazing. Spotless clean, quiet, civilized, very French indeed. Only downside was, that the stretch from Rennes to Laval isn’t high speed yet. But we can see a lot of building sites for the high speed extension. But even so the ride is over ways too soon.
In Laval we have to switch to a local bus to Mayenne. The café du sport next to the station offers a noire for me an ice-cream for the child. The 50-seater bus is all ours, and 45 minutes later we are dropped of at the Gare Routiere in Mayenne. Meanwhile the day has turned from warm to incredibly hot. The whole town is deserted with everybody staying in a cool place. I am hoping for a taxi, but no chance. So we battle up and down the hills in the heat, the child being slightly unhappy, but very brave.
The Landy starts first turn and the trailer hooked up we get on the road back to La Gazilly. As always after a longer time on a boat the speed of land based transport comes almost as a shock and we are a bit of a slow moving obstacle for the first few miles. Or we would be, if the roads wouldn’t be totally empty.
Back at the boat we park up the trailer and drive on to Redon to pay Monsieur Leclerc ‘s grocery a visit. We take on a good stock of his best produce in anticipation of a long Irish winter, far away from cheap booze.
Kerstin wisely booked a table in the Pizzeria, expecting it to be booked. It turns out to be. Just as we sit down Martin walks past. A big hello and Martin, Regina and Drew decide to stay for dinner. That takes a lot of shuffling and arguing with the Maître to make additional space. We have a lovely meal and a lot of stories to swap. And the alcohol induced idea to go for a little night trip down the l’Aff. It turns out to be really lovely, the only light being the new moon shinning through the tree cover.
With Martins help we haul the boat up the trailer and get everything roadshape. Of we go to Camping le Cormoran near Sainte-Mère-Église. All in all probably not the best choice. The fellow campers are rather strange, and together with the overcast weather and the proximity to Utah beach, it feels rather eerie.
On Friday morning we extend our stay to the last moment, as we still have eight hours to kill, before the ferry leaves from Cherbourg. We are going to visit the “La Cité de la Mer” again after last years success. If it is only because I know that there is a parking space where I can park car and trailer and will be able to get out again without too much trouble. The second visit is not quiet as exiting as the first one, but at least we get a few nice shots of Sharky.
On the ferry we again meet the Donegal crowd and so have a generally great time.
Back in Ireland within an hour we get a call from German friends who have just landed with kids and camper in Rosslare and are locking for a place to stay a couple of nights. There is just no ending to them dreaded BBQs and beers….
To wrap it up: It was a mighty fine holiday. Great nature, great towns, great food, great drink and the most friendly people. Just enough technical problems to keep us on our toes. We will be back.