Huttopia Île de Ré Cote Sauvage

Once we'd altered our initial mindset that our week on Île de Ré was going to be a beach holiday we started to enjoy it more. With the beaches either overcrowded or quiet but rocky we decided to cycle and sightsee instead, with a couple of hours of beach in the afternoon.

We cycled to all the major towns, Loix and its peninsula a particular highlight. We never did find a beach that was quiet and swimmable.

Our campsite is one of two Huttopia sites on Île de Ré and we choose this one for its proximity to the beach. In hindsight I think the other would have been preferable, inland but with a pool. The beach is inaccessible from the campsite and you have to leave the site and walk around to it. Only a handful of pitches have a view of the sea with the rest a boring line of privacy-hedge separated rectangles.

The facilities were more than adequate, exactly as you'd expect from a Huttopia site. Our nearest block was small but saved walking to the bigger central block. Little niggles include that the dish washing sinks are in a line facing the toilet cubicles and so when you go to the loo, you do so with an audience. I half expected to come out of the loo and find four people holding up score cards a la Strictly Come Dancing.

Often there was a wait for the washing up sinks because other campers were using them to wash their 'coquilles'. There's a dedicated area for cleaning shells at the central facilities block so this was particularly annoying.

There aren't enough leisure areas at this site, with just one sandy petanque court and we regularly found it being used as a football pitch or basketball court.

Having enjoyed the majority of Huttopia campsites I was disappointed by this one, and so we leave it today excited that our next destination, just an hour away, is our favourite site on our favourite island.

We began our island-hopping adventure in Corsica, the south of France and then some. Virtually the only Brits at the start of the holiday but hearing more and more of the British language as we've come back north.
I have to say I much prefer not to hear English. I'm not certain if that's because the British are noisier or that because I can't understand purple speaking French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch or German that I just don't notice it.

A Dutch father was playing with football with his daughter (on the petanque court where we were trying to play Molkky) when a little boy wanted to join in. The dad said, in perfect English, 'What language do you speak? German?' The boy nodded and the dad said he only spoke a little but then proceeded to be able to use pretty much all the football terminology you could need. Other European nations really do put the British to shame when it comes to speaking other languages.

Tony has resolved to improve his French and has been reading a Kindle language course and listening to it on his phone. I just don't think, at 45, my brain has the ability to learn it.

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