2017 Day Twenty Three

An unexpected stop today, outside of our Les Plus Beaux Villages tour.  The reality of long term travel brings with it domestics that can’t be ignored indefinitely.  It’s dirty word in anyone’s language: laundry.   

Our usual modus operandi is a campsite with facilities, vs the village adjacent network of aires, but France has a new innovative solution – many of the hypermarkets are now equipped with stand alone laundrettes.  These are typically a bank of  four, 1 x 8 kg, 2 x 18 kg washing machines and a massive dryer.  Being in the hypermarket, we can park easily (no mean feat in small spaces) do two loads in under an hour, pay with a credit card (no more endless searching for the right type of coin) and be our way to dry things at our lesuire. It’s a ferociously hot day so the latter is of no concern.  Problem solved for us, and a steady stream of locals about the business of completing their chores.  The machines are spotless and relatively inexpensive to use.  I’m calling that a win, though I’d rather be taking pictures of pretty bugs.

It’s just too hot to go exploring today. We settle instead at the mouth of the Gironde river, in Meschers Sur Gironde.  We’re alongside one of the estuaries that runs into the river, then to sea.  It’s completely devoid of water when we arrive – just at the turn of low tide.   It’s extraordinary to watch it fill.  The tide is so fast that within an hour, the estuary is full to the brim, much to the delight of a family of ducks, brand new ducklings in tow.  Just as well we always have bread to spare.  Well, we and all the locals.  Feeding ducks is a popular way today dealing with the remnants of yesterday’s bread.

Eventually it cools, books are devoured (holiday reading 💖) and we make our way into Meschers Sur Gironde.  The bridge has been opened for the tide and the fishing boats are bringing in their catch.  It’s pretty, still a little touristy, being a seaside spot, but not excessively so.  

There are the seaside restaurants of course, ice-cream kiosks and usual kiddie rides, but also oysters for sale fresh off the beds and harbour cruises to the Les Plus Beaux Village on the next headland, our destination tomorrow.  

We walk into town, very much a local affair, and admire the church and patisseriers.  

We’re equally guilt of having no willpower.  Not a new situation for me (“the only thing I can’t resist is temptation” being a long term byline) but new for Chris whose lunch club has finally given him an appreciation of dessert, after years of deigning it not to his taste. Ha.  She who laughs last, laughs longest… welcome to the dark side.  

Dessert sorted we head home for a quiet night, bidding yet more ducks adieu. 

 Fabulous steaks from the farm shop at Stourhead await, our Italian inspired “peaches” cakes to finish.  Rum soaked and delightful.  The cakes weren’t bad either.  😂

By the time dinner is finished, the water is gone. From empty to full, back to empty in only few hours. Extraordinary.  

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