Fatherhood²: Eighteen Go Crazy in Carnac*
* Mainly through lack of sleep
Earlier this week we arrived home from a holiday in Brittany, France – the little (and very historic) town of Carnac to be precise. And we sure had an eventful week!
As well as being Freddie’s first trip abroad, it was our first holiday with a big group – we and a bunch of our university friends (and families) had decided to try out a group holiday. So it was an exciting trip for all of us.
As regular readers of this blog will know, we’ve been trying our hand at camping over the last year or so, and with several of our uni friends also in possession of new tents (and new families) we decided that now was the time to give a camping holiday abroad a try.
Having been to the region several times in the past, we headed to the Carcac area of Brittany in Northern France, having picked a nice looking campsite which was located near to the famous Standing Stones (‘Menhirs’) of the region. We arrived after a 7 hour drive (down from the Eurotunnel) and set up camp – all going well so far! The site seemed lovely, the facilities were great and there was plenty for the kids to do.
Unfortunately, things weren’t quite so straightforward when it came to the night time. Whilst it wasn’t obvious from their website (as is understandable, I guess) the campsite was situated right next door to a much BIGGER holiday site. A site who held an outdoor disco/karaoke/caberet show about 100m from our tents… every single night.
With the exception of one night, the music went on well past midnight every time – with the inevitable sleep disturbance that you’d imagine would go with that.
Add to this the fact that the campsite owners saw fit to occupy the only other pitch next to our group with a succession of young men (usually in groups of 5) who were using the site as a base for their disco-going antics in Carnac, usually to return at 4 or 5am and proceeding to party next to the two tents which housed our youngest occupants (both less than 2 years old).
As annoying as all of this was, I got home and read through the reviews online (as well as leaving my own less-than-glowing review) to check it wasn’t something I should have spotted before going. Thankfully, nobody else seems to have mentioned it – which is both a relief (I wasn’t remiss to not notice it) and weird (does nobody else care about all that noise?!).
Whilst the night time was less than ideal, the rest of the holiday was a brilliant experience. We had great fun with our friends and their families, our own boys enjoyed the experience immensely and the weather was mainly brilliant. I’m sure once I’ve got over the annoyance of our disturbed sleep I’ll figure out a more positive lesson to take from the whole experience – but for now I felt like I needed to get this off my chest, if only to make me feel a little better!
The happy ending to the whole story is that we all enjoyed it so much that we decided to give it another try next year – though I doubt you’ll be surprised to hear we’re thinking of hiring a gite or a chateau next year!