A motorcycle parked in front of a tent on a pleasant green campsite

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Normandy Beaches And Booze

By Bogger

Day 3 Friday at Bayeux

A large stone building, a waterwheel and the river in Bayeux
A tranquil scene from Bayeux.

We awoke, fairly late for us, at about 8.00 am. For some unknown reason were all feeling a bit rough. Strange that.

We all make a brew and have a bit of breakfast. I have a wander over to Jason's CG125 to have a nosey. The broken brake lever is there for all to see, I give it a pull, the brakes are fine. Well as fine as a now three inch lever can afford. I casually grab the clutch lever and give it a tug. It didn’t move. I pulled harder and could barely get it back the bars. Jason how long has your clutch been like this? Like what? Like it doesn’t work, type what. It was like a training aid for the Worlds Strongest Man.

Apparently he thought that’s how they were. I set about stripping off and oiling the cable. After fifteen minutes I’m sort of getting there with it so to speak. He asks me what I’m doing. Trying to get your clutch to work. I’ve got a new cable in my pannier. FFS! I’ll fit that then, shall I? Oh and I’ve bought a spare brake lever with me. Double FFS. The cable was the correct one, the brake lever was wrong. He tried the clutch. Ahh that’s better. Is it really?!

Today we are off to Arramanche, one of the British landing beaches where the Mulberry harbour was situated and some of it still is. Then over to Grandcamp Maisy and then whatever the day brings.

A large trellis style metal frame which once formed part of the temporary D-Day harbour
A section of the Mulberry harbour.

It was the 3rd June, so although busy not rammed like it’s been before on the 6th which is D Day. We had a wander round the small town of Arromanche, partook of an ice cream and a drink then hopped back onto the bikes to head for Batterie de Longues-sur-Mer. The weather was being really kind to us, warm but not too hot. The Longues-sur-Mer Batterie is well trodden ground for us as we have visited a number of times before. That’s not to say it was boring, just not as exciting as the first visit.

3 Honda Cubs and a CG125 parking on the footpath in Arromanche
Parking up in Arromanche
A massive huge concrete bunker, damaged and cracked
Batterie de Longues-sur-Mer

Is it time for lunch boys. Oh good. We head further along the coast road to the small town of Port en Bessin. We grab a sandwich and drink from the Super U and as is the way, have a chat with one of the locals. After luncheon we set off again in the direction of Grandcamp Maisy and stopped at the village of Colleville sur Mer to take a couple of photos. This small village is about a mile inland from Omaha Beach. 

The doorway to a thick strong concrete bunker, now being overgrown by foliage
Grandcamp Maisy bunker.
An information board showing a tank rolling into the village from world war 2
Colleville sur Mer.

Further on we entered the town of Grandcamp Maisy. We made our way past the picturesque harbour and out of the other side of town to find the Maisy Batterie. We got a bit lost. At a nearby campsite I asked, in the worst French ever, where the Batterie was. Two miles later we’re pulling into the Batterie's grassed carpark.

A large old rusty mobile gun on wheels on a concrete plinth
Grand Camp maisey Gun Emplacement.

We walk into the reception/Portacabin and the young lady behind the desk is from Durham. I enquire as to the whys and wherefores of how she came to be living and working in France, then ask for a little information on the Maisy Batterie.

Briefly, after WW2 the site was levelled and reverted to being farm land. As time passed and the locals who were around at the time of the war died, the Batterie was literally forgotten about. There was nothing to see. In I think it was 2006 a father and son team who were WW2 arms dealers/collectors heard about the site. They bought the land off the local farmers and ever since have been excavating the area to unearth a massive complex of trenches, bunkers, tunnels and gun emplacements. There was no team of workers doing this, just father and son. It’s very impressive and they still have lots more to unearth.

We spend a good two hours exploring the site and all it has to offer. It’s well worth a visit. Time was now getting on, let’s get back to the campsite. I suppose we’ll have to go for a drink again tonight. Well somebody has to keep the local economy going.

Nige has been to Bayeux before and waxed lyrical about a bar near to the Tapestry Museum. With the aid of Google maps we eventually found it, nowhere near where he thought it was. It was rammed, mainly with young folk. I ended up drinking a beer called Kwak. It was mega strong and not to my taste. Nige is a funny bloke. I asked him if Jason, his brother, has had/got any girlfriends? Aye, there’s been a string of them. Some have even been female!

Which bar did we go to next? Ohh La La of course. The bar owners spoke very good English which helped. 

