24. May, 2022

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TUESDAY 24-05-22

We had some heavy rain at one point during last night, but nothing that caused us a problem. We had already taken up the mat and put it away along with the chairs, leaving just the door mat to fend off the elements.

We had enjoyed our little stay at the Municipal campsite at Pauillac (N45.185182° W0.742508°), even if the town itself had been a big disappointment.

Whilst I did the business at the dump station before leaving, The Chef went to pay the manager for our extra night and to enquire about the ferry from Pointe de Grave across to Bac Royan. She reported back that yes, it was running and could take motorhomes, but wondered why we would go a further hour north when just south of the campsite was another ferry. Well the reason we wanted to travel north was to drive further through the Medoc wine region.

Armed with a leaflet from the Information Office showing the Chateaux's on the wine tour, we set off with the intension of seeing a few as well as doing a bit of shopping at Aldi further out of town.

Unfortunately the guide book told us that the main road running north to south, the 1215 took us through the area, however the leaflet from the Tourist Office gave no road names or numbers, and was a bit crude in its design resulting in us travelling down the 1215 and seeing almost nothing. It didn't matter too much to us though, we'd seen many over the past week, and they do very quickly become samey.

At this point I should add that wine tours are available at various prices, which the Tourist Ofice in Pauillac can advise on. They did explain to us that the Shattox are all private properties and cannot be entered without prior arrangement, leaving us less than enthusiastic about the possibility of the landed genry setting their dogs on us.

We stopped for some bits of shopping at Aldi (N45.220050° w0.871510°), which was on the 1215, but nowhere near the vineyards. For some reason they didn't sell fresh milk, or loose potatoes, so we decided to keep our eyes open for another supermarket along the way.

Luckily we came across a Carrefour branch with a filling station selling cheap fuel. Whilst The Chef popped in for a few bits I checked out the forecourt. Unfortunately, and we've had this problem with a few of their forecourts, they discourage larger vehicles from refuelling by putting in high kerbs either side of narrow twisting lanes to get to the pumps and away again. So that option was out, though we didn't need very much fuel. I've been trying to just keep the tank topped up as we go along rather than risk getting too low and having to refill in an area selling very expensive diesel. The car park was far too busy to consider stopping there for lunch and so we plodded on, arriving at the car park at Le Verdon-sur-Mer (Pointe de Grave) (N45.569045° W1.063632°) where we had lunch.

Having been fed and watered we walked to the ferry office to make enquiries regarding tickets. It turns out there is no need to book a crossing, you just turn up and pay at the kiosk as you pass through. It looks as if a crossing will cost us about fifty pounds, which is fair, given that it will save us a lot of time and fuel compared with backtracking down to the Bordeaux area, and then coming up the opposite coastline. The ferry company's website looks to be www.gironde.fr/bacs  email bacs@gironde.fr

After getting the information we needed, we went for a walk up the pier which had old railway tracks still laid in it, so I guess they once had ferries crossing from that point which took railway rolling stock.

We then went for a walk along the lovely sandy beach, though we had to keep an eye on the weather as rain clouds were forming on the horizon.

The car park we are sat in is right opposite the ferry terminal. One entrance to it has a sign up saying motorhomes are banned from 22:00-08:00, and the other entrance says no such thing, and that's the one we came in, so I think we'll try our luck and spend the night here. If we get a knock on the door then we have a Plan 'B' down the road.

We plan to catch the 10:30 ferry across to Royan tomorrow from where we'll make our way to the le Île d'Oleron area.

Yup, I'm afraid it's been a nothing day.