Puzzling signs and non existant signs

We said our goodbyes to Stenay and headed out in a different direction from usual and through some pretty villages and lovely autumnal countryside.

We were heading for an Aire at Rozoy sur Serre, a suitable half way stop enroute to St Quentin. Rumbling along through one village we saw a couple of policemen stopping traffic. As we slowed to a stop I unwound the window to be told we had to divert from the main road as there had been an accident. We followed the car in front of us as there were no diversion signs. Homer the satnav did his best to persuade us to ‘turn around when possible’. I was locating other possible routes on the map as the road we were travelling got narrower. I found the road we were on and it did rejoin the main road in another mile, we just prayed that we wouldn’t meet anything coming in the opposite direction. Prayers answered, we rejoined the main route and all was harmony again and we could breathe as sat nav agreed with our route. However, satnav’s revenge was to direct us on to an even narrower road as we approached the Aire in Rozoy! A narrow, parallel road to the one we should have been on. Cars were parked on the single road verge alongside allotments and the road came to an end as it turned into a grass lane. Driver John fairly worked Buddie’s steering wheel as he did a 5 point turn at a gateway and we headed carefully back past the parked cars. We saw the Aire over the hedge, this must be the first Aire we have encountered this trip that wasn’t signposted from the road end. It was immaculate and nicely landscaped and although only 4 spaces, two of them were empty so we drove straight in between two small hedges and had the chairs out in no time and kettle on for a late lunch. The Aire had a walking/cycle track either side on what was once a railway line. Signposting was not this village’s forte as we discovered when we headed out for a walk and after a mile or so met a main road and debated if ‘our’ walking route headed straight on, or turned right, or left, given we had followed what should have been a circular route of 7km. We headed right and into the next hamlet but the only sign we found was for a different place altogether and we turned around and headed back the way we came, to be on the safe side and as it was a bit too late in the day to risk an extra long hike.

Back at the van the chairs were moved into the late afternoon sun and the remainder of the champagne from our wedding anniversary yesterday was polished off.

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If it hadn’t been for French midgies starting to bite we would have stayed out ‘till the sun went further down, happy bunnies we were. A chilly night was forecast so the screens went on the windscreen and the water heater went on so we could shower before bed; the van is cosy and warm in the evening but decidedly chilly in the morning.

We didn’t rush the next morning and when we did open the front blinds it was to see a donkey munching the grass in front of us. The donkey’s tether had broken and obviously the grass on our side was greener! John was about to take it back when the owner arrived having been alerted by our French neighbours.

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The sun was shining and satnav was soon under instruction to direct us to St Quentin. The landscape was changing and this was obviously an area good for wind as windfarms could be seen as far as the eye could see and long, long stretches of straight roads.

Satnav got us safely to the Aire at St Quentin first time. Signs outside the entrance seemed to indicate something happening as there was no entry between 10 and 11 that night. We parked up and headed along the river path to ‘centre ville’, shopping could still be done and if needs be we could move on. There was also a huge fairground set up across the water. We arrived, unsurprisingly at lunchtime as shops were closing, but we had a wander around the main square and saw the Ibis hotel where we had overnighted with our 3 girls almost 30 years ago. We didn’t want a sit down meal so we headed for the French equivalent of Costa and had toasted paninis and coffee.

At 2pm we were in Tourist info asking about the road signs at the Aire. We were told that tomorrow (Sunday 7th October) was Liberation day and there would be parades in the area so coming and going would be restricted.

We completed our shopping for our two grandsons in Sergent Major and chatted to a very helpful assistant who really tested my French by asking lots of questions about our travels.

We strolled back to the van along the river path and the fairground was in full swing with a very scary looking but popular ride that involved height, spinning, turning, slowing down, speeding up!

Swans on the river were much more appealing to watch and several canoes and kayaks were enjoying the water too.

 

We decided that this might not be the best time to overnight in St Quentin and so move one we did.

