Thursday, 22 October 2015

Madhouse diaries : A 9.5 mile walk around the docks

After spending the day at home yesterday redoing the wallpaper in the toilet (the joys of being on holiday !), we decided we needed to get out in the fresh air today. As usual, we used geocaching to plot a route and decided to see what places of interest we'd spot along the way. We generaly find a few parks and play areas at least. Our first discovery this time was a big hairy caterpillar !

Followed by some cormorants, sunning themselves and also diving for fish. As we got deeper into the docks, we passed a channel out to sea where there were about 30 cormorants all lined up - I still have no idea where they've all come from !

Our path took us past a big geocache that we already knew about so we decided to revisit it. Pierre remembered exactly where it was !

He makes me laugh because when we revisit geocaches, he often gets all excited about the treasure that he finds ... even though it was us that dropped it off the time before ! We swapped over some new treasures for other kids to find.

Then had a quick play at the play area.

Juliette was in a mood for pulling faces !

Gorgeous !

We carried on further into the docks and Sophie was intrigued by the notion of a dry dock.

Heading into the Trystram lock, we found a geocache that had eluded us the time before. Sadly, the two travel bugs that were supposed to be in there were nowhere to be seen. Someone had obviously moved them on (or just taken them) without logging them, which is always a shame.

We decided to carry on as far as the lighthouse.

We passed a Transmanche ferry that was in for repairs and all thought the duck (or seagull ?) design on the front of the boat was fantastic !

We checked out the difference in the water level at the lock then had to do a huge detour to get round to the other side of the dock - only a couple of hundred yards across the channel but we had to walk a few miles to the nearest bridge across.

This brought us to the far end of the beach called the Digue des Alliés (Allies' Promenade) where the World War II memorial to the British soldiers is, permanently strewn with poppy wreaths laid by visiting veterans and their descendants.

Right down the end of the walkway, almost 1km each way, was one geocache. Would it be worth it? Yeah, of course it would !

This took us right back to the lighthouse but on the opposite side of the dock.

As part of the 75th anniversary commemorations of Operation Dynamo this year, the town has installed lots of information boards (in English and French) at strategic points to show what happened during the war. I discovered that this is the exact walkway that the retreating soldiers lined up on to try to get to the Little Ships during the Evacuation of Dunkirk.

The brooding skies were the perfect fit for such a poignant reminder of the horrors that went on in the beautiful surroundings. Sadly, the geocache remained unfound, but I'm sure we'll be back another day !


  1. I really enjoy geocaching. I love that there are so many hidden around everywhere and not many people know about them. And some of the places they are hidden in are so creative. We don't have any docks or anything like this around us. It sounds like a great place to explore. You've definitely reminded me that I need to go geocaching again soon too! Thank you so much for linking this to #whatevertheweather x

    1. I love geocaching - but we've done most of the local ones that we can get to on foot or by bus

  2. A shame that the travel bugs hadn't been logged. I love that the big geocache was filled with toys for kids, great to keep the kids interested in finding more caches. How cool is the front of that ferry, great that they've made it more interesting! The docks are definitely an interesting place to explore.
    Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather :) x

    1. It's always really exciting to find a travel bug and look at all the places it's been to around the world :)

  3. The Digue des Alliés sounds quite a moving place to end your walk. sorry the geocache eluded you but sounds like plenty of fresh air along the way. Have you ever been inside the lighthouse? I have a thing about visiting lighthouses at the moment. Very annoying to find the travel bugs missing, but loved that you got to see and swap some of the other goodies. thank you for sharing your fascinating family walk on Country Kids.

    1. I've never been up the lighthouse but Juliette went with her class last year - quite a few of them had to come down early because they felt too dizzy !