CABOURG, OUISTREAM

We head away in the morning from the aire and head towards Cabourg.  We want to get there early as the aire we stayed at on arrival is very popular and although it takes about 80-100 vans it gets filled early especially since it is Friday and the weekend will be busy.  I am driving and with Scot navigating I am unsure what I am in for.  We head through a number of villages on the road but as we get nearer our destination we come across heavy traffic and markets in Arromanches and this makes for unpleasant travelling especially as Scot doesn’t have google directions (or brain direction sense (Scots input not mine)) on and is trying to wing which road to turn into.  After some stressful banter and several wrong turns I decide its not worth driving and take over the navigating as it is getting on, in the day.  We get back onto the correct track and get into Cabourg.

We head to the aire and find that there is a circus coming and they have closed off most of the parks and have left only about 8!!  Can you imagine how many motorhomes are now driving all over this area looking for their park for the weekend given that this accommodates at least 80 vans and no one, like us, knows they have closed off most of it.  We need to do laundry so stop at a local one before then trying to find another place to stop.  I find a couple of potential places and we pull into one carpark only to find that we must leave at 7am in the morning which isn’t likely to happen.  We still park up and walk around the town, Scot gets a well overdue haircut, but on getting back to the van a couple of others parked here have left so we decide to move along.

I find out that vans can park near the stadium and supposedly they have opened up a number of parks.  I know it is unlikely there is space but we have to check anyway.  We get there and there is horse trotting on in the evening, making it a crowded place.  I think we can squeeze into a spot on the side and talk to the gateman who is lovely and comes and looks and in French says go for it.  Just as we squeeze in, another van leaves so we move there and get chatting to the group of young guys and girls parked up next to us.  Then another van leaves the actual aire park so we move once more into a designated spot which is great.  We can stay here for the weekend now.  The guys ask us to go over for a drink with them, so we walk around and join them for a couple of drinks.  They are off to the music festival on the beach tonight and tomorrow night at Cabourg.  The main fellow chatting to us is French born with American parents and grandparents and we get on well.  They plie us with drinks but we leave them to party on the beach and head back to the van.

As the evening gets on we see the horse racing starting up and the fellow on the gate gives Scot a free entry ticket for us to go in and check it out.  Scot wants to bet on a couple of horses, but I have no idea how to bet in France so after watching  a few people and trying to ask questions we give up and just pick our numbers and see how they go.  This is the strangest trots I have ever been to.  The horses don’t run behind a barrier, they just come out from the side and start running and in the last race the horses don’t have a buggy behind them.  They have a rider in the saddle like the gallops but they are trotting.  We have never seen this before and not surprising there are about 8 of the 16 horses disqualified during the race for galloping and not trotting.  My 2 horses come 2nd and 3rd and we wish we could have bet even if it only got us a few euro. That night we wake to the youngies having a couple of drinks at 2am when they get back but they are really pretty quiet considering.

The next day we head into Cabourg for a nice lunch at a restaurant I have picked out based on great reviews and we have a sensational lunch.  We also have checked out how many euros we have left and we need to spend it all before we leave in case we are not back in Europe before we head home.  So we have it all earmarked for bits and pieces and succumb to buying some lovely sardines and fish soup which we have seen all over France but have not bought before.  Back at the van and the youngies ask to join them for drinks again which we do for a short time but leave them to their own devices.  Its quite funny as a couple of vans pull in beside them but on realising they have young people with music playing and drinking right beside them they soon leave.  These guys are not too bad again when they get back to the van in the wee hours of the morning except on Sunday morning they set the alarm off, not once but about 10 times and they have trouble turning it off for good.  Its a rental which is why.  They nearly blew us all up when we arrived as they were smoking near the gas bottle when they were playing around with the connection….scary stuff! We exchange email addresses with the French/yank who’s parents are from Oregon and this seems a great destination for a future holiday, who knows.

Sunday morning we head away from here and say goodbuy to the youngies who are mostly worse for the wear and head to our final night in France at Ouistream aire.  We park up here and take a walk along to Ouistream which we have not actually walked to before.  It is very busy and the beach is lovely as is the small village area. We laugh at the things we could buy or a final drink but we have no euros left, not even for an ice cream in the sun.  We feel like a swim but we have to sort out our gear in the van tonight as we are dropping some stuff off with Michaela when we reach the UK tomorrow. It is a quiet night and we surface to the alarm at 6.30am to head off to the ferry to head back to the UK.

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