Here is a nice meeting with Michel Marie and Gérard Fargier, two retired people from Luc-sur-mer, in Normandy, who give their time for the association “Les Sabots de l’Espoir”.

The two friends are foster parents who help animals in distress or mistreated. They cuddle them, feed them and talk to them. Through their patience and daily care, they manage to give them back their taste for life and their confidence in humans.

Portrait by Nathalie

It was the 16th of July… on a beautiful sunny day, here I am in Luc-sur-mer to take some pictures.

I walk to the shady path of the Capricieuse at the car park at the exit of Douvres-la-Délivrande in the direction of Luc-sur-mer.

I like to walk along this small stream which crosses this green valley of 33 hectares, just a step away from the beach of Luc-sur-mer. It’s like being in the countryside !

Here, there is no sound of car engines, but the singing of birds and the bleating of sheep in eco-grazing.

A little further on, a donkey and horses are in the shade of the trees. Seeing me taking pictures of the horses, a man calls out to me and asks:

  • Are you a journalist ?
  • No, I work at the tourist office.

A discussion ensued and he invited me to go through the wooden fence that can be seen from the Chemin du Vallon. I accept the proposal and venture across the field… I should have taken boots !

Although I had seen a sign reading “Les Sabots de l’Espoir“, I did not expect to find a little corner of paradise : peaceful animals, wild flowers, a small flea market…

He finally introduced himself and told me his name was Michel Marie.

Michel lives in Luc-sur-mer and is a host family for animals in need from Normandy and elsewhere.

He has been coming here every day for the past 7 years with Gérard, his retired friend, to look after ponies, horses and goats that they save from abandonment or abuse.

They bought a 1 hectare plot of land in 2008 to accommodate them, a real Noah’s Ark !

This is how he introduced me to Pompon. It is a donkey that has become the mascot of this association !

Pompon, seeing us talking, runs over to say hello. We feel that he is so loving with his saviours that it is very touching. Moved, I continue my visit and I see 2 twin goats playing. They are the last to arrive in this Noah’s Ark.

How cute they are !

The day-to-day running is expensive, so these gentlemen explain to me that a vegetable garden is cultivated in order to sell the fruit and vegetables for the benefit of the association.

The same goes for the flea market displayed inside and outside.

It is the generosity of the inhabitants or tourists that allows the purchase of hay and veterinary expenses.

Some thirty volunteers also come regularly to lend a hand.

Everything that is undertaken here is dedicated to the well-being of the adopted animals.

I am charmed by this haven of peace, which you can visit every day.

This is a great idea to discover Luc-sur-mer whether you are from Normandy or just passing through !

Access :

Les sabots de l’Espoir

Exit Luc-sur-mer on the D83 towards Douvres-la-Délivrande. Drive past the waste disposal centre.

Parking at the stop sign, at the intersection with rue Abel Lemarchand.

You can also enter via the cycle route of the Vallon de la Capricieuse.

0033 (0)6 98 51 37 17

Continue your walk in the Vallon de la Capricieuse to the beach of Luc-sur-mer :


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