Once again we started a conversation this time with four young French lads in their late teens early twenties. One of them had an English father and had spent some time in England. His mates said his French was not good?? It sounded ok to us. They insisted on buying us a drink. We politely declined. Then they really insisted. Ok then what harm can it do? Four shot glasses turn up with strange red hue to them. You need to down it in one. Here we go!

4 young lads joyfully pose for the camera
The young French lads.

We had to repeat a toast after them, obviously in French. Then down the hatch it went. Our mouths were on fire. The shots consisted of vodka, chilli’s, tabasco and something else hot.

In for a penny, in for a Euro. I bought a round of shots to repay the favour. There must have been twenty five drinks in total, cost a small fortune. Before every drink we had to repeat the toast. After which there was much merriment. Before we made our way back to the campsite it was 1.00am. We asked them what the toast was all about. Apparently it was about health and happiness... but your sister was involved somewhere along the line. Oh deary me, kids of today.


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La France Day 1 Bogger provides an acceptable excuse for going to France but the first day of this adventure sees them in Dorking. Dorking is not in France but it does have the best beer garden ever. Apparently.
The Ferry and France There's a ferry then there's some getting lost then there's some drinking. It seems there's an ongoing theme to this tale that involves alcohol. This time beautiful Bayeux hosts the liver apocalypse.
Normandy Beaches And Booze Bogger and his entourage might have been to the D-Day beaches before but there's still more to see and do. They might have been tipsy before too but that won't stop them joining the locals for a round or 6.
Dead Man's Corner (And Less Beer) Bogger and the crew take in a WW2 museum but have to curtail the rest of the day due to unforeseen circumstances. Not to worry, there will surely be more alcohol to soften the blow.
Friends With Food The group temporarily fragments while Bogger and Fatboy visit Bogger's French friend. Food abounds all around and of course there's a beer or two to wash it all down.

Reader's Comments

Upt'North ¹ said :-
Ed, I'm disgusted. More than normal. Well, a bit.
Boggers portrayal of his tour of Northern France has breached all boundaries.
One of those French whipper snappers is smoking!
Upt'North.
06/09/2022 11:10:54 UTC
Bogger said :-
Beaches and Booze............BOOZE indeed?!?

I would like to think it was more like a convivial drink with the local populace. Sort of ensuring that the 'entente cordial' is preserved. Doing our bit for the Nation and all that.

Bogger...the patriot
06/09/2022 12:49:29 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
But do tell us more about why the County Durham lass ended up in Normandy.
06/09/2022 15:31:44 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
OH my word! Yes you're right Upt'. So very many boundaries broken, such a shocking image. It's that Bogger, slipping in inappropriate images, bad boy. Now shurrup, I'm sure you'll be fine, go and have a ciggie to calm yourself.

Bogger, thank you for your dedicated service to Anglo-French relations. The sacrifice of your liver to such a noble cause has been noted. There might be a O.B.E in this for you (O.B.E. - Order of the Boozy Englishman).
06/09/2022 15:55:53 UTC
Bogger said :-
Ian, she married a French bloke. Lived in this country for a while then went over to France with him.

She lived quite a distance from Grand Camp Maisy, but said it was a really interesting job. Apparently she struggled to get decent work in France, 'as they look after their own'. Her words not mine. she said there were only so many sheets you can fold and beds you can make up (hotel work).

She seemed happy enough with her lot.

Bogger
06/09/2022 16:48:16 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
No.,no, non Bogger.
That's not Lot, that's Normandy.
06/09/2022 18:42:49 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
I'm also shocked and amazed that the blummin French wouldn't embrace an English lass as one of their own........insert laughing emoji of choice here.......
You just can't believe it can you.
Upt'North.
06/09/2022 18:44:58 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
I'm still waiting impatiently for the next gripping instalment.
12/09/2022 10:06:50 UTC
Bogger said :-
Ed's in control. When I say that, what I mean is, is that he's in control when Sharon allows.

Bogger
12/09/2022 12:42:26 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
You stand no chance Ian, he's away galavanting with Mdm.Moisture.
He may even be enjoying himself.
He might even be spending money..........no, I'm being stupid now.
Upt'North.
12/09/2022 15:42:02 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
I spent money once. Didn't enjoy it.
12/09/2022 15:54:04 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I am indeed presently galavanting with Mdm.Moisture. While I have internet access via my mobile I'm afraid it's beyond my patience level to be editing and uploading using the phone. I'm also far too busy catering for and washing up after her ladyship.

You'll just have to entertain yourselves with reading the back catalogue and the antici...pation of awaiting Bogger's next exciting installment. I'm trying my best!
12/09/2022 19:16:35 UTC

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