Petit PortApril 30 in France
It had been a rotten night in terms of weather and we woke to a rotten day. Torrential rain turned to sleet and as we began our journey, it then turned to a blizzard of snow, blown by vicious side winds in excess of 20mph. It wasn't an easy drive!
By now we've got into the swing of getting up, travelling between between 120km and 200km, with perhaps a stop for lunch or a supermarket, then arriving at our stopover and settling in, before doing it all again the following day. Today was a little different because we had called ahead to Clinique Veternaire Vauban in Abbeville in order to get Poppy's passport stamped ready for the ferry on Thursday. There turned out to be a drop-in session in the afternoon, so we stopped in a large car park about 300m away and after Poppy had settled herself from the drive, we walked her to the clinic.
The staff were friendly and we were seen quickly. The vet took a double take and checked she was actually 15 years old (but was convinced of the fact when she looked at her teeth). To our relief Poppy passed her clinical exam and to our surprise she voluntarily ate the worming tablet the vet held out to her (although she turned her nose up at the treats she was then offered as a reward- contrary animal!). We left with two new stamps in the passport, €40 lighter and a rather tired Poppy.
We'd made good progress through France so had a day in hand. We were therefore able to spend 2 nights at the lovely car park at Petit Port. Situated in a rural spot between La Canal de la Somme and the smaller Contre Canal it was a pretty place, despite the persistent rain.
The following day we relished not having to move on. Ducks and moorhens rippled the reflections on the water surface in the golden light of dawn and apart from one brief rain shower, it stayed gloriously sunny all day. 1st May is a bank holiday in France so there were many fishers stationed on both waterways, as well as an vintage car rally that stopped by for half an hour. We took a couple of enjoyable walks along the super straight towpath. It wasn't warm but the sunshine did its job and elevated our moods.
Having time to think about it, we spent a while discussing and tweaking our travel plans for 2019 onwards, sticking months onto our European map, their colours corresponding to their year. This way we could see our journeys over space as well as time and found a few improvements we could make to our itinerary.
The sun set with a special treat; a view of otters on the Contre Canal! For more than an hour as the sky's colours transitioned from blue, to warm oranges and reds, then faded to grey, we caught glimpses of them swimming to and fro, collecting bits of grass for their well hidden nest!Read more