24 September 2019
Today we were heading to La Rochelle and a slightly different style of accommodation!
Each town or village we come to seems to have a statue in the main roundabout representing its reason for being. Think Sydney Harbour Bridge for Sydney; Coal for Newcastle, Mt Warning for Murwillumbah. We’ve seen some beauties on this trip, but this one may well be my new favourite.
En route, Judi recommended we visit Île de Ré and in particular the town of Saint-Martin-de-Ré.
After being chased by the r#%n from St Émilion, we arrived at St-Martin-de-Ré in a stiff breeze but a sunny and warmish afternoon, nonetheless.
What a gem!! We fell in love with this seaside town with its incredible harbour and harbourside shops, cafes and restaurants.
The Harbour is amazing, with “a little island thingy” in the middle. And two levels, apparently!!
We climbed to the top of the bell tower (via the attached church), past the bell, to see a magnificent view of the town.
Later we wandered the fortifications overlooking the sea.
The “Vauban Fortifications” here are Unesco World Heritage listed, because they are an example of a really good defence system. The pointy triangular bits mean that the poor old invaders cop it from all angles.
I loved that the locals had put the moat to good use and added a few sports fields to otherwise vacant land.
We also went on a kangaroo hunt but alas we failed! Funny that!! Perhaps we were looking in the wrong place! Or perhaps we were set up?
We would love to have stayed longer, but we had an appointment to keep in La Rochelle.
Benjamin, our host met us at a pre determined time and place and took us to his……… boat!! “The Princess” was moored smack bang in the old port right in the centre of the city.
I know this sounds very idyllic, and to a certain degree it was, but there were one or two draw backs, of which we were fully aware before we signed up.
It was cozy, some would say tiny.
It had no bathing facilities on board and using the loo was a no- no.
It was a fair hike to the Marina “facilities” and a fair degree of planning was required to meet certain needs!
Never the less, the setting and location were spectacular and it was a heap of fun.
We spent the afternoon and evening exploring the old part of town.
Now, I’ve learnt a fair bit about fortifications in the last few days, so I’m thinking La Rochelle’s may have failed!!
We returned to our “home on water” to have a light dinner, while sitting on the deck, watching the people watching us.
It was about then the breeze picked up and the whole “sitting on the deck” thing became less appealing.
The night view from our little house was pretty impressive though.
Grahame insisted on staying outside, freezing, while I curled up below deck, nice and warm with a glass of red wine and sound of water lapping against the side of the boat. We were both happy!
And, one of us didn’t “plan” quite as well as the other. And it wasn’t the Pirate!!