A Travellerspoint blog

July 2022

Awaycation France - Day 8

The day started early again with us up at 2am to wind in the awning. The wind had picked up and it had started the flap. Rather than damage it we decided to store it away.

Reggie decided it was a good time to squeeze between us. He then tries to push us out of the way. He growls when you push back. In the end we compromise. He has his own bed.

I was up early to take him for his morning pee and the again at around 7am when I let Claire feed him.

The bread delivery to the site is around 8.30am and so Reggie and I took a walk. There were a few people ganging around the entrance barrier and so we joined them. Almost on the dot the bakery lady arrived. One rustic baguette and two more pain de chocolat bagged and paid for.

Breakfast sorted.

Whilst we had breakfast Reggie took to his bed.

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Today is a rest day. Do nothing. Drive nowhere.

Trying to sit in the shade we have the awning fully extended and the front edge lower than usual. Apart from a little irritation from cyclists going by Reggie has been lying in the shade. Today he has resisted lying under Suki.

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Dinner of moules et frites at the nearby Pirate restaurant. Very hot even at 8pm and little shade

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So where to tomorrow? La Grande Côte Campsite near the Île de Noirmoutier.

Posted by InvictaMoto 08:17 Archived in France Comments (0)

Awaycation France - Day 7

sunny 29 °C

Today just a 170 mile drive between campsites. Despite being up early enough to collect our bread order we weren't particularly early setting off. There are all the pre-departure checks to go through to ensure no problems:

  • Windows closed and locked.
  • Toilet cassette locked shut.
  • Hook-up disconnected and stowed away.
  • Satnav fitted and route programmed.

Our first stop was the Picard in Périgueux. Here satnav had a bit of a problem and we drove around the same roundabout three times in addition to some housing estates. Then we found it. Dogador bought and we were on our way again.

One stop for lunch and another as I had a headache coming on. I took a few photos with the D50 of some vineyards.

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We had a side trip through Jarnac. Back in 1979 when we were here on a family holiday I had a kind of "golden ticket" from my Saturday job in the Wine Market in Walton on Thames. The manager and the area manager got us an invitation to Courvoisier. At that time they didn't do public visits.

Eventually we found our way to the river and the "chateau" were they are based. Sadly, nowhere to park Suki for a photo. The front is shrouded in sheet as they are working on the facade! Bugger.

We returned to the route past Cognac towards the Île d'Oléron. Eventually after another satnav blooper took us past the turning.

We checked in and got pitch 63. Ah. Our cables not long enough to reach the supply post. Back to reception. They lent us a long extension lead on a reel. It was a European plug and sockets. The post was standard 3-pin hook-up! Luckily another camper lent us a 3-pin to European adapter. Once at the van end I needed our 3-pin to European to connect Suki to the reel. By then I was very stressed. Old age shall not loosen me up in these situations!!!

We set up all the awning etc and had a nice cup of tea. The loos seem to follow a pattern. No seats. No paper. No soap in wash basins. Probably more sanitary than whatever evils a seat might hide!

It was still 29 °C when we did all this. Hopefully cooler tonight to go and check out the beach. Dogs are allowed on it. Reggie loves the sea. Oddly not so keen in rivers and canals.

Dinner tonight. Salad. I couldn't eat all the frites last night. Again washed down with a Kronenbourg.

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It looks like this site is a little marooned in the middle of nowhere. There is a Lidl not too far away but too far to walk with Reggie in this heat. Saying that he is coping well. He is just a little annoyed by the flies.

He was much happier in the beach. It is just across the road from the camp entrance. It's pretty coarse stuff, more line crushed shells that smooth golden sand. The tide was out and the edge of the sand I'd dried mud. It looks as though it is covered in a fine layer of salt.

This area seems to be the oyster growing capital. They are sold everywhere around. Next door to the camp is a restaurant. We might try that tomorrow evening. Moule frites?

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Tomorrow is another day. Have no idea what we will do. Nothing?

Posted by InvictaMoto 20:09 Archived in France Comments (0)

Awaycation France - Day 6 Part 2

After lunch we simply sat about reading. We had the awning up and the table and chairs set up. I even bared my upper body! Yes. Naked from the waist up.

It was 34 °C when we got back from shopping and although there was more cloud. It was still in the 30's. I am quite happy with low 20's.

When it cooled a bit we went over and bought an ice cream. Billionaire Salted Caramel Magnums. Absolutely fantastic.. Later we went back and ordered frites for dinner. Two large portions when one would have been sufficient. We ordered a baguette and pain de chocolat for tomorrow morning.

That's about it. We are on holiday after all.

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And so tomorrow. Set off for a campsite near the Ile d'Oleron. On the way I have programmed in another Picard in Périgueux. I have that as a waypoint. Let's see how Ohrex manages! So far (touch wood) no errors and no low bridges!!!

Posted by InvictaMoto 19:50 Archived in France Comments (0)

Awaycation France - Day 6 Part 1

Thunder! Thunder!

