We appear to be in the French monsoon. The last two days have exhibited the same pattern: rain overnight and during much of the morning but with a pleasant and largely sunny afternoon. This morning’s heavy rain was accompanied by the occasional peel of thunder for dramatic effect.
We are in oyster country. The Seudre river on the northern edge of this presqu’île (peninsula) is a centre of ostriculture (oyster farming). One of the things we like to do here is to cycle out to the oyster shacks at La Tremblade and have a sunny, relaxing lunch sampling the oyster farmers’ wares. Unfortunately, the lunchtime sun has been notably absent.
The Seudre river has many little inlets and settlements along marshy edge, though, and we managed an afternoon trip to Mornac-sur-Seudre, supposedly one of un des plus beaux villages de France (one of the prettiest villages in France). Well, it was undoubtedly quite quaint but I don’t think I’d go quite that far. There were the ever-present and mainly useless shops for tourists, of course. It did, however, have one of the best value parking schemes de France that I’ve seen, other than entirely free ones. Having driven into the first signed car park that we spotted, the ticket machine announced €2 for a ticket valid for the whole of the year. I thought I’d misunderstood but no, the issued ticket proclaimed, “an 2020” (year 2010). Better save the ticket!
As we wandered out into the marsh looking at various artefacts of the oyster industry, we spotted a parking gratuit (free parking) sign.