 

 

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43 years married

We must have stayed at Stenay 4 or 5 times since 2009. A small town, rather than a village, there are several boulangeries to choose from; a butcher, a variety of shops and cafes, a vet where we used to take our 2 doggies prior to returning to the UK and a laundrette within walking distance. On previous visits John would hold the dogs outside the butchers whilst I went in and the butcher after serving me and correcting my French pronunciation, would come out and admire the dogs.  We have walked miles along the canal path, picked brambles and been given hints and tips from experienced motorhomers when we were novices.

The aire is on what is called an island but is in fact attached and not a completely separate piece of land. Recent years have seen improvements to servicing facilities and this year a modern barrier and pay machine have also been introduced and the nightly rate has been increased to 9 euros. This includes electricity so is not bad really. Parking areas are now more formal and not hugely generous in their spacing but it is possible to sit on the canal bank. The atmosphere does not seem to be as vibrant as it was and it certainly wasn’t as busy as we’ve seen it. But the forecast for the next few days was good and we had a wedding anniversary to celebrate, 43 years! We had a walkabout and we were pleased to see familiar shops and some renovations of old buildings. We checked out a restaurant close to us and opposite the beer museum, Le Cygne. The tourist information assistant gives us a discount leaflet for the beer museum on each of our stays, but so far we haven’t been. Mainly because we had the dogs with us but no dogs now and we still didn’t manage to go! This time we also got a discount voucher for several restaurants including Le Cygne, but of course we left it behind in the van!

We had a lovely lunch though and the interior of Le Cygne had been renovated with style and it wouldn’t have been hard to imagine ourselves transported back to times past. The waitress spoke good English but couldn’t remember the word for ‘leek’ so described it to me good enough for me to guess it correctly.

Cheese and leek quiche to start, beef tournedos for mains with a casserole of roast potatoes to share and crème brulee for my pud and a Paris pastry for John. The young chef spoke to us as he clocked off and as we were getting relaxed in the sun later, back at the van who did John spot at the Boules court across from us, but the young chef! The afternoon was spent relaxing in the sun and trying to work out the rules of boules as we watched two groups of mixed ages battling it out.

Late afternoon we were entertained by a French van arriving with what looked like a couple with their young granddaughter. Much deliberation about where to park commenced, this we understand, we sometimes change position to get more sun, or shade or to avoid being under a tree if rain is expected. However, this French grandpa went one step further and was pacing out the distance between each marked out place. Arms were flying into the air as he seemed very unhappy with the spot he had parked in. He debated and discussed with another French van and more arm waving went on. He also kept eyeing up our place, John had parked close to one edge so we could have the chairs out beside the van. His wife obviously told him to behave and he unpacked their table and chairs and put them in the next parking place, not ideal as a concrete sleeper separated the bays and young granddaughter tripped over it a couple of times, though while all this was going on she had played happily with her dolly buggy on the boules court. Grandpa was visibly still not happy but all settled down for the evening.

The next morning was laundry day and I had the laundrette to myself. No updating of machines here, so all was familiar and a quick visit to the boulangerie supplied me with a baguette and enough euros to feed the machines. Meanwhile, John did the ‘van work’ and by the time we were both done with our jobs it was coffee time and also time to move on. We wanted to visit St Quentin for some grandchildren shopping and a bike run. St Quentin is a small city we first visited with our 3 girls almost 30 years ago, a night stopover at the Ibis hotel enroute to a gite. The square we overlooked was lovely and invited a second visit and finally we could do it. There is a new Aire down by the river and next to a leisure area. A walk way along by the river leads into the centre and a bike lane carries on in both directions.

Laundry done, van cleaned and we had no sooner left our pitch than Grandpa from the French van had moved his table and chairs over to our vacated space and was moving the van! I do hope he wasn’t disappointed!

 

New and familiar

After leaving  Chaorce we headed for St Amand sur Fion. A lovely drive through autumnal scenes of harvesting and ploughing and even a family of Boar.

Arriving at St Amand  at lunchtime we found it to be a lovely little village with impressive church. The square hosting the Aire had been revamped and landscaped very prettily but spaces were not yet marked out clearly and we were unsure if we were going to be in the middle of a bus stop. The sign was welcoming and said there was also parking behind the church. We took ourselves off to explore. This was us in Champagne country and houses and gardens were pretty. A worker watering flowers assured us we could park in the square or behind the church. He opened the church door and encouraged us to visit inside.

