Sunday 1 July 2012

Dorset & Normandy - Day 9

It was really hard to next morning to pull ourselves away from the gîte and Carole's wonderful hospitality, but needs must and we had promised to meet up again with Patrick and Peggy for lunch (pâté & cheese!) in Lillebonne before heading off on our next adventure. 

This was the part of the trip that I think Cherrie had been looking forward to most - a visit to the little seaside town of Étretat. Gib, Stephen and I scrambled over the beach, through a little cave revealed at low tide and over to another beach to get a better view of some of the arches. Stephen and I then had a bit of a fail, scrambling up and over what we thought was a cliff side path, but what was actually supposed to be forbidden to people. Fortunately, someone had left a repelling rope attached to one of the more stable posts still remaining. Not something I would really advise others do - and for other English speakers, in France, the red circle with symbols inside means that passage to those vehicles (or people!) is forbidden! Ah well, we made it safe and sound back up to the top, which Gib went back throug the way we came (and already after only an hour wandering around the tide was already a foot deeper outside the cave than when we went though!) and then we all enjoyed just sitting on the beach for a while watching the paddleboarders and surfers playing in the crestng waves. Then a bit of goûter in one of the beach side cafes, set us up for the drive back to Lillebonne.

We spent the rest of the evening eating, chatting and drinking with Peggy and Patrick, which was fantastic as always. Even better since no one was driving, everyone could have a little tipple. A great end to another fantastic day! As I settled in for bed I also realised that we had but one and a half more days remaining! We'd been having so much fun that I had completely lost track of time. A sign of a great vacation, but with so much to see we would have to choose our next days' activities carefully. . .

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