Here I am, back at Hotel L’Agriculture, after a good few years, probably more than 20 years if truth be told. The first thing to say is that it has hardly changed at all in that time,but I am getting ahead of myself. We decided to stay at a Premier Inn, in Poole last night as we were catching the boat at 8.30 this morning. A good nights sleep and a reasonable meal saw us up bright and early and not too frazzled. There were very few catching the boat and at least a third of them were searched before we had even left British soil! It was a French boat, the Barfleur, which we used to catch in the old days, but thankfully it had been refitted a bit since our last journey. Having said that, I couldn’t have cared less as I am not the worlds best sailor and I spent much of the 4 hour crossing with my head in my hands. Now I know why we stopped using the service!
Although we had left Poole in grey skies, by the time we had docked in Cherbourg, the sun was shining brightly. We made straight for Valognes as we had decided to eat on French soil rather than on the boat. Valognes has little to recommend it, being an ordinary French working town, but we like it for just that reason. Quite a few shops have closed down, probably because of the recession, but there was brand new town hall complex and the roads were being reconfigured to make them better for pedestrians and traffic.
We had lunch in a bar, and very generous it was too. After that we decided to visit St Mere Eglise. We managed to miss getting onto the dual carriageway somehow so we had to make our way across country. Like everywhere else, St Mere does not seem to have altered much. It was looking quite festive in the sunshine and already the coaches were dropping people off at the various D Day museums. After a brief reaquaintance and a coffee we had to hurry back to check into the hotel as we hadn’t remembered to alter our watches!
Our room here is just the same naff painted anaglypta as it always was but at least the beds are comfy and the bathroom has had a refit. The supper was very good, especially the cheese board and desert but the wines were rather over priced at 25 – 35 Euro a bottle. We had a brief stroll around town after supper but I fear that already I have undone all the good work I have been doing with my fasting and going to the gym!