Monday 8th July
The journey was not a promising start. Aboard a brand new Peugeot (our hire car), we hit a rock at the foot of a cliff and punctured a tire, resulting in compulsory wheel-change in the middle of a strange, hot village. Brief interlude over, we made the short journey to Le Theil Bocage and were met by our French-speaking host who said not a lot, simply showed us to the yurt and briefly explained a couple of points, like how the roof opens. We are in the middle of nowhere, surrounded only by flowers and wildlife. It is hot and there is no noise, that is what I have discovered so far. Not even the sound of breeze ruffling leaves; nothing. There is a pond, inhabited by what Jasmine resolutely (and certainly incorrectly) believes to be a family of capybara. This is not the camp-site I had expected, merely a solitary tipi and our yurt, in the grounds of our host's farmhouse. The tipi is currently empty so the outdoor kitchen and shower block are entirely for us. It is perfection - we could not have hoped for a place more beautiful.
Tuesday 9th July
Saint-Lo today, with its ancient city walls and bustling shops. We eventually found what we had visited for - the centre aquatique, which did not disappoint. The children loved the slides and the rapids; we all enjoyed swimming in the outdoor pool. A lovely day and, of course, meltingly hot.
Wednesday 10th July
We do not want to leave this place.
Thursday 11th July
Today, we made our way to Parc zoo de Jurques, which is not far away at all. The children had a lovely time seeing all the animals and playing in the park. Oh, and eating ice cream, of course. The heat is inescapable but the sunshine makes it worthwhile.
Saturday 13th July
Donville les bains, 2km east of Granville. One of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. Today, I caught the sun. It sounds spiritual - catching the sun, harnessing its energy then releasing it back into the ether. In actuality, I am red as a tomato. When the sand became too hot to stand on, we left the beach and headed down the coast to Avranches where the children danced and we drank mango Pago juice in Le Royal; something that is fast becoming a family tradition. We scaled the heights of the castle and marvelled at the view, which spanned the bay of Mont St Michel. I like Avranches, a lot. It has been bright all day today, until after 11pm when the sun faded and other stars came out in its place; millions of them. I could really stay here for a very long time.