Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ile D'Oleron with our family

For a serial traveller like Ade who is used to sleeping his way around the cheap hotels of Europe, one of the benefits of our abandoned holiday plans was that he woke up in his own bed on the morning of his birthday and the sun was shining. The fridge was bare and the boulangerie closed but the garden provided the main ingredients for pancakes for breakfast and chive omelette for lunch - delicious birthday treats whatever your age.

French Village Diaries Cassis Mont Ventoux Holidays Ile D'Oleron Poitou-Charentes
The closest we got to Cassis and Mont Ventoux

Exploring in France is something I don't think I will ever tire of and having felt a renewed rush of love when we crossed back into Poitou-Charentes that is where we set off to do some 'closer to home' exploring. We may have missed out on the southern delights of Nimes, Cassis, Mont Ventoux, Orange and Le Puy en Velay but there is always next time. Just off the west coast in Poitou-Charentes is Ile D'Oleron, a holiday island with wet lands, bird life, cycle paths, oyster beds and the perfect place to escape to and spend a few days with Ade's parents, Ed and Mini the dog. We laughed, we ate, we walked on the beach, we cycled (120kms) and had great fun, putting the disappointment of the road trip behind us. I can thoroughly recommend Ile D'Oleron for a day trip or a longer stay, especially if you are a cyclist as it is flat and well covered in cycle paths that weave through marshes, oyster beds and forests enabling you to link the main towns without worrying about the traffic.

French Village Diaries Holidays Ile D'Oleron Poitou-Charentes
Birthday aperos on the beach
Life is all about taking risks and learning from your experiences. A road trip in a 20 year old car is more risky than a drive to the shops in a new car, but nothing is risk free and driving in Gizmo is a lot more fun and a certainly more of an adventure. In Gizmo children wave, their fathers smile, motorcyclists give us the thumbs up as they roar past and a Parisian couple in a Jaguar even slowed down beside us to wave and smile as they passed. In our Mondeo we are invisible. In Gizmo we smile and others smile too. We hope to be back on the road soon.

French Village Diaries Cassis Mont Ventoux Holidays Ile D'Oleron Poitou-Charentes
Ile D'Oleron
This post is the fifth post in our holiday series. To read the previous posts see here:
The Planning
Day One
Day Two
Oh Nuts!