1975: 18 Aug, Lez-Eaux, France

During the night, it rained quite heavily; it had certainly been very cloudy in the evening. Sarah and Gareth slept in the little tent and Andrew had his half of the trailer all to himself which pleased him very much. Sarah awoke us all at about 7am all bright and cheerful and we eventually had breakfast at 8.0ish – croissants, French bread, raisin bran and Wonderloaf according to taste… Afterwards the holiday books were written up, with a certain amount of grumbling.

Went into Granville and parked at a meter, then walked along the narrow little street to the beach by the casino. Sandy beach with rocks, and lots of young, pearly oyster shells about which we collected.When we couldn’t hold any more shells, decided we’d better get back to the car with them. Shops seemed quite expensive in Granville, but they were mostly shut anyway as it was Monday.

At lunch time, we looked for the Relais in Granville and were somewhat horrified at its 18Fr lunch so we drive on to Sartilly to the Vieux Logis. Here the menu was 16Fr so we went in and ordered 4 assiettes. David, Sarah, Gareth and I all began with moules marinière which were absolutely delicious and mountains of them. Andrew had tomatoes vinaigrette, delicately shunning the mussels. Then we all had steak, sauté potatoes and salad, again delicious and bien cuit. We drank a red wine called Excellence, and they had an Anjou rosé. To finish up we all had a peach except for David who had a coffee ice-cream. It was all very delicious and the place was full of French people, including lorry drivers of course.

The weather by now was being very nice and sunny, we went to the nearest beach which was Carolles, and was big and sandy with a rocky headland at the southern end. There were lots of people about, all French, and we spent a very pleasant afternoon there. The children and David went into the sea which was quite warm, and Sarah enjoyed herself on the surfboard. Andrew swam out to the raft. Later, when the tide came in they all made seaweed castles, there were immense quantities of seaweed being washed in.

It was interesting to see the differences between the French and English approach to the seaside resort. No deck chairs for sale – most people sat on the sand. Volley ball nets were set up and free to all. Very little in the way of candy floss etc. though there were some men selling ice-cream walking up and down the beach. Certainly very little of the ultra-chic beach outfits which the Daily Telegraph had assured us would make us all feel very dowdy when we got the French beaches.

Reluctantly left at about 6.0 as the clouds began to move in – the Iles Chausey were totally obscured after being brilliantly clear. When we got back to the camp we had a bacon and egg tea, with fresh fruit, and the children played table tennis afterwards with David. Retired quite early, feeling ruined after a busy day.

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