With Defender via Domaine du Marquenterre
The car is no longer just a means of transportation, but rather a means… life way. More and more car brands are offering add-ons to make the experience more intense. Trends Style went so far out of the way at the beautiful Domaine du Marquenterre that they had to pull us out with a cable.
Text / Photos by Anya van der Borght / Wilhelm Westergren
A flock of field birds flies by as eight Defenders race in true James Bond style across a hay-strewn slope of a recently mowed wheat field. The drive wheels are rotated, braked and accelerated forcefully. It feels like a wild chase from a movie scene and this is allowed for once. Land Rover got permission to do this from a local French farmer. It’s also great that this is possible in a world where we always have to color within the lines. These are moments that clear the mind and body. Because of the stressed businessman or woman
From parents of busy kids to you and myself: we all feel the need to escape reality from time to time. While one
He does this by hiking in Ireland, the other prefers the flat rest of Bounty White Beach
And someone else is an off-road adventurer. To answer precisely this question, for many years Land Rover has been organizing off-road experiences in the heart of the French Domaine du Marquenterre region. Here, in Europe’s largest bird sanctuary, surrounded by the Gulf of the Somme, a thousand hectares of sand alternate with wild dunes, pine trees and small lakes.
By water and birds of prey, but also by deer. In short: nature in all its glory.
We are expected to arrive at a quarter past ten at Domaine du Marquenterre for a short briefing and first preparations. We quickly notice that there is a law here: respect nature at all times. Use only marked trails, disturb animals as little as possible and don’t leave any litter behind. With the Defender’s all-terrain tires partially off in preparation for more grip on the road surface, we quickly succumb to the challenges of the off-road course.
At first we were walking in convoy behind the guide Rene. The dynamic sixty-year-old explores the path on his quad bike and clears the way
Free from time to time. At one point he throws a branch aside; After a short distance, he decided to take a detour, because there was a fallen tree blocking the road. Two Land Rover Experience driving instructors give us tips on what to pay attention to while maneuvering. For example, we learn that felled tree debris – such as short tree stumps still in the ground – is a major enemy of car tires. If we do not have enough space to move across it or if we have doubts, the best option is to take the tree trunk in the middle of the belt.
Sometimes it’s a matter of centimeters – a maximum of five – but we are never afraid. When in doubt, driving instructor Peter and Jeroen jump out of the car to guide us via walkie-talkie. A little more to the left, a little more, keep the handlebars straight, and drive forward slowly.
“The moments when occasionally spinning tires send sand flying into the air meters above the SUV are amazing.”
We make slow progress for the first half hour. They obviously want to test what they have in store, but once they have these results, we can put our foot on the accelerator. Tasty. In a figure-eight shape, we can accelerate Defender after Defender in loose sand. The 300-hp Defender SE suddenly moves from left to right,
It finds its way into tire tracks that have already been made. It’s amazing those moments when the tires sometimes spin
Off-road drifting makes sand fly into the air several meters above the 4×4. It is pure fun and also the moment for us
To replace our Pangea Green Defender with a Santorini Black example with a V8 and 525bhp. The powerful motor makes the experience more exciting.
After a pleasant walk, we continue off-road at Domaine du Marquenterre in the afternoon and face more challenges. We can try driving on a steep slope and get…
Choosing a route is particularly difficult
No one had ever walked it before or through a semi-difficult route. Rene explains that the path is difficult and it takes several attempts to reach the top. Driving instructor too. But one post succeeds all at once. We also take on the challenge and choose the more difficult path, but it does not succeed. We go back
Back down the slope. We are moving backwards further to get further, to create momentum and in the right direction
To be able to give full throttle in an instant, to…
4×4 to get over the steep slope. But it doesn’t work again.
We believe that three times is a charm,
But the third time we stumble. So steep that the instructors find it too dangerous to defy the law of gravity and decide to pull us free with a cable. The three of them investigate how best to do this. They weigh and measure
They discussed which line to pull our defender so that he would not be exposed to any risks. Fifteen minutes later, the Defender returns to the sand track with all four tires on. It’s all part of it, because anyone who wants to push their limits sometimes makes mistakes in their calculations. Everything is possible and allowed here. The unique route book takes us further along mud roads and sandy tracks. Every now and then we stop and become the engines and the voices
Quiet to watch the wild boar with its young or some deer in the wonderful golden hour.
Practical information for adventurers
– More information about Defender off-road trips to Marquenterre
– If you really want to find some peace and quiet or awaken the adventurer in you,
The new Defender model can with
Rent a rooftop tent at the end
Outdoor experience. You do books
Online and you can take your own tour
More information rent.jaguarlandrover.be/nl/
to have fun
We must not forget to enjoy our time while driving
Field du Marcontier.
It started well
At the beginning
We start on our adventure
Pillar behind Rene’s guide and get tips from him