Etretat

Finally some time with an internet connection to update. Seems lika a lot has happened since I took a day off and visited Andy and family in London.
On Thursday, I set off from Brighton and walked to Newhaven. I started late as I knew the ferry didn’t leave before 11pm and it was only a bit more than 20 km.

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Even then I ended up hanging around in Newhaven for a long time, and lets just say that it’s not the most happening place.
The ferry trip is only 4 hours and after trying to eat some bland, expensive slop that passed for food on the ferry, I was in Dieppe, ready to walk, at 4 in the morning.
It was interesting trying to find my way through town without a map that early in the morning, but at the same time it was wonderfully quiet and I had the roads all to myself. I made a few wrong turns, at one stage ending up at the Canadian soldiers cemetery, but eventually found my way out of town.
I had no plan appart from making my way south along the coast and as the sky slowly brightened, I found myself walking through some beautiful scenery. The early morning is a very special time to walk, it’s like nothing else and there is an intense feeling of peace and tranquility that is hard to find at any other time.
By 9 am I had reached the beach at Quiberville and lay down in the sun to relax and soak up some warm rays. I got to rest maybe half an hour before the clouds rolled in and the warmth disappeared.
A bit further along the beach I found an open café and ordered a cappuccino. Before long I was talking to a Swiss couple who where traveling on their tandem cycle, on their way to Le Havre, to catch a freighter bound for Costa Rica. I had not much more than left and continued on my way south when a couple on bikes stopped to talk. They were headed to New Zealand, from the UK.
So many exciting places to travel to, and an untold amount of things to see and experience! Isn’t life wonderful! 🙂

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Eventually found a campsite at Velues-les-Roses and as I was pretty tired by this time, an eary night felt like the right plan.
Saturday morning I was still feeling a bit tired and the weather was not very good. It rained as I packed the tent but gradually tapered off and by the time I was heading south, it was mearly cold.
Didn’t walk very far as I found a nice campsite in Veluettes-sur-Mer, close to the beach and by this time the sun had found it’s way out from behind the cloud cover again. Pitched camp and headed off to the beach. Lay down on the stones and promptly drifted off..

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Woke to try to find some food, frittes and bieres, what could be better!

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Headed back to the tent, intent on having a shower but, somehow, I ended up on my back and the shower had to wait till morning. I had apparently not recovered completely from my night without sleep yet!
Sunday I woke refreshed and feeling strong! Southward, southward..
Walked to Fecamp, where I found a strange little campsite carved out of the hillside. I had to struggle to get the Mule up to my little piece of the hillside, but I had wonderful views, so it was worth it.

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Monday I continued my journey through some more wonderful countryside, with scenic views everywhere, eventually stopping in Etretat. The cliffs here are famous and I spent the afternoon exploring.

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All the walking must be doing something, because I found myself scurrying around all the slow tourists as I made my way to the top and even though I got hot, I never found it especially hard going. This was after a days walking!
I am enjoying France, loving the scenery and the courteous people. Just wish I could speak some more French (at the moment I can order coffe, a necessity). Will have to explore what Audible have to offer in the way of French courses…