Île de Ré

Trip Start Jun 20, 2010
Trip End Jul 04, 2010

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Flag of France  , Poitou-Charentes,
Thursday, July 1, 2010

It sounds a bit ridiculous but Île de Ré smells fantastic - pine trees, hot earh, herbs, the sea and, last night on our walk around the campsite, jasmine.

Today we explored the island a bit more and visited the largest town/village on the island St Martin de Ré.

The town is surrounded by ancient battlements with fantastic views out to sea and the mainland. There is also a citadel that you can't visit unless you are sent there - it is still used as a gaol.

The town is full of quaint, pretty houses, restaurants, yachts and tourists but is very pleasant. After lunch (seafood of course) we took a walk around the shops, admiring the views and partly ruined church.

After all that exercise and food the only option was to sit in the park just inside the battlements and read and doze.

The Monsieur in the tent next to us was very concerned yesterday to see me cooking and then us eating on our picnic blanket and told us about some tables we could use. We decided to collect one and had barely got there before he appeared to help us - very sweet. There seems to be a real community on the campsite; a few people meet everyday to play boules and everyone seems keen to chat, even if they speak no English and despite our non-existent French.

The man on the other side of us amazingly got his dinosaur of a campervan going after, he said, being on the site for five months after seperating from his wife (he did speak English). All this we discovered when he popped his head over the hedge to apologise about the noise, along with an itinerary of his trip around England which he took aged 18 and the ports he visited as a sailor.

Everyone has just been so lovely.
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