Well, last night didn’t go exactly as planned. At about 9:30pm a very large truck with an equally large trailer pulled in behind us. The whole rig was lit up like a Christmas tree, but it wasn’t clear what was happening despite all the activity. Before long the trailer was unhitched and the main truck drove away. Despite this there was still lots of banging about going on in the abandoned trailer.
I’d seen a circus poster on the way into town and thought that maybe this was the first instalment of the “entertainment” that was perhaps due to take over this parking area. I envisaged a large crate of unfortunate exotic animals behind us, maybe lions, tigers, elephants, etc just dropped off here temporarily until the main event kicked off, in a way that the French bizarrely still seem to find acceptable.
Anyway, despite the extreme risk of attack from wild beasts, Sophie insisted that I go and check out all the commotion. So armed with only a torch I took my life into my hands. I soon ascertained that this trailer really was packed with live animals, but rather than from the circus they were cows, perhaps on their way to market the next day. It was actually a double-decker of them, and their sad eyes looked back at me as I shone my torch at them.
By this point, Sophie was also getting agitated, and there was no way we’d sleep peacefully knowing that these poor animals had just been abandoned right behind us, and would likely be disturbing us throughout the night. So in moments we’d made ready and left those poor ladies in their cramped overnight quarters.
This was a motorhoming first for us, and hopefully a last.
More often than not I do try to have a plan B up my sleeve, which in this case was about 30 minutes away near the village of St Nicolas de Bliquetuit, and right on the banks of the Seine. As we pulled in we were very excited to be overnighting overlooking the Seine at such close quarters, and across the other side of the river was the illuminated town of Caudebec en Caux. In fact we had sat there for some time enjoying the view and movement of the water, before realising that we really should turn in.
After a thoroughly peaceful night we then enjoyed watching the large boats passing on the river in the morning.
I’d planned to make some decent progress today, hoping to get to Suisse Normande, but I made two fatal mistakes. First was not to have some sustenance before hitting the road after midday. Second was to choose a town to top up with LPG and visit Lidl which turned out to be one that required a proper visit.
So I reluctantly agreed to visiting Pont Audemer, and only being a modest 6 metres in length, we readily parked very centrally to the small town. Plenty of half-timbered buildings and picturesque waterways were appealing, but by this stage I was entering “hangry” territory and, to use Sophie’s terminology, I found the place “perfectly pleasant”, ie it was OK. She was more complimentary about the town than me.