31 July 2009

2006: Road to Calais

31 July

An uneventful drive of perhaps 400 miles from Bretagne to Calais. Points of interest:

# More charming towns in the middle of everywhere

# Driving south along the Seine west of Rouen, doing so because a wrong turn was taken, adding one hour to the trip

# Finding the towns of Le Trait and Duclair as a result, more than making up for the directional issues

# Leaving rain in Bretagne, to find more rain in Rouen, and bright sunshine in Calais

# Following a very large hay truck and humungous yacht (not a land yacht this time) for almost thirty miles because (1) narrow roads made it difficult to pass, and (2) a "diversion" (detour) in the same place as three weeks ago... For a short while, about five miles, I was also behind a propane tanker, a massive two-county-sized hay baler, and a double-length tractor-trailer rig. They peeled off one at a time within miles of Agincourt

# Numerous large wind turbine farms on ridges as you approach Calais

Le Ferme de Wolphus is where I sleep tonight, a working farm about 30 minutes drive south of Calais. It is notable for (1) being truly quiet (2) except when the TGV (the high-speed train) rolls by about 400 metres away from my room, (3) the international supporting cast (at the moment I arrived, two New Zealanders and two Swiss, and a 10-year-old French girl named Justine, visiting her grandparents who live in the gite also run by the farm), and (4) a lot of fairly-tame animals (llamas, a horned sheep (the ram was impressive), peafowl, chickens, turkeys, a tiny pony named Oslo, and a Golden Retriever named Orion. I'm sure there were others around, but if so I saw them not.

Justine was insistent that she was to be my shadow for the afternoon as I wandered the farm in search of interesting photo ops... She also made it clear my French was not good enough. (grin)

The common room downstairs became the evening entertainment spot (no TV, no phone, no internet, etc), with juices and wine, cheese and breads, and lots of conversation bouncing between French and English (with several different accents to each).

At midnight, sleep was easy.

No comments: