Unusually for me, I took a pessimist’s approach to our week camping trip in France – expect rain and you won’t be disappointed. Luckily I was wrong and after the 9 of us had done the ferry crossing and the few hours’ drive to get to Clecy, Normandy, we enjoyed several days of beautiful sunshine.
The campsite was fantastic – fresh bread every morning, hot showers, great space for the kids, pitch overlooking the river and only a 15-minute walk to the nearby rocks. As usual the kids explored the rocks and played together as much as they climbed, if not more, while we adults got to try our hand at leading for the first time – terrifying but enormously satisfying.
During our week we also spent a day abseiling off a huge aqueduct (onto dry land mind you!), which I never thought I’d have the guts to do, until I did. Another day we went kayaking from a drop off point about 7km up the river back to the cafe opposite our campsite. It was absolutely brilliant, although my steering was mercilessly ridiculed afterwards.
And then, the rain came, and boy, did it rain! We were really lucky with the timing though: one evening, a couple of days before we were due to come home, our tea was rained off and a thorough storm ensued. It rained all night, clearing up just in time for breakfast, and giving us a good stint at the rocks again before the rain came back about 4pm. By the time we had packed up and got back to camp it had cleared up again and we spent our last afternoon in the sun.
Phin, aged 7, ‘liked the canoeing, because of the weirs and the exercise we got out of it. And you could see the countryside as you went down the river. I liked camping because we camped where there were swings and things to play on. And I liked doing the show with my friends – an action show’ Indeed, the show the kids put on for us, with fighting and acrobatics, was one of the unexpected highlights. The other was getting to see camping French-style, when on the Thursday they turned up in droves to take advantage of a religious holiday, got really drunk and jumped in the river!
We were all really impressed with the campsite, the area and the activities and would love to go again!