Le Mans 1995 - Ayse's Story
Page 12 - Monday 19th June - Bayeux and Final Thoughts
After a really good night's sleep, I rose early on Monday morning and went out for a walk, meeting up with Ian, who was doing the same. Eventually all of the team members surfaced and it was time for breakfast, with delicious croissants, probably supplied by the bakery next door which gave the area around the hotel a delicious smell...
It was decided over breakfast that it would be a good idea to spend a little time this morning in Bayeux, which would inevitably include a visit to the famous tapestry. We had plenty of time to kill as we wouldn't be catching the boat back from Cherbourg to Poole until about 5.00 p.m. that evening. We spent the morning in Bayeux, eventually finding the museum which houses the tapestry. Whilst I'm sure that in historical terms, the tapestry is quite stunning, I thought it looked actually rather dull and unimpressive and in need of a good clean (!) and found the tour around the museum and the historical guide to the events depicted far more interesting.
We left Bayeux after midday, and headed off to St. Vaast-la-Hougue, which we thought would be a good place to take lunch. When we got there the time was getting on, and we strolled up and down the harbour front, trying to identify the best restaurant in which to take lunch. The most annoying thing by this time though was the fact that the morning had dawned bright and sunny and by lunchtime it was extremely hot. The weather contrasted very starkly with what we had been forced to put up with during the race. Sod's law, I suppose! Lunch was eventually taken at the Café du Port, where we indulged in some very dodgy-looking cider (which the waiter insisted was the best in France!), and a rather ordinary meal. There is a shot in the photo album of Terry and Alan, both sat with arms crossed, looking like a couple of mafia bosses, Alan with a large plateful of langoustine in front of him. Terry was desperate to avoid anything in a shell, having ordered crab at the Hotel La Marine the night before, then finding himself unexpectedly having to extricate the meat from the compete animal!
After spending some time wandering along the harbour front, where I'm sure Ian was tempted to buy some of the freshly-landed fish, we then headed back to the cars for the final part of the journey to Cherbourg for the return trip to Poole. The journey back on the ferry was largely uneventful, although I did manage to set my camera up on a convenient waste-paper bin and take a shot of most of the team members, including myself. Peter spent most of the journey working out the financial liabilities of all the team members, an unenviable task, which he accomplished very well indeed, to the gratitude of us all.
All too soon, my tenth Le Mans weekend was over. All in all, it had been a week-end of ups and downs. The accommodation and the food had been superb (excepting Le Belinois, which for me, had been a big disappointment), and it made a very welcome change to visit places I hadn't been to before. As for the race, well, that was very good, even if the end result was not that which we had hoped for. And as for the weather, that turned the weekend from being absolutely fantastic, to only brilliant! As I finally get around to writing this towards the end of February 1996, I do so again contemplating that this year I will be missing the Le Mans experience. It is something which is hard to come to terms with, and, if I'm quite honest, I still hold out some hope there is a way that I can generate the necessary funds to enable the family to have a holiday this year and for me to go to Le Mans as well. Pie in the sky maybe, but I've got my fingers and toes crossed, just in case!