As we head away the beach is a lot quieter today and we reluctantly move on, we so much love being by the sea especially right on the beach. We opt for a bit of highway and a bit of local roads and as I am navigating Vicki can expect anything as Mr Google doesn’t know we have a camper and can put us on some ridiculous country roads and as the highways are away from anything really scenic I find a road that follows the coast and it is pretty good. We pass some pretty fishing villages and meander along the coast but it is a little bleak and rugged area and the villages are getting harder to navigate. We are just passing a particularly beautiful coast road with sweeping views of tiny bays and beaches when I decide to keep on this road as it seems ok. Murphy’s law kicks in and when we are committed and pass through some tiny roads and I get the feeling we should have gone on a faster road.
We head up to Auderville which is at the peak of the peninsula near Cherbourg. As we travel closer to this area the fog starts to enclose the roads and before we know it we can hardly see the road in front of us. We believe we would have some lovely coastal views if the fog wasn’t there but we have struck fog in France before and it is so thick theres hardly a chance to see cars coming from behind and in front let alone anything off to the side of the road. After a bit more tiki touring we get to Auderville and there isn’t much there but the fog has been kept away by the slight sea breeze. We stop in the aire as campers are not allowed in the coastal fishing village and have lunch and filter coffee – we are always grateful you gave us the filter thanks Gary & Jules – then head on where unfortunately we hit more dense fog where you can’t see 10 feet in front and the road is steep and windy. What a bummer we are driving in an area with what we think would be sweeping vistas as well but are denied due to the fog. We get past the top and decided to head back to the main road instead of following the harder coast road where there is nothing visible and loop around. It is about now that Morrie our van decides it wants to run rough as it has been doing now and then and is now really starting to piss us off and we don’t want to do any damage. It loses power a bit and blows black smoke but once back on the main road it settles down and we vow we will get it looked at in UK as it will be to hard here to play the language game.
We finally get into Cherbourg which is a huge port and a crucial strategic area during WW 2 as we find out in Normandy. We plan on staying the nite find an aire and look around the old town area but we can’t get a park anywhere, there are campers everywhere looking for a park and it is madness. Reluctantly we decide to move on disappointed we won’t see this historic port.
We decide to look at a town an hour up the coast called Barfleur which has been voted the best town in France in the past and worth it to see if we can get a park. We travel along some of the lovely scenic roads where the fog seems to have avoided luckily and it is really lovely scenery. Some of the small roads we are travelling on are really only wide enough for us and no one else, then we come across a couple of tractors mowing the side of the road. We can’t pass and we have to wait back where we can get off the road until they can pass us and we continue on. Then we hit a diversion of police and fire trucks which are attending what looks like a nasty accident as we find out when we move into a convenient carpark to turn around and retrace our tracks and do a large sweep to get back onto this road past the crash so we don’t have to go all the way back. As we pass the accident we see that both cars are burnt out which is not a good sign. Mind you the way some people drive on these roads it is no wonder there are not more.
The drive after this is nice and interesting through countryside that is a mix of farming and growing and close to the coast for fishing and holidays. We drive into the main part of town which is right on the harbour, and like a lot of them here is in a squashed U shape as a defensive measure. It is very quaint but like every camper before us we can’t get to the parking area for campers so do a “u’y” and pass through small lanes till we find it right next to the high sea wall – no view tonite. There are not too many left so we quickly manoeuvre in and are greeted by the resident hen who gets a few scraps of our unused baguette. There is a lot of history here between the English and French navies, Napoleon etc. This was the main port of embarkment for the middle ages, where the Normans started for the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and where William was persuaded to let his two sons and heirs depart with a renown captain back to England. The boat subsequently sunk in a storm and without heirs the whole reign collapsed leading to the era known as the Anarchy in 1120 so lots of old history. We walked around a bit looked into the souvenir shops, dodging arriving campers and had a drink at the local then headed back for tea. We were going to eat out but nothing grabbed out attention and it was starting to rain so not pleasant if you wanted an outside seat. Again the sea looked inviting but tides were out and promised to be crap weather on the morrow. All in all a wonderful town, picturesque and charming and worth a visit.