English Channel to Atlantic Coast

Current Location: AngoulinsCharente-Maritime DepartmentNouvelle-Aquitainne Region – France

On the Car Stereo Today: Radio: France Bleu (Normandie – Mayenne – Maine – Loire-Ocean – La Rochelle) – Spotify favourite songs on shuffle

Dieppe to Angoulins

My drive to Portugal is under way – over the last 48 hours I have travelled from the West of England to the West of France.

This time round I chose to take the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry, run by DFDS, as an alternative to my normal Dover-Calais route. More expensive and a longer crossing but it cuts out a large part of South East England as well as a busy section of French motorway. I preferred arriving in Dieppe to Calais – It doesn’t seem quite so industrial and the roads on the way out of the port noticeably quieter than those of Calais.

Breakfast this morning was in Rouen, a short 45 minute drive from Dieppe. Rouen is the capital of the Seine-Maritime department of France, and of the wider Normandy region. I even had time to help jump start a broken down Renault for a Frenchman who needed some help. Well done me!

Then I had about 4-5 hours of actual driving time (plus regular stops – needed in the heat today). I even managed to squeeze in a WhatsApp video call with Mum, Dad and Corrie. That wasn’t planned but when the group video call started it came through my car’s Bluetooth as a regular phone call. (I’ve also discovered that when I am listening to music on my phone in the car, with Bluetooth as the audio source, incoming WhatsApp and Facebook messages are read aloud to me). Listening to the rest of the family as I drove was a bit more interesting than French radio. I stopped at the next services so I could put the camera on and see the screen as well.

The air conditioning kept my car nice and cool. I had a clear run all the way (hooray). After leaving Rouen at 08:25, I travelled South West using France’s extensive autoroute (motorway) network, arriving on the Atlantic coast – in Angoulins – at 16:06.

I thought being on the Atlantic coast might make it a bit cooler, but no – it was still above 30 degrees when I arrived so I simply unpacked my bag and headed for the campsite’s swimming pool, jumped in, and cooled off. I really needed that after all those hours in the car! I also had time for a short sleep in the Sun before a short thunderstorm forced everyone inside. But that was enough for today.

I think I will need an early night. Completely forgetting all the supermarkets would be shut I didn’t think to plan ahead – but I was lucky that there was a small Spar store open until 8pm, just 4 miles from one of the motorway service stations I stopped at (the services in France don’t have their WH Smiths, M&S or Waitrose stores like ours do, so getting bread and milk when you stop…is not so easy as it is at home). I stocked up on some essentials, as well as dinner for tonight. That was in a lovely town calles Les Herbiers in the Vendee department (Pays de la Loire region).

Tomorrow I’m heading to the Gers to stop near Fleurance – then on to Spain for the first time, on Tuesday.

Have a good evening,


Today’s Mileage: 371
Accumulative Mileage (including yesterday’s drive from Cirencester to Newhaven): 523

Fred Hart

Stock Controller and Radio Presenter/Producer

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