Homeward Bound

After cleaning up after ourselves, hanging the freshly washed bedding over a clothes horse and locking up Angela and Billy’s house tight, we set off home on Saturday morning – a little later than planned at 9.20am.

The day was overcast and threatened rain, which in fact took about three quarters of an hour to start.

We stopped in Belac, on route to the motorway north of Limoges to look for bread. Our plan had been to stop in St. Junien, but the rain had started at that point and in Belac it had abated. Here though, we fell foul of the French custom of August holidays (i.e. whole towns go away at once) as only one Boulangerie was open and its queues were huge! We spent a fruitless half an hour wandering round the town and the market (which was still taking place) before deciding that the rain was too hard to bother queuing. We eventually stopped in small town en route to buy bread.

The rain was so hard that I decided to give the motorway a miss and we followed the ‘yellow’ road (obviously the road that was replaced by the motorway) pretty much all the way to Chateauroux and then the ‘green’ road as far as Chartres, where we planned to spend the night. On this secondary road I was able to maintain a legal maximum of 90km per hour (60ish) without worrying about spray, reckless drivers or overtaking (or being overtaken) in such awful conditions: we rarely saw another car and the worst period of driving was through a short patch of surface water just after beginning that part of our journey.

We stopped for a (damp) picnic lunch when the rain stopped (and started – then stopped again) somewhere on route. Sharon then drove all the way to Chartres in cool but dry fairly sunny weather. We stayed at the Ibis in Chartres, which is quite a nice version of that hotel chain, with proper bathroom + showers and a restaurant serving passable food. Sadly, we weren’t over impressed with the city itself but that might have been the weather, which became wet once again as we walked around the outside of the magnificent cathedral and its surrounding tourist traps.

We completed our journey to Boulogne-sur-mer on Sunday in almost continuous sunshine. I say almost, because it decided to throw it down again just after we’d packed up our windy lunch on ‘the front’ at Quand Plage near the Baie de la Somme.

Tonight is our 7th Wedding Anniversary meal and I’m right looking forward to it! More on France, the French and our meal – later.

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