ZooParc de Beauval to Les Sables-d’Olonne, France

We woke up bright and early with a plan to get into the zoo before the crowds and get back out before the afternoon sun in which we would again melt, the plan worked.

It turned out to be a really nice zoo and the only zoo in France with Pandas, we learnt that there are only 17 zoos in the world outside of China with Panda bears. Lucy loved the giraffes and Rory was quite bemused the whole way round with his nose constantly sniffing, he especially liked the cats and even gave a big lion a bark.

We dashed round and had managed to see all the animals on our tick list by lunch, we stood for a while trying to get the French parrots to talk but the odd squawk was all we got. Leaving via the gift shop we acquired a toy parrot stow away for the van.

We hit the road again with no definite plans of where we’d end up, the coast for cooler weather sounded good for us all.

Due to the previous toll experience we decided to set the truckman nav back to the avoid tolls setting, quite a scenic route was enjoyed. We crossed through many farmers fields, several woods and lots of cobbled narrow village centres. On to the Vendee Coast we headed.
Jobs for the route included emptying two now full thetfords, draining our waste and filling with diesel. For the Motorhome chores we pulled into a tiny village Aire which we happen to have spotted a Motorhome dump sign just in time. To our surprise a British couple were parked up and about to head of for a cycle on their tandem. We had a chat with them while we filled and emptied then set off.

We stopped for lunch in a supermarket where Neil spotted diesel at only €1.08, the 3.3m height warning was reassuring as the canopy looked low, we are 3.1m. The 20cms clearance did not look much. Worried about our height we actually initially failed to noticed the French white van man who squeezed through passed the pump next to us and hit our wing mirror, luckily it popped back with no real damage.

We arrived on the coast in a lovely seaside resort packed with tourist and plenty of Brits.

Our stopover was a huge Aire right in the centre of the town and a short walk to the beach.
An enjoyable evening followed shopping, eating, drinking and red trouser spotting! A lucky sit down at a crepe cafe (which may have also served beer) saw a band set up directly opposite us and begin to play, the singing may have been in French but the music was good.

Overnight Location: Les Sables-d’Olonne Plage Aire

Overnight Cost: €14

Zoo Website

Overnight Location Website

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