What a start to the day. At 2am the first drops of rain on the roof. I closed the roof and then it started to flash with lightning ⚡ and the accompanying thunder.

Reggie of course went berserk as he does at home. It was easily 4am before it subsides and we are able to get to sleep and Reggie could rest. This meant that his usual "comfort" breaks were delayed. But not by much.

By 8am he'd had his breakfast and we had been for a walk to pick up out fresh bread and croissants. Another comfort break. I had to stop him peeing up the ice cream fridge in the shop. To think he is housetrained!!

As we sat outside for breakfast the early morning sun began to be hidden behind the clouds and the air became very chilly. More thunder as the sky became grey.

Ideally we need to get a shopping session in although the bar/café does food and snacks.

The site is good though noisy. Not from the campers but the workman that seem to be tarmacing a path from the bridge over the river along the bank on this side. Another cycle lane? It's not that conducive to some R&R when the background noise is so invasive.

Our trip out today was only as far as St Cyprien. Google said 8kms. Satnav said 17kms. It was 17.

We got what we needed for a couple of days lunches and maybe dinner. We also picked up a couple of Bergerac rose wines. I can't drink red any more as it gives me stomach problems.

On the way back we dropped into the site's camping-car area to drain off the grey water. We have noticed a meal underneath and very little came out. We also took on fresh water. I let that drain to ensure that it was clean in the tank.

We had lunch and then an afternoon of doing nothing.

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Posted by InvictaMoto 07:07 Archived in France Comments (0)

Awaycation France - Day 5

Up early. We decided that leaving late was wasting the opportunities to see places on the way between A and B.

Today A was Lassiviere and D was Camping Rivière at Les Eyzies de Tayac on the Vezere river.

B was to be Salers. Claire stayed there some 55 years ago when a little girl on a trip with her parents and sister. So I had to build that in to any trip. The satnav has several options and despite it being around 40kms from the campsite as the crow flies, it's nearer 80 kms on the truck/Moho route. She would be so excited to go back. Something that maybe might be a disappointment?

Saying that to get across to the D3 we were directed up a narrow lane with lots of bends and climbs. Suzi doesn't really like climbs. Our first stop on the A to B leg was at Riom es Montagnes. We did quite a few trips around the village to get fuel at the otherwise closed Carrefour. This was the cheapest we have seen all week at (only!!!) €1.999 a litre. I filled the tank with this fuel they must have diluted gold dust or diamonds in!!

We also found a boulangerie open and bought supplies. Bread and pain de chocolats.

The drive across country to Salers was fraught with the occasional narrow bit, but generally the tarmac was smooth and the roads flowing like silk. Perfect for motorcycles! There were quite a few out and about enjoying the freedom and the smooth billiard table surfaces...

We had a late breakfast stop at the Col de la Besseyre. The pain de chocolats and coffee. I turned the LPG on and we used it for the first time. Success!

DSC_2988.JPGThanks to Cyclisme dot com

Thanks to Cyclisme dot com

As it was so sunny up there, the Nikon D50 decided to have "a moment" and none of the pictures that include the col sign came out. So I have borrowed one from Col Cyclisme as they took theirs with a better camera or a less sunny day, or both.

At Salers we parked in the camping-car parking just outside the city wall. There's a blanket €4 charge. I didn't see how long that was for.

The camping-car parking appears on the Campercontact website and app.

Compared with Semur this place is buzzing. Loads of bars. Loads of shops. All open. All wanting their share of the tourist cash. Who can blame them?

I bought a lump of St Nectaire and another of the local Salers cheeses. I also bought two cheese soufflés. These looked like what the Americans laughingly call "muffins" but tasted like a cheese scone. We had these for lunch.

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Once Claire had been down memory lane at the Hotel des Remparts we back tracked to the Van. Reggie had been very good but it was getting hotter.

We then set off for C - the Chateau de Val near Bort les Orgues. I have visited a few times since we went as a family back in 1979. We laughingly call it "the old family pile". Devall? Our name? My Grandad, Charlie, had a picture of it from a magazine.

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We had time for Reggie to have a paddle and then cool off by lying in the water, before returning to the Van for lunch. Diet Coke and the soufflés!

My brother Neill and his mate Patrick are on tour and will be there. I didn't realise it will be tomorrow before they arrive at the Chateau. I thought it was today and WhatsApped him to say we couldn't wait!!

We then set off for D. The campsite at Les Eyzies. We chose the autoroute rather than non-toll. We had cut it fine once already and the other we arrived 50 minutes after reception had closed. This time we arrived with over an hour to spare.

The campsite is across the river from the town. Apparently a kilometre to walk. Depending on how hot it is we can do that tomorrow. Today is has been as high as 31 °C and it is too hot for Reggie's feet on the pavements.

After check-In we got the leccy connection setup and went across for a drink. We needed it!!!

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We drank and Reggie snoozed.

Dinner tonight was some baguette, russian salad and some of the cheese bought in Salers. Washed down with local vin rose.

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Then a walk to look at the strangely brown river. No access to it from here. I googled to see why it is brown and the only thing I could find was the Gironde being brown due to silt. Maybe this is the same?

