Joan's magnetic map holder blew away yesterday in the horrific cross winds, luckily not taking anything important but only some notes with it. She valiantly tried to attract my attention but by the time she had done so it was far too late to find it. At Le Treport we aaw a small Yamaha dealer who had nothing to replace this with and similarly at Dieppe we tried a large Suzuki dealer who, in common with his mates along the road, had closed for lunch (or forever for all we could tell). You'd have to wonder how people here stay in business.
The Le Treport back-streets are fantastic but you'd have to be forgiven for wondering why the city fathers have destroyed the sea front and allowed a concrete excrescence (several hundred meters of possibly flats) to be erected. Public flogging would be too good for the perpetrators. The picture does not do it justice, it's actually far worse.
Our picnic lunch. while very well planned, was rubbish. We stopped by a roundabout and immediately Joan rode straight onto a small and not very deep bog (it looked like grass - but no!). After extracting the Honda we moved to a bridge parapet on the other side of the roundabout while every truck, camper, motor scooter and car in Normandy took the opportunity to see the mad Kiwi's and drove past us. Even the fish in the stream were unimpressed and all moved off. The worst part was that immediately after lunch we found a perfect picnic spot some 100m away with cows and horses next to the stream.
Afternoon coffee at Fecamp was very pleasant and even more so after we discovered the Victorian folly that is the Benedictine Palace, all spires, statues and turrets. Quite fantastic.
Unfortunately the rain started about then and the most scenic bit of road so far was marred by being mildly moist, less than two car widths wide and covered in new loose chip seal. A very sedate ride to Etretat followed. We must have looked like two old ladies; oh yes.
Luckily the good old Lonely Planet recommended the Hotel La Residence in a 14th century building in Etretat, originally belonging to an alchemist. It's every bit as good as the book suggests however the popularity of the town with tourists means the restaurants have rather lost their polish and dinner, while acceptable, was unmemorable. Unlike last night were surrounded by English tourists, somehow having locals all around makes it much more foreign and interesting.