France 2024 – Days 3 & 4

Day 3 – Les Sables d’Olonne – 9th May,2024

Before we left Guenrouet we had a quick walk around Monsieur Seignard’s antique collection of agricultural machinery. Amazing, takes one back to another era altogether.
Today we are heading for another France Passion stopover, a Maison de Ferme specialising in cheese and meat. Because today is another public holiday in France (Ascension Day) traffic near the coast was heavy, but we were heading slightly in land. On arrival there were already 4 places taken and we were (supposedly) the last space, however, as is often the case on these one-night stopovers, more than the specified allocation turned up. Nobody seems to mind, no harm caused as everyone respects the ethos of French Passion. Le Maison et ferme and so we must wait for tomorrow before purchasing their wares. A quick (short) walk put us in a great mood.

Day 4 – Vix – Mercier Vignoble – 10th May, 2024

During breakfast we had a real treat – a Turtle Dove appeared and wandered around in the field beside us. Janette and I have read lots about the Knepp Estate back in the UK encouraging more of these beautiful birds with their re-wilding project. Until now we had never seen one as they are like hens’ teeth back in the UK.

Turtle Dove

What a bird!! (photo credited to www.birdspot.co.uk)

When the farm shop opened we bought steak kebabs, homemade natural yoghurt, sheep’s cheese and a variety of veg.
Today we planned to stay on an aire at L’Augillion-sur-Mer, we turned up only to find it barriered with payment required. Now we are not meanies so we could have stayed but it was awful, crammed to the gunnels (at least 30 of the 40 spaces taken), exactly what we did not want. We cogitated over lunch and decided to find another aire or France Passion stopover. On leaving we found a Super U which had an Aire Service point which meant we could empty the loo and fill up with water. This made our decision to find a France Passion easier as most do not allow loo emptying. We found the Mercier Vineyard at Vix (Vendee region) and headed straight there. The book shows only one space is available so we were worried we may not get in, worries over, it looked like we were the only Motorhome on site, so we asked permission and settled down before going for some wine tasting.
We were served by Alfie – an English lad who had lived in France since he was 5! Good for us as we could discuss the wines more easily. A few glugs later we came away with 15 bottles of wine (one thrown in for free by Alfie!). Glugging done we then set up the Cadac BBQ, grilled our steak kebabs bought earlier and drank some wine of course! Watched the sun go down over the huge vineyards – now in my book that is way better than a crowded aire on the coast.

Hilma looking at home in the vineyard

Sunset at Vix

Sunset over Mercier Vineyard – Vix

Hilma by moonlight

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