Travelled : 70 miles to I’le de Noirmoutier in the Aquitaine Region
Visited : Lyorne (lunched), I’le de Noirmoutier.
Stayed : Municipal Aire, I’le de Noirmoutier, €8 with free services and wifi, water extra €2
Our legs still tired from our ride to the salt marshes in Guerande, we pack up and head south again. Our passage through the Loire region complete, we are now in the Atlantic Coast region of France. Almost at once we notice the homes we pass are rendered, white or cream in colour all with raw clay coloured tile roofs. This is virtually without exception, it has a real Mediterranean feel.
Our target for today is I’le de Noirmoutier. We cross a huge modern bridge at Saint Nazaire and start shuffling around for change. To our surprise there is no toll. Half an hour later we stop and camper car lunch in the village of Lyorne for no other reason than it was convenient. An hour further on we are getting close and decide to pick up a few things from the supermarket as it’s Saturday afternoon. Most supermarkets are closed on Sunday and we have been caught before.
Finally turning for I’le de Noirmoutier we cross another huge bridge onto the island. Our book of aires shows 3 scattered campsites around the island, we head for the main aire in the town of Noirmoutier. The aire is huge with room for 120 camper cars and we get one of the last places. Anyway we settle in, coffee then head off to find the tourist information centre.
The old centreville is interesting with narrow cobbled streets and little shops. Outside the Hotel DeVille at a small bandstand three young woman (harp, cello and flute) are playing and occasionally singing a medley of classical music. To be honest it was just wonderful. Anyway we find the tourist information centre and get a map to the cycle paths on the island. There are bicycles everywhere and the island has a comprehensive network of paths.
We walk on some distance to find a rock and roll band playing at a bar on the quayside and settle in for an hour of beer and rose. They did some great Johnny Cash numbers, a bit funny as there was quite a large crowd and we were probably the only ones who understood the lyrics. Anyway it was a great evenings listening.
Up early by French standards we set of on our velos at 9 am. We pass small villages that dot the coast line of the island, beaches, rocky shore line and a couple of marinas. We stop for morning tea at one, before continuing on. Its 30 kilometres and 3 hours later before we arrive back at our camper car. Anyway it’s time to pack up and continue south.
Michael and Pam