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Vultures flock to the Vendee in search of warmth.
 Unlucky 13 was the number of birds that took flight south toward the Vendee in disguise as bikers. Having met at Chieveley we were excited at the prospect of some warm weather and great biking. However, baking may have been a safer option, as at least they would have been inside in the warm, for as we headed south to Portsmouth the heavens opened and we received a good drenching to send us on our way. My feet were soaked, my T shirt was soaked and I ended up in the toilets by the boarding gate with a boot in each of the hand dryers and my shirt off, trying to dry it under a dimplex heater.
Waiting at Portsmouth
Once on board ship we soon realized there was a plague of French Students aboard, about 200 of them I reckon, so a noisy journey commenced. Good job we found a comfy quiet place to roost as the boat trip lasted about 7 hours. Glad to arrive in France we had a short dry ride to our hotel. The evening sunshine was warm and so it was no hardship to get lost and ride around Caen for an hour due to Baz’s sat nav misguiding us. Badger had posted on some blog or another that we were coming. We had not expected to be met by anyone but a lone rider on a G2 Max had decided he would do just that and followed us from the ferry port. We pulled over for Baz and Badger to confer, when he pulled alongside, introduced himself and volunteered to guide us to our hotel. Why do the English have such a low opinion of the French? I can’t imagine a Brit doing the same can you?

Next morning we set off full of enthusiasm for our 240 mile migration. About 20 miles into it we stopped for some breakfast and found poor Brian’s rear tyre was a little flat, so that needed a proper pump and another stop to sort it. Once dealt with, we then cruised the rest of the journey without incident and arrived safely at our camp site. The weather waited for all to begin erecting tents and then …. It pissed down! But tents up and caravaners installed food and beer was sought.  

It was immediately spotted that the camp site was flying the Union Flag upside down ! This was pointed out to the Dutch owner who immediately took charge of correcting the error, apologising and promising never to repeat the offence.

The weather was not so kind to us; most of the week was overcast, with drizzle and some interspersed sunshine. The couple of good days were made the most of as we visited  two of the seaside towns close by. Being away for a week would mean writing a small book in regard to telling you everything we did and would most likely be rather boring, therefore the highlights, good and bad are listed below:-
1. Great campsite with indoor and outdoor pools. Nice bar, good food, pool tables and a nutty Spanish entertainment manager.
2. Table tennis, spa, massage, Boules and fishing lake, all good fun.
3. Weather… could have been better.
4. Brian taken poorly but recovered quickly to enjoy the rest of the trip.
5. The girl in the shop, where we collected our baguettes each morning !!!!!!!  &  what is she wearing today???
6. Fantastic Hypermarket.
7. Great shower and toilet block with hot water!  (for those camping. Even better ones for those in carvans!)
8. Unsalted butter and French pate and baguettes.
9. Great roads with few lumps ‘n bumps and no potholes.
10. Excellent company.  
11. Did I mention the girl in the shop ?

Our return journey was also without incident and we made great progress arriving at our Hotel in Caen by late afternoon.  The next day another smooth ferry crossing got us back into Portsmouth by about 7.30pm.  We then made our way back to our respective nests.

A great trip but hearing that the VSOC away team had fab weather in Finland did stick in the craw a bit!

Big Rog