Sunday 12th November
We decided to leave Nantes early but actually didn’t wake till 10am. Another leisurely morning it was then. Just before 1pm we left the Aire and headed for Rochefort. We arrived at 5 pm after a three hour drive and an hour lunch stop. The Aire in Rochefort Gps n45.92735 w000.95467 costs a princely sum of €4.10 per night and has all facilities except electric hook up and is with walking distance of the town.
Monday 13th. November
I went for my first run in just under three months – at my pace of 1 kilometre every 7 mins it is perhaps more honest to call it a fast walk than a run. I ran/fast walked to the centre, the arsenal and the marina, returning just before completing 6k. I must admit that it felt good to run again and I will definitely be repeating it more than once every three months. Whilst stretching my weary limbs so that I would be able to walk the next day I noticed a British van on the other side of the Aire and went to have a chat in our native tongue. Well sort of- the heavily accented New Zealand reply was definitely English but not as I was expecting. I really enjoyed having a 10 minute chat to Sarah & Jason. It turns out that they emigrated from New Zealand to Wales three years ago then decided to rent their home out and take at least a year off to tour Europe. They are lucky enough to be able to spend the whole year touring in their Hymer motorhome instead of just doing the winter as we do, so they will be able to see the French Swiss and Italian alps and lakes if they wish to but so far they have only been on the road 11 days. They we’re really interested in what we had done and what we were doing but actually they seem to know a lot more about this touring thing than we do. Sarah said she had spent a lot of time planning and researching and it showed. We never like to impose on folks so left it that we may catch up at some point down the road and I really hope that we do. I am sure they will have some interesting stories to tell and I am desperate to know more about New Zealand a country that I have always wanted to visit. We had both followed Jason and Julie’s Blog “Our Tour” and both took inspiration from it giving us the confidence to do something similar. I mentioned that I too had a much more infant blog of sorts and within a few minutes from saying “cherrio” they had started following my blog too and sent us a message. So “Kia ora” (hello) Sarah & Jason- the wonders of modern connectivity.
We took a walk into Rochefort and whilst it was sunny the wind was cold and when the sun went in it was bitter. I transformed from T’ shirt wearing ‘look at me enjoying the sun’ type macho bloke to a fleece wearing ‘its a tad nippy’ normal guy, to fleece and puffer jacket wearing ‘blimey its frikin’ cold’ wimp. We still ate al fresco though (as the sun came out again) just a sandwich, cake and un cafe crem (they really know how to make coffee) and wandered the typically French streets.
Rochefort was an important ship building and armaments town in its day and tried to rival its nearest neighbour La Rochelle, I’m not sue it ever did though so as it’s neighbour is so much more impressive in every way. Rochefort however is interesting in own way but probably more famous for its cheese than its ships nowadays.
When we got back to the motorhome we decided take Sunny out for a spin and to do some washing at the outside al fresco laundry at the Inter Marchè spending the 1hour 15mins it needed for a wash and tumble dry, therapeutically shopping.
Tomorrow we aim to head to Cognac (about an hour south east) and hope to do a tour of one of the famous cognac houses.