We wanted K and A to experience the feel of France’s Atlantic Coast so we randomly selected the town of Esnandes, 12 kms north of La Rochelle, as our next destination. Little did we know that our ho-hum first impression of the town was to be overtaken by wonderment and deep admiration when we went hiking along the mussel and oyster-rich ‘Baie d’Aguillon (Bay of Aguillon) and did some exploring of its 13th century fortified church.
On this third stop, we stayed in a campsite where, surprisingly, 9 out of 10 holidaymakers came in their campervans. In fact, we found out that this month of September is the peak of the campervaning season as we are seeing a great number of them everywhere we went and stayed. H even noticed the ‘waving etiquette’ where campervaners wave their hands everytime we approach each other on the road. Hence, this kickstarted the ‘Adams Family Waving Game’ which would get us LOL whether the approaching campervaner would acknowledge the four clowning hands waving at them…. or not!
We originally planned to visit and camp in La Rochelle but the carpark we stayed in last month is being spruced up for an upcoming yachting exhibition so we decided to go somewhere instead. This is the old town of La Rochelle.
Dinner Day 5 – With our miniscule oven and electricity from the campsite, I managed to make individual pizzas for 4 people and a healthy salad on the side. Autumn nights are getting colder and colder so dinner had to be indoors.
Raspberries and Greek yoghurt sweetened with honey is our Michelin-style dessert for the night.
Never have I seen a church that looks like a castle, but it was designed as a fortification against the invading English. This 12thC Romanesque style church of Esnandes is classed as a historic monument.
This 13th century Romanesque church was made into a military fortress during the Hundred Years War (14thC) to protect the region from English invasion.
Grotesques (sculpture of ugly faces) figures at the medieval church of Esnandes.
Story goes that this church was the stopping point of sailors who came to pray for safe voyage before setting out to sea.
These 18th century pews are just one of the main attractions of this extraordinary church.
A sightseeing trip of a town or village is not complete without stopping at the local cemetery. It’s like visiting an open air museum.
At the Bay of Esnandes. Our campervan (on the right), though vintage, looks good from afar.
Saw this group of motorcyclists stopping at the panoramic viewpoint of Bay d’Aguillon. Some preferred to doze off at the first available ground they could lay their weary bodies on.
La peche au carrelet or shore-operated lift net.
Nets are held horizontally by a large fixed structure and periodically lowered into the water, They are dipped into the water and raised again, but cannot be moved. They may hold bait or fitted with lights to attract more fish. (wikipedia)
Photographing baby mussels
K and A going to their fishing net cottage.
The bay at low tide.
The bay at low tide.
The Baie d’Aguillon (Bay of Aguillon) along the Atlantic Coast has been a place for oyster and mussel farming since the 13th century. Currently, it produces 10,000 tons of mussels each year. Naturally, shells of these bivalves are scattered around the bay and Charlie just loves licking them!
Dinner Day 6, instead of dining at a mussel restaurant which is very popular in the area, we concocted our own mussels speciality – moules marinieres (mussels cooked in white wine). Bon Appétit!
Our campsite for two nights in Esnandes.