Above: Around midnight ... serried traditional beach huts at Yport in Normandy.
The Basque Country left us literally and figuratively hungry for more. For our next visit (and there will be one) we are going to have to step up our time allocation by an order of magnitude. And do a lot more research besides. Add on the same again for Catalunya and 6 weeks starts to look like a minimum baseline.
Especially if we were to start in Oporto and work our way up the Douro!
Now we had a day to get North, retrieve our battery powered VW, drop off the Mercedes Marco Polo, and have a last blast with the incomparable Ann and Craig, before doing the EV charge point hopscotch back to Calais.
It always pays to break a day-long trek somewhere diverting and Shan and I had chosen ahead for an attractive pitstop on our way to Saint-Romain. But first we had to traverse the ultimate spaghetti junction that had so daunted us on the way into Donostia. This time the traverse would be in reverse. We also decided to stay off the motorway to absorb the coastal scenery.
Given the suspicion we now felt for the Mercedes satnav and encouraged by Shan's bailing us out with her trusty Google-equipped iPhone, we decided to put her in charge of navigation. It was a good decision that played out with little fuss despite the driver (me) being uber suspicious of every change of direction (and there were many).
We had chosen Issigeac as one of the last few places for Kinks to experience a French village given that the last substantial stretch of the journey back to Calais would have to be undertaken in our Volksie EV. This meant stops for high speed recharging and these were really only reliably to be found on autoroutes. French autoroutes are excellent but, like freeways anywhere, can be quite boring.
Our penultimate destination for the day was a medieval village that dates back to Roman times, located in the Périgord and is a commune of the Dordogne department. Apart from its antique charms, Issigeac is also home to a compact cornucopia of craft shops and the like ... ideal for those last-minute gifts to ferry home. It also has a reasonable choice of places to grab a bite, although this turned out to be irrelevant ...
It always comes as a surprise how vast France actually is. Five hours are w-a-a-a-y too long for the venerable jollers to last between wees and teas so the odd Lidl or Carrefour car park along the way provided the facilities and food was bought to assuage the guilt of using the free lavs.
So switching to a little retail therapy and sightseeing made a welcome break before changing drivers for the last hour and a half leg of our journey for the day.