 

 

As we were leaving, the church clock struck the hour, loudly! We had no way of knowing if the bells continued through the night as many do. So it was a no from us and we carried on to a small aire by the canal at Pogny just another 20 minutes further on. The weather had turned decidedly chilly and drizzly but we managed another walk around our environs at Pogny. A small supermarket on the outskirts was as exciting as it got. Heavy trucks trundled through this little place and other than a nice parking spot by the canal it didn’t have much to offer.

 

The next morning we continued north east making for Stenay, a well known town for us but fitted in another night stop first. Les Islettes is an Aire in a forest area which is also where wartime activities took place and where the Kaiser tunnel can be found. We had chosen it because it included electricity and the forecast was chilly! As soon as we arrived we both realised we had been here before and to confirm it we checked the visitors book in the shower/reception area and there it was, end of April 2016 and the weather had been wet then too! It did clear enough for us to have a walk into the forest before we settled for the night, but the contrast in what we wore compared to the weekend told a story! Fleeces under jackets and raincoats plus woolly hats! Why did I not pack gloves?!

Fortunately the forecast was improving again, though John did want to replenish our LPG bottles and some quick googling and a bit of luck, given phone signals have been dodgy, showed Verdun as having a Leclerc and GPL. Off we went and the sun came out!

Lovely villages, more busy farming scenes and a well stocked supermarket awaited us.

By the time we left Verdun the sun was shining warmly even if the wind was still a northerly. A straightforward drive was ahead of us following the Meuse river all the way.

Chaorce makes tasty cheese

After parking up at Chaorce and having some lunch, John popped back up to the Tourist info for a jeton and filled Buddie’s water tank to the top. This was a lovely spot and we planned to stay 3 nights. Behind us was a big, empty field which had been harvested, we had the shade from a trees which separated the Aire from the ditch at the edge of the field. We were parked on grass though pretty much sunburned grass and in the middle of the aire, in front of us bit a good few yards away was a tarmacked turning circle. The Aire was well landscaped and spacious and during our exploration of the town we discovered that the one way street across the road from the Aire took us straight to a Boulangerie/pattiserie which was our ‘local’ for the next few days and indeed provide us with a delicious Tarte au Chaorce for our meal that night. Not a cheese I’ve ever bought before but delicious cooked.

Friday morning and after John had brought back two huge croissants and a baguette we sat down to a leisurely breakfast and planned our day. We headed to Tourist Info for some maps marking out cycle routes in the area and after chatting with the assistant whose English was very good we popped into the church next door. The organist was in either practising or just playing. A visitors book had a poignant message asking forgiveness for the crimes of his father back in 1944, written just the day before. We admired the stained glass windows but didn’t go down to the crypt as we misunderstood its meaning till I later read about it. Apparently it is home to a model of the tomb of Jesus. What we did see that we admired was a carved wooden model of village life in amazing detail and so obviously created with much love. Quiet time for prayer was abandoned as the organist played a rousing, dramatic piece of music. We headed back out into the sunshine of the day and enroute back to the van, eyed up L’Auberge sans Nom as a lunch possibility for Sunday. I’m hopeless at eating late evening meals, so lunchtime suits much better.

