Converging on Arçais

Here’s the reason we have been taking a rather convoluted route into Europe.

We began by going through the Hook of Holland to north-eastern Netherlands to Havelte. Then we had to tack back west and south, more or less all the way across France towards La Rochelle on the western coast, about half way down. We were making for Arçais in the Marais Poitevin.

The reason: a friend of ours and former colleague of mine in a previous life, who lived in Arçais and, indeed, had taken up French citizenship, had passed away from Covid in January this year. He had only only one lung from birth and so, having contracted Covid, he had little in the way of resources to fight it. He passed away in La Rochelle hospital.

Meanwhile, while we were attacking Arçais from the east, another pair of friends, also former colleagues, were moving down towards Arçais from the north-east. With more ground to cover, they’d be arriving later in the day than would we. We were all intent on joining in a celebration of life to be held on Saturday, a private cremation having taken place much earlier in the year.

Our journey from Bourges was an easy 180 kms. We planned our route to stop at a supermarket close to our destination, stocked up on supplies and fuel, then continued to the campsite at Arçais. Le guardian, Dom,  seemed to remember us from last year and showed us to an excellent pitch. We snagged an adjacent pitch for our friends who would be arriving later that afternoon.

All was well. Time for a beer.

Later in the afternoon we headed up to our friends’ place in the village and managed to lend several hands helping to erect a marquee for the weekend’s formalities.We pitched in with our French and the locals showed off their English. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the occasion, albeit for a sad reason.

While we were engaged in the erection process [!] our other pair of friends duly turned up at the campsite and got themselves settled. Marquee complete, we returned to the campsite to join them for a pre-prandial.

Well, it has to be done.

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Posted in 2024 Summer