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July so far in the Forces-of-Nature Diaries
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Member#: 6644
Registered: 27-05-2007
Diary Entries: 1745

14th February 2019
Hiking - Walking: Wissant Beach and Dolman Lac near Dreux
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Weather: sunny, warm and light airs:).
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Thursday 14th February Ė Travel & Valentine Day walks ***** Ė Wissant Beach and Dolman Lac near Dreux Ė sunny, warm and light airs:).

Wednesday 13th February.

Top day in Surrey with the Grandson Arlo. We went to Horsham for Arloís swimming lesson with his Dad, Rob. He was going to drop Mag and I off at a nature reserve with bird hides but it was closed due to work on the trees so we had some retail therapy in Horsham and although Mag and I hate shopping it was an opportunity to spoil Arlo a bit and we got some fantastic dinosaur kidís cloths and 10 books for a tenner Ė bargain. There was also a park where the local squirrels were raiding the bins for apple cores. Spent the afternoon at Sayers Croft, Arlo slept then we had fun reading and doing puzzles with him before tea. We then had to say goodbye and set off for the two-hour drive to the shuttle. We will see them again on our return trip :) We drove straight on and went through with no hassle. We parked up at our spot just outside Calais on Mont Hebert close to the sea overlooking the Cap Blanc and although breezy but we were sheltered so itís OK:)

Thursday 14th February.

Nice night on Mont Hebert, the wind has dropped and we wake to wall to wall sunshine, light airs and unseasonably mild temperatures, it got to 15 degrees today:) Mag even did her exercises outside while I read a chapter then after breakfast, we left at 10.30. As we have a month, we are in no great hurry to relentlessly drive to the mountains preferring to take our time. We head to Wissant for a walk on the beach. Itís always difficult to find a parking spot by the beach at Wissant as itís a maze of one-way streets but we make it in the end. Itís only a short walk to the steps leading down to the vast sandy beach and with the tide very low it was perfect:) A real pinch yourself day:) There were several people making the most of the stunning scenery having a hike on the beach, there were also several kids about as it must be half term in these parts! There is a large area of huge logs planted in the beach here, possibly to protect the sand dunes and small streams gently flow towards small waves on the blue sea with the White Cliffs of good old Blighty in clear view:) The sand is amazing stretching for miles, some completely flat while other sections are ruffled into patterns by the retreating tide! We head to a small clump of rocks on the low water line about half a mile ahead which we use as our turning point. We return nearer the dunes over areas which looked like flat rock but which turned out to be hard compressed mud with balls of beige coloured soft clay which looked good enough to make pots from? Back at the van we follow the scenic coast road to Boulogne where we join the toll motorway to Abbeville (this is the only toll we usually use) but we missed our turning and did a few more toll miles than usual towards Rouen but it only cost 15 Euros (itís usually 12 without the mishap) so no harm done and we had fun playing spot the Buzzard on the road side posts Ė lots!! :) We had snacks in the van on the trip with Mag taking over the driving near Pont de LíArche as we decided to head for the Dolman Lac where we have stopped before just the other side of Dreux. Neither of us were inclined to push on to our usual overnight stop as it was another 150 miles at least!! We arrived at the packed carpark at the Lac at 4.30 for a well-deserved cuppa and biscuit. As the sun sets here at 6ish we had enough time to do a circuit of the Lac joining others having a Valentines stroll or jog! With next to no breeze the lac was like a mill pool and there were some fantastic reflections cast:) As for birds nothing much out of the ordinary, swan, coot, grebes, geese, mallards and hundreds of gulls but then we spotted what we saw here for the first time on a previous visit - several small Night Herons napping in a tree with full size Herons nesting above. Four young ladies passed us on ponies as we approached the shady side of the lac where the fast-flowing River Eure runs. There was several Reed Bunting in the sedges as we rounded the lac and headed to the small marina just as the sun set over the water. Back at the van after 1 hr. 35 min. covering 3.25 miles and we were treated to a stunning orange/red sunset before having yummy Lidl lasagne for tea and are now the only vehicle in the carpark, so fingers crossed for a quiet night with no local boy racers!
We had some sad news on our return from our walk. Our old friend Russell Mexome has sadly passed away after a long illness. We have known Russell and his family for over 30 years and have shared some great adventures through windsurfing and also a family connection. We shared our condolences with his family and spent a while reminiscing :(

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