This area doesn’t have dedicated cycle routes but did have marked out possible circuits: 1, 2 and 3. We had noticed a couple of lamp posts with the markers on them. We headed out on the bikes, took a left as instructed then all markers disappeared from view! We headed out of town a couple of kilometres then took a smaller road to the right to get away from what was quite a busy road. This took us on to a much quieter route into lovely countryside and then into forested areas. We cycled several more kilometres thinking there was bound to be a road off to the right, but no. We stopped at one of the forest clearings and consulted my phone map. We were 5 miles away from Chaorce. If we continued it was another 6 miles before we picked up another route and then another 11 miles back. Or, we could turn around and go back the way we had come. We did neither! As I zoomed in on the map I could see a forest track that we had passed and it would bring us out onto the D28, a white road and then we could join the D443 at Lantages which would take us back to Chaorce. When we arrived back at the forest track, John checked it out to make sure my bike would be ok on the surface. It was small chippings and quite solid. We had a plan and it turned out a beautiful bike run with a shady stop at a picnic area just after Lantages, and an easy bike run back into Chaorce though with a couple of challenging uphill stretches for those of us who didn’t have battery back up, namely John! A good 12 miles probably and a great route even though not the one we set out to do. We finished off the cheese tart and baguette accompanied by a refreshing shandy and relaxed in the sunshine. John nipped back over to the patisserie late afternoon and came back with a lovely, fruity flan, another speciality of the area and big enough that it lasted us a good couple of days.

 

Sunday was a lazy day, no bike run today, but we did go and have lunch as planned at the Auberge sans Nom and were entertained by the banter from the owner, whose English was excellent. John had a Charolais beef steak, I went for pork, lardon style, with melted Chaorce, very rich and delicious and we were both more than happy and full up.

We went exploring around parts of the village that we hadn’t yet seen. We noted the fromagerie where we could buy Chaorce direct from the factory shop the next morning. A school that looked abandoned as its roof was badly damaged, but still had desks and chairs visible, was a mystery to us. Back into the centre and past the Marie and the church,we turned a corner and saw an ancient Citroen van at what had once been a garage and then crossing the road and going down a lane we found a track alongside a field which brought us back to the Aire via the river.

Yes, this is one place we would definitely return to.

 

 

 

 

Homer is our Sat Nav voice..

 

Thursday morning and Homer, the sat nav was programmed for Gurgy, a riverside Aire with electricity for 6 euros all in, a bargain and considering the last 5 nights were completely free then the budget was healthy and just as well because we were about to splash out 20 euros for laundry!

Not long in to our journey John spotted an Intermarche and given we needed to refuel and replenish supplies we ignored Homer’s pleadings to ‘turn around when possible’ and parked up and double bonus, the Intermarche at Toucy also had washing machines and a dryer in a corner of the car park, very modern and very clean.

The bed was stripped in double quick time and loaded into the big machine while our personal laundry went into the smaller one. Laundry liquid or ‘Lessive’ was included automatically. Instructions were on a touch screen and although it was reluctant to change to English, it eventually did. It even gave me the option to enter my mobile number if I wanted an sms to let me know when the laundry was complete. Well yes, that would be great, thank you! Payment was by card or cash. Easy! Off we went inside to shop and we had everything on our list except the wine, when my phone buzzed. John was happy to peruse the wide selection of vins while I set up the tumble drier, this time the touch screen refused to change to English but fortunately I could follow the instructions.

Shopping complete, we sat and ate lunch whilst the ‘sechoir’ dried the laundry. Neatly folded and airing, we made Homer happy by continuing on our planned route. Gurgy is on the Yonne just north of Auxerre. We had fun with Homer as he tried to take shortcuts over ‘lanes’ that were barely single track when there was clearly a bypass we could use. We compromised after an unnecessary detour ( through the hospital grounds) and followed a yellow road! Sat nav users will recognise the use of diplomatic language there, John’s version of my conversations with Homer would be much different!

The yellow road gave us the bonus of going through Moneteau and over a one way, florally decorated, metal bridge.

15 minutes later and we were at our destination and in Homer’s words we could ‘hold our heads up high’ for we were ‘a genious’!

The sky was blue, the sun was shining and within half an hour and after a chat to a Scottish couple now living in England, John was getting the bikes organised. We headed along the river track past walnut trees and beautiful gardens and doggie walkers and could hardly believe it when we recognised the floral, metal bridge above us as the one we had driven over earlier. We didn’t have the camera, but took some phone photos and cycled a bit further into the town before turning back and enjoying the return trip.

 

We were told that the wooden sheds 50yds down were opening in the evening for wine, Chablis, and cheese sales. Tastings of course, first. We were well stocked and were ready to just relax so we declined the invitation but maybe another time!

