Latest News

Page 1 of 4  > >>

Oct 15, 2019
see Salut for full details
Jul 5, 2019
The annual Fete de la Musique took place on the 22nd June this year, see Salut of full details.............
Jun 20, 2019

Hayling Island Twinning visit to Gorron in France 3-6th May 2019

An early morning departure by Brittany Ferries to Caen saw 50 plus members of Hayling Island Twinning Association on their way to France........ see Salut for full article.

Feb 21, 2019
Cosy Quiz 2019
Sep 24, 2013

Peter and Sue's Blog

Peter gives a summary of his and Sue's 6 month trip around Europe in their caravan.
Category: General
Posted by: Stacey

I have been asked by our esteemed editor to provide something for Salut on the recent 5-month caravan trip Sue and I did around Eastern Europe.  The timescale for submission was short and the subject very large indeed!  As a slight cop-out I have below a copy of my blog of the epic (to me at least) journey.  The extract only covers the first week but does include our stop-over in Gorron.   So, here goes – I hope you enjoy.  Maybe with more time I will be able to produce a condensed version of the rest of the trip for a later Salut.

A week since we set sail, many miles travelled and France has slid by at great speed and with that we seem to have moved through several weeks of spring and are now embracing a feeling that Spring, if not Summer, is truly with us.  Having just returned from a lovely cycle ride into St-Tropez in sunshine has helped! Set off from Portsmouth on last Tuesday and travelled to Le Havre overnight.  We whizzed over the Pont De Normandie - how did we ever manage that on our bikes with our world in our panniers - then on to Gorron for a couple of nights.  As many know Gorron is ‘twinned' with Hayling Island, and Sue and I have been involved with Gorron for some 16 years now.  As we are away we will be missing the visit of the Gorronnais to Hayling this year (as we will miss much else) so a stop off in Gorron to see our friends seemed a good idea.  Also, for our 3 big cycle trips we have always started, for one reason or another, by cycling through Gorron - so why change a habit and we believe ignore a good luck charm!  So with that in mind we arrived at Ambriere Les Valleys, 10 miles from Gorron, and soon realised that we were in sore need of a considerable good fortune.  In Le Havre Sue had lost one of our cash cards in a Le Havre ATM (poorly memorised PIN number and on day 1!)) So we were already a little bruised but the sight of both our caravan and our car firmly stuck in the mud of the Place de La Camping gave our spirits another little dent - Sue's dent in spirit was expressed a little more volubly than mine!!  However, a couple of hours work with planks, ropes and very helpful natives saw at least the car rescued and the caravan left where it was with the hope that the ground would dry in the next couple of days - not a great start. A day and a half of sorting the many things that had just been thrown in the van, a little cycle ride - my are we unfit - saw us ready for a visit to Gorron where we were due to attend a Committee Meeting of their Association with a meal afterwards with a few friends.  Whilst I expected some recognition of our trip and the ending of our direct involvement in the organisation of twinning we were blown away by what followed.  A sit down meal with some 30 plus long-standing French friends, a 3-piece Breton band, the singing of a specially written song for our trip, and the presentation of a specially designed ‘grand-voyage' card by Jean-Michael - a local accomplished artist - (not forgetting food and wine for our trip). I was nearly lost for words, fortunately not completely!  I believe I was able to express the honour we felt for such a kind gesture and to give thanks - something to remember. Down through France via Samur, Limoges, Rodez to the Med at Sete.  Not forgetting, out of the blue - or should I say out of the cold wet and grey, the magnificent Viaduc de Millau.  We were not expecting it but instantly recognised it.  A wonderful piece of evocative engineering, but 3 degrees C and driving rain stopped us embarking on a pedestrian tour - as photos show we drove straight over.  A day's stop in Sete to allow for a French Sunday lunch of oysters etc and then on to St-Tropez where we are now.  Trolled around the famous place today and, whilst certainly pretty and undoubtedly charming yesteryear, it now has a touch of a car and boat park - the boats tend to be a little more up-market than the cars.  Glad we stopped though. Before finishing I must mention Marseille, Sue insisted we drive through the centre so we could retrace our steps out of the city that we had taken on our bikes some 4 years ago.  I complied, but the Nav led us the wrong way.  We certainly saw a lot of Marseille – not the best thing to do whilst towing a caravan, but we did eventually find the hill out of town towards Bandol where we had gone to meet my cousin Andrew.  Sue was impressed with her effort on the bike - I was not so impressed! Tomorrow we are off to cross northern Italy and a stop-off in Venice.