Neville reaches the Ile de Ré

Saturday 20th August

Nev’s packed, shiny and ready to rumble. 

The journey to Portsmouth passes without incident and we’re at the ferry terminal in good time. (Actually we are first there – so in very good time aka early!)

Should we be worried that a number of crossings have been cancelled due to poor weather?

All aboard, fed and into our cabin. 

Gary perfects his pixie pose in the top berth. 

The ship is starting to roll! Gary sleeps like a baby. I relocate to the bathroom for much of the night! 
Tony Peters (Harry Hornet’s) prediction of the outcome of my lunch of smoked haddock chowder proving sadly accurate. 

And maybe a cappuccino and baileys before bed was less of a sensible idea 

Not to mention the cocktail!

Things calmed down at about 2am thankfully and all was peaceful until the piped music into the cabin just after 6am. 
Shopping highlight of the day a colour coded razor for our ‘Brazilian’ bay.

Sunday 21st August

A brief breakfast, and a bracing stroll around the deck before disembarking. 

I think Nev must have been campervan sick as well as we coughed, spluttered and stalled our way off the ferry and for the first few miles and then the dreaded warning light came on. 

Then the voice of Darren Baynes (yoshi) was channelled. We pulled in, revved the engine a bit and after some ‘pfutt pfutt pfutt ing’ we turned the engine off, held our breath, counted to 180 and restarted. Yay all was well – even the fault light cleared itself after a fuel stop later in the day. Phew!
About 4 hours later we arrived at camping Sunelia Interlude. First impressions were that it was larger, busier and the plots smaller (even tho we had a grand espace) than I had imagined. 

Anyway we set up – albeit without the sun canopy on the passenger side that I had hoped we would have room for – and were sitting looking pretty (Nev that is) fairly swiftly and without argument. 

A sit in the sun, a walk to the beach, the licking of ice cream, checking out the shop, booking the restaurant, eating of tea, drinking of 100% knob creek bourbon and sleep was required. 

Monday 22nd August

It’s a hot, hot, hot day. Declared as such as I actually put sun lotion on and for the first time Gary has known me I moved into the shade!

To be more precise we constructed a stand alone shade sail with the sun canopy. 
Serena Wootton (Tallulah) your tip of bringing a long handled sweeping brush has proved invaluable. Sand everywhere. 

This afternoon in a fit of guilt at the lack of physical activity and continuing consumption of food and alcohol we saddled up the Bromptons and cycled into the village for a potter.

The day ended with a lovely trio of fish on a kebab from the campsite restaurant and a beautiful sunset on the beach. 


Tuesday 23rd August

A brisk start to our days adventures. Woke up at 9.30am! Anyway after breakfast we headed to La Flotte marché for our ubiquitous potter. We bought nothing – no ball lights as hoped for – previously purchased by Andy Lonsborough – Bertie green. But enjoyed ourselves none the less. The fish eye lens was played with. 

La Flotte was pretty enough and not too big so we felt we’d seen what there was to see and cycled back to La Bois. 

We spotted donkeys but they weren’t wearing their pyjamas! Naked and hairy.

We headed for the beach in an attempt to find some air and eventually made our way back to plot B66 for a lovely Lotus grill BBQ of turkey paprika kebab and fillet steak. 

Wednesday 24th August

A grey day – who’d have thought I’d feel relief! Some camp tidying to be done and then …..

Hmm wonder where all that sand came from?


Another early morning Brompton start and into the market of Le Bois Plage. Too many pretty textile to mention and baskets etc. Fewer man toys tho. 

The afternoon was spent on the beach again trying to cool down. 

Thursday 25th August

Another blisteringly hot day – I think it hit about 34 degrees.

We headed to the beach in the morning and flopped and boogie boarded alternately. 

The waves here are great, very consistent and easy to catch. 

In the afternoon we saddled the trusty bromptons and headed for la Flotte to purchase things previously seen. 

From here we headed into StMartin de Ré. A very pretty destination. History, Porte des Campani, scenery, boats, donkeys, restaurants, shops, bars, ice cream galore etc.

Something for everyone. 

And yes we did find the donkeys in pyjamas (makes a change to bananas).

We had a lovely meal harbour side 

and then cycled back to Nev and were treated to another fab sunset to end the day. 

The stars here are amazing. We had a quick walk down to the beach to observe -just wish I knew what they all were. 

Friday 26th August 

The day starts with brekkie in the already hot sunshine. Sounds around of movement and sweeping – lots and lots of sweeping!

Sun, sand, sea and sex. I may have had enough of two of them!
A lazy day today. A mere 40ish km in 32 degree heat. 

Ars de Re was well worth the cycle. Lovely buildings and a pretty ride through the salt marshes.


On the beach by 5. Following an unauthorised stop in a clothes shop in the village where Gary had spotted a Neville jacket for himself at 100 paces. Good job we’re not both impulsive!!

No waves so no surf – just a bat and ball competition – think we may be a tad too competitive. 

A great BBQ for tea courtesy of the charcuterie/ boulangerie/patisserie in Bois de Plage where you can buy all you need for a 3 course banquet. 

Thankfully somewhat cooler this evening. A chance to wear some clothes that haven’t yet seen the light of day. 

Currently pretending the great camp dismantle does not begin tomorrow – I’ll let you know how we get on with that! 

Saturday 27th August

Another day dawns of glorious hot sunshine. There’s been a lot of movement this morning -so -Saturday must be a big change over day. 

We lit the primus, sat back and watched the fun. 

This morning we hit the market for the last time more brochettes etc for tea.

Then back to camp for an afternoon on the beach awaiting the arrival of the waves – they never came!

Camp was mainly broken up in readiness of tomorrow’s trip back to St Malo. 

Sunday 28th August

Once packed up and showered we took Nev to see the famous black and white church at Ars.

Then the drive to St Malo. Quite long , not too busy. Uneventful. 
Tonight’s camp site is about 20 minutes from the ferry and has a chateau to gaze upon from our huge pitch. (La Ville de Domaine Huchet)
We have gone minimalistic. Everything is slung unpacked into the pop up ready for a swift and earlyish departure for the ferry. 

Monday 29th August

Currently sat on the ferry awaiting departure. Neville is at the front of a ramp where they worryingly placed chocks in front of the wheels. Do they know anything about Brazibay hand brakes? 

What a difference this return journey has been. Like having a bonus day on a cruise. Clear blue skies and hot sunshine without the sand!

A swift departure from the ferry and we were off. M27 a breeze. M3 a standstill so we came off for fuel and headed through the back roads for Winchester topics up the A34. 

A blue brazibay passed us and beeped – was it you?

We’re getting hungry and chieveley services were not a feat draw. So we thought we would see what Google suggested. A restaurant ‘’ seems an option distance wisest we headed there.maybe the quality of vehicle in the car park should have been a clue but we headed in – in our best i’ve been on a ferry all day and I’m my best Ecco granny sandals – to a Michelin star discreet restaurant had a great meal, and came away with a happy ending to our great trip. 

Nev you did us proud.

Things we have enjoyed most this week; markets, surfing when waves, ice cream, sunshine, scenery, cycling, Bbqing, camping in Neville and each other. 
Things we have enjoyed less this week; constantly sandy feet, ile de re red wine, 32+ degrees of constant heat, whiny children, expensive wifi, rough seas, did I mention sand!! 

We wouldn’t take the fire pit, windbreak, flag pole or wet suit shoes next time. 

We didn’t do as much ‘sightseeing’ as we might have done ‘cos it was honestly too hot. So very much looking forward to going back next year – no question 

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