St Nicolas de Bliquetuit to Pont Audemer

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.

5 thoughts on “St Nicolas de Bliquetuit to Pont Audemer

  1. We have stopped several time at St Nicolas de Bliquetuit; in fact, it was our first ever motorhome aire back in July 2010 and an excellent introduction to this way of travelling! I love watching the large barges down the river Seine and taking our dog for long walks along its banks.
    As for the cows in the trailer, we once stopped for coffee at a motorway service and a big lorry full of pigs parked next to us. It was more than I could take. It was a quick stop! This kind of thing is enough to turn anyone into a vegetarian, but I do love my meat!

    1. We got the idea of staying there from your blog! Yeah, a great spot! We too enjoyed watching the barges go by! Had we had more time, we’d have stopped a few hours longer I imagine.
      I am just like you re: the pig vans! I can’t follow one without feeling upset! – but feel a hypocrite at the same time for loving my meat! – talking of which enjoy your turkey Christmas lunch if you’re having one! We certainly will! 🍗

      1. Oh wow! I am so glad I inspired you to go there and that you liked it. We roasted a chicken in our brand new Philips Multicooker and it turned out brilliant, parsnips and all. I highly recommend it, but needs electricity. Hope you had a great Christmas and enjoyed your turkey, etc. Having a beer in the sun right now at aire in Moissac: wonderful aire and town: make sure you come. 👍👍👍🌞🌞🌞

      2. Well done with the Christmas lunch! Our daughter and her partner cooked Christmas lunch on board their van in Bordeaux! They loved it so much, doing that last Christmas too, they returned again this year! I really love the idea of a very simple Christmas getaway on the van!

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