Text read by Mary Peters

Before we leave Charente Maritime, it is worth stopping to explore the Il de Ré.

To get a bird’s eye view of the whole island, why not climb up the lighthouse, “Le Phare des Baleines”.  Probably the nicest way to get around the island at a leisurely pace is to rent a bicycle.  And on the way, you can stop off at some of the more fascinating things on offer.

The Atelier Quillet (www.quillet.fr) is a small company which restores old documents, manuscripts and books, often using gold leaf. Next, visit the soap makers. They make soap from donkey’s or goat’s milk. https://www.savonneriedere.fr/

By now, you will probably be thirsty. Time to stop for a beer. The local craft brewery was established in 1996. Being rather innovative, they developed new products such as the “Blonde au Miel de l’Abeille de Ré à Loix” (The blond honey from the Ré at Loix).
It was awarded the gold medal at the Agricultural Trade Fair in Paris in 2018. Cheers! https://www.bieresdere.fr/home/

Now that your thirst has been quenched why not go to the salt marshes, visit the eco museum and learn about how the salt workers produce salt. http://marais-salant.com/html/home.html.

Another interesting place to visit is the old apothecary. In a splendid room, you can see a large selection of curious pots and jars. Among them, are different types of jars such as small jars for preserving liquid preparations and cannon jars for ointments. All the pieces are from the 17th and 18th centuries.

This is only a small selection of curious and unusual things to discover. Naturally, there are many other activities and historical buildings for you to explore and enjoy. Don’t forget to taste the local oysters and fruits de mer.

In Châtaillon-Plage you can admire the beach and the belle epoch architecture of some of the houses. The activities include sailing, cycling and spa treatments not to mention the many festivals as well. It is a typical beach resort.

I leave Charente Maritime now and start cycling east. Next stop Poitiers. See you then.

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