It was so nice that we had to return to Quentins' fabulous chateau near Perier in Normandy. I'd worked on a few new routes, but like goldfish would we remember every detail of 3 years ago?
All settled in and off to Pirou plage on the Sunday. It took a while to get going as it was Bank Holiday Monday the next day and everytime we slowed down, someone made a run for a shop and supplies. Through Perier and along the flat to Pirou Plage in good time for the market, where we quaffed bread, prawns and an enormous box of 'slighly' off peaches that James had bought for a euro. Most of the children braved the sea, whilst the adults tackled the seafood platters in the local tavern.
Monday took us towards Mont Castre. As the highest point in the area it was heavily fought over in WW2. Through Perier again and more shopping before cycling through lovely lanes and the steep climb to the top. Whilst families picnicced, a few of us walked to the top via the boating lakes in the old quarry and the ruined church overlooking great views northwards. Onto Lessay via a greenway, one of the 2 long former train lines in the area. The cathedral at Lessay was spectacular, especially as it was totally rebuilt after the war and the quiet cafe couldn't believe its luck as 40 cyclists descended for coffee and ice cream. Jo and competitive dad (that's me) organised rounders in front of the chateau in the evening.
Beaches were clearly popular, so with the sun shining, I changed the route and we headed for Creances Plage via Lessay. The younger children swam and the teenagers jumped off the dunes. Coming back along the railway path there was some serious scrumping. Pears, plums, blackberries were picked and consumed which acted as an appetiser for a communal meal in the evening. Took a while but the quality for £12 was superb.
Into the hills on Thursday, definately lumpier on the ride east to Marigny. We visited the German cemetary, with the stark stone crosses, I found it very thought provoking especially with flags of German towns planted by graves by recent visitors. Some returned directly, the rest went the far flatter route via a lovely picnic spot at Lozon
Friday arrived and off to the seaside, hadn't been there for at least 2 days. Sunny again and Gouville had a market. Half returned to the chateau, whilst the others went to Coutances. Dominated by its double spired cathedral we bought a whole cake and divided it up at the Salon de The, before . Back at the chateau the pool tournament had come to it's final and Steve justifiably walloped Neil though I think I had him very very briefly worried. A final communial meal and another successful week passed