Holland: 24 May 1969

The camp site has really come to life now – Boulangerie, fresh bread and some pastries each day, the grocer’s, and a Friture! Lovely hot day, people still pouring in and everything humming. Went into Dinant to do our weekend shopping – less urgent now we know we can get so much at the site but still anyway bought some nice looking cotes de porc, some smoked jambon to use as bacon, some asparagus and some cherries in a little plastic basket.

Then left for La Roche – quite a long journey, partly on a motorway-type road – past various hotels, some with very elaborate children’s playgrounds. One had a climbing frame built like an elephant, with a slide for the trunk.

The left this road and followed the valley to La Roche – very pretty, steep valley, well wooded. La Roche on a spectacular curve of the river, and crammed in. Plenty of food shops including one selling cooked chicken, which solved the children’s dinner problem anyway. Playground not much good, very disappointed. Followed the Omthe Valley – very deep and steep sided, woods everywhere and found a lovely picnic place near the dam. So hot we were able to swimsuits – cooled our rosé in the river! Had some lovely paté terrine from La Roche,  children enjoyed their chicken and we all liked the cherries. Water jolly cold, but we paddled anyway. Wild raspberries growing, but hardly in bloom yet. Lots of people in canoes on the  Omthe, mainly Germans and various people fishing. As we returned to camp the weather broke and we had a thunderstorm. Camp seething with life – bar jukeboxes, fruit machines etc. Children very tiered and quite happy to go to bed.

N.B. We came back to camp via St Hubert where there is a special Whitsun pilgrimage. Consequently the travelling fair had arrived, so naturally Andrew and Sarah spotted it as soon as there was a faint glimpse on the horizon! We walked around St Hubert first, and finished up with a bumper car ride (twice). At first Andrew just couldn’t master the mechanism and went round and round, but once he got the hang of it he crashed  merrily round. Traffic in Dinant pretty heavy on our return, no doubt it will be very busy over the weekend.

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