France Part 15 – I gotta eat you know….

Well, as I type, just a couple more days and we’ll be back home in - hopefully sunny, but probably soggy – Saltdean. And it’s looking like a rather soggy conclusion to our time here too. Lots of showers has meant getting out and about has been rather sporadic. There’s more to come over the next couple of days too. Anyway, we’ll get up to date and see what happens.

Thursday was our last night at Forest View and we had our last evening meal at the restaurant on site. Three evenings a week, homemade pizzas are offered – which we had on the first night and were delicious. On alternate nights there is a ‘plat du jour’ two course special created, prepared and cooked by Sarah and Thursday was one of those nights. Everyone sits together and you get a chance to meet other campers.

Well, quite simply, wow! Sarah is a stunning chef. The main course – Carbonnade á la Flamande – was simply divine, equalled only by the Tiramisu which followed. Fantastic food and great company made for a very enjoyable evening indeed.

With around 100 miles to travel on Friday, there was no rush but we were hitched up and ready to go by the time the bread was delivered. We collected our fix, said our goodbyes to hosts Peter and Sarah and were off.

It was a largely easy journey, on mostly straight roads, at least until we got to the small town of Bourgtheroulde. A narrow high street, clogged with traffic and cars parked on pavements made for an extremely tricky traverse. Later we were to discover a long black mark along Patsy’s offside which we suspect was a rather too close encounter with a wing mirror. Thankfully most of it has come off but you can still see it if you look closely.

It got easier again after that and for a brief while we joined a road that we’d travelled on on the way down over five weeks ago, turning off just after crossing the Brotonne bridge in to one of the Seine’s ‘U’ bends towards our site in Jumiéges. From what we saw it looked an extremely pretty area and one we were looking forward to exploring.Aug 23 (62)

The site wasn’t logged on the sat-nav app but as we turned off from the main road, there were signs directing us. It seemed Camping de la Forét warranted ‘official’ streets signs and that got me thinking. A rare thing I know. The only other site on our travels to benefit from official signage was the second one down in the Vendee – Camping La Grisse. All the others had to put up their own. Why? Well, la Forét and la Grisse are French, all the others are British. Just saying. It COULD be a coincidence….

We’d guestimated we’d arrive at around 12:30pm and weren't too far out pulling up at about 12:45pm I’d checked and there was no arrival time listed so thought we’d be okay, but a sign on the door indicated that reception was closed for an hour for lunch from 12:30pm. Great. There was a bell on the side of the door though, so I pressed it, realising almost immediately after that it was marked ‘for emergency use only’ Oops.

The door was soon answered by a VERY cross looking woman who launched into a rant that it was lunchtime, the office was closed and she had to eat. A glance up and down suggested that eating wasn’t a problem but I though wise not to mention it, instead listening as she went on and on. And on. The bell was CLEARLY for emergencies only – the last woman to press it needed the hospital. A bit drastic a punishment I thought but again didn’t say so. Although I fully expected the door to be slammed in our face, she did open up to check us in, pointing out that opening times were on the website. Had I been 100% sure I would have argued the point but wasn’t so didn’t.

We’d splashed out for a larger pitch as it was our last stop, and very nice it was too, although no bigger than most of the others we’d had. It had water and waste hook up too, but the ‘van would have had to have been at a very odd angle for the waste hose to reach, the drain being at the front corner of the pitch, so we didn’t bother. I though briefly – very briefly – about complaining but it didn’t really matter and I certainly didn’t relish another session with the Sales Prevention Officer at reception in case she hadn’t finished her dessert.

Anyway, that aside it was a lovely site. On the edge of the village of Jumiéges in one  of the bends of the lovely Seine river and about 14 miles from Rouen. It’s quite a tight site with pitches nestled quiet close together, some in little alcoves, but offered all the usual facilities, as well as a communal bbq area, swimming and splash pool and bar and snack bar. Some pitches on the far side are occupied with chalets – some rented some owned.

Our afternoon stroll around the park concluded, not surprisingly at the bar for a pint – sorry, half-litre - of very strong lager. The Sales Prevention officer was clearly thawing and doing her best to repair Anglo-French relations as she came over for a chat. I had checked about the lunch hours – and WAS right – there was no mention of it on the website. However, it appeared from our chat that many of her bookings from Britain come through the Caravan Club rather than direct from their website and maybe this was what she was talking about. She was expecting some more arrivals that were late and we pondered the problems at Calais. It had affected her business she said and had many cancellations in recent weeks.

Entertainment was offered that evening – a magician that neither of us fancied so we stayed on our pitch enjoying the warm evening. The family opposite us though went and said it was well attended and great for their kids, so well done to the site for putting stuff on like that.

Right, just one more part to come – a look around Rouen and the local area and a bit of a summing up of  this, our first trip abroad with Patsy. In the meantime a look around the site:

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And and video:

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