So what to do tomorrow?

Posted by InvictaMoto 20:38 Archived in France Comments (0)

Awaycation France - Day 4

0845am.

A much better night. Maybe because it wasn't lashing down with rain. There was entertainment at the municipal swimming pool complex last night that meant that no one onsite needed their own. At first it sounded like karaoke but was probably a live act or band. They seemed to be working their way through the 1960's. It went on until about 1130pm.

Reggie decided to sleep all night in his bed rather than ours. He joined us around 5.40am and it over an hour before he wanted his pee break. In and out in time for Claire to have done his breakfast.

We were up and the bed etc stripped and returned to day time spec in less that 15 minutes. A record for us.

We want to leave earlier today as we have around 5 hours on the road plus a couple of Beaux Villages to stop at. Thursday Reggie was cooped up in the can all day as it was raining and he didn't get much of a walk.

The problem is that it is 20 °C at 9am. It is due to get warmer.

6pm

Our first stop was planned to be Chagny and a pet shop called Catchien. It's right in the centre of the town and so we had a winding route to get there. It was closed!!! I had planned to buy one of the dog ties that screws into the ground to attach Reggie's lead.

The satnav was set to the first proper stop of Semur en Brionnais, a Beaux Village. It's only about 60 miles from the site. After Chagny we seemed to drive round in a huge loop before settling on the right road south west. For a long while we went alongside a canal with lock after lock. The sign says they are automatically operated.

There was a brief section of dualled N70 before we set off across country to Semur. Here there is a camping-car service area to fill up with clean water and to drain grey water. Grey being waste water but no from toilets. That's called black water. We just parked up and it is free.

A walk into town revealed lots of ancient buildings and a XIIIth century castle. Only one café bar and they were just opening. After a walk around we set off for the campsite in the Auvergne. Time seems to travel very quickly at 55mph and it looked as though the 225 Kms we had left would get us to the site too late.

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I reset the satnav to use toll motorways. We then joined the A89 and headed for Clermont Ferrand and the free A75 south. A stop at an Aire on the A89 for lunch and then we were off again. Time slipping by!

We made the 40 kms on the D road to the site in time to arrive at 1634. Just under half an hour before reception closed. We chose a pitch in the trees with some shade. Awning out. Reggie preferring to lie under the van.

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Dinner tonight? To be decided.

Tomorrow we head to Salers, another Beaux Village, and then to the site on the Dordogne.

Posted by InvictaMoto 15:43 Archived in France Comments (0)

Awaycation France - Day 3

This campsite is more tranquil until the devil dog takes a dislike to something; someone cycling past. A pigeon maybe in a tree. Then he barks!

Overnight there was more rain until the early hours. Accompanied by distant thunder. So we were up later than necessary and then again a few times in the night for his usual "bathroom" sessions. Tired. We are on holiday it's supposed to be relaxing.

We checked in about 1000 and all we have to do now is pay the local tax. It's only a few euros. The showers and loos are close enough for a night visit, and are clean and perfectly serviceable. When I needed a visit. The loo with the men's urinal was locked. The other must be for ladies as there are no stand-up loos. Needs must as they say.

We were late leaving for another trip to the shops. If we had more storage space in Suki we could do a big shop. Maybe see when the wine cellars are open whilst we are here.

First stop was the local Carrefour Market. It was next to a Lidl. Got what we wanted. Stuff for a couple of evening meals and lunch. Some ham, cheese, Saint Nectaire Fermier this time. And of course some beer and coffee.

Then we set off. The idea to find somewhere nice to have a picnic and give Reggie a walk. He missed out yesterday in the teeming rain.

We headed for Chateau de Meursault. Maybe get a wine tasting and picnic. The castle is undergoing renovation so we had to park a long way off. It was approaching 27 °C so after a short walk we decided to give it a miss.

It looks a really nice village.

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Once we aborted the mission we set off along the D947 towards Chagny and beyond. We saw a sign for Aire de Rully. Just before it I saw a sign to the chateau of the same name. Off we went. Into a village then a sign said there was no entry except deliveries. With no room to turn a nearly 6m long vehicle around we chanced it. It narrowed into a paved but bumpy track. We could see on the Satnav that it was going to rejoin the D947. To our relief it came out in the Aire. Phew.

We stopped at one of the picnic benches. Further along was a Polish van with its curtains drawn. We had some of the bread and meat we had bought. Not the most luxurious and scenic of picnic spots....

On the way back to the site we dropped in at the Lidl for bottled water. Four bottles. With it in the mid-twenties we need load of water. We can't always rely on the tank onboard Suki for water.

Once back. With Reggie's habit of barking at cycles passing we out up the new windbreak. Easy enough but the first time a little PITA!

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After a tea and cake, followed by beer and nuts, we had dinner. Pasta and pesto washed down with another Kronenbourg.

Tomorrow? Day 4 and a third over night camp, this time in the Auvergne bear Murat.

Posted by InvictaMoto 19:30 Archived in France Comments (0)

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