The next morning we took the bikes in the opposite direction, passing a house with a book swap cupboard built into their fence for passers-by, how thoughtful! Some very weird fishy type models were a bit less easy to understand in the river under a bridge. Our return journey by a different route, took us past several fishing lakes and into the village where we were disappointed to find that the patisserie was closed for holidays.

Back at the motorhome, John loaded the bikes on to the rack and we set off heading to what sounded a lovely campsite for the weekend at Tonnerre. The road took us over a hill into a very different landscape once past Auxerre, (the bypass was very easy to get on to when I took control of Homer). As we got closer to Chablis, there were vines as far as the eye could see. Hill sides covered in vines of different ages and sizes, woven together to look like an intricate pattern. Very beautiful!

The drive to Tonnere was lovely, the campsite at Tonnerre was not lovely. Coffee time and plan B. We reverted to the list we had been roughly following and the next aire on our list was at Chaource.

It wasn’t too far away and by happy coincidence fellow travellers had been recently and recommended it on their blog. No electricity, but everything we needed had been charged so we headed off again and by 1.30pm we were parked up, chairs out and in lovely surroundings. John nipped up to Tourist info to purchase a 2 euro jeton for fresh water, but as it was closed until 3pm that could wait. We enjoyed a late lunch and relaxed in the warm sunshine, this would do nicely for the weekend.

 

 

From technical to tranquility

Tuesday saw us leaving our Chateau aire at Sully and driving a little bit further (well maybe twice the distance!) than we had cycled the day before. The aire at St Brisson sur Loire is noted as having a free electricity point and it was time to charge up. One other van was just leaving as we arrived. The aire was nicely set out for 4 vans and in a small but perfectly formed village. Boulangerie, grocer and a Tavern serving food. We were soon hooked up and had bought our baguette, bought a few items from the grocers and checked out that the Tavern would be open for food at lunchtime. We were just having a late breakfast of croissants and coffee when a French van rolled up and we saw the couple having a debate re electric point. Info in the aire’s book had said not to share more than twice, so we went over to ask if they had the connector to do this, an interesting conversation as my French isn’t inclusive of technical terms, but yes, of course they did, silly question! French vans are prepared for such situations! In no time the main line was connected to his van and with a sharing connector adapter, our line was plugged in to his. As you can gather, my English doesn’t do technical terms either! Only one problem, our electrical connection in the van showed we were now L/N reversed. How do I explain that! No problem to John! He drew a diagram and as soon as the French guy saw it he understood and John fitted our adaptor that we have for such situations. The auld alliance alive and well with sign language and a few language skills.

We headed off for lunch at the Tavern. Once the blackboard with plat du jour had been deciphered (more a case of interpreting the writing than the language!) we enjoyed a plate of charcuterie followed by chicken in a lemon sauce and accompanied by half a carafe of vin rouge and we ended with floating islands, tea and coffee. 13 euros each for food and 5 for the wine. We were full up for the rest of the day and a siesta was needed!

Before we disconnected for the night we had a blether with our French neighbours, we were heading to Rogny Sept Ecluses the next day, they were planning a bike run to Briare about 7 km away they said. Apparently the bridge over the canal or river was designed by Eiffel. I confess to not completely understanding the conversation I was imagining a mini Eiffel tower at Briare, until I googled!

We said our aux revoirs the next morning and bon route and Buddie and us moved on wondering who owned the dog who had been left outdoors to bark at regular intervals through the night, le pauvre chien!

 

 

 

Toodling along in a motorhome is as much about seeing the variety in our surroundings as it is about our destination. Hence I also take photos enroute as a reminder of our journeys. Sat nav directed us down a back road out of the village, a route John had cycled the previous day and so he could tell me about the fennel growing in a field, photo opp! As we continued a little further along and crossed La Loire, we had a nice view of Briare and in the distance the cooling towers we both had cycled to when staying further up river at Sully. Then we came to a wonderful tunnel of trees with the sun burning brightly and creating an amazing aura.

We arrived at Rogny Sept Ecluses, ecluse being the French word for a canal lock. Straight away John said, ‘we’ve been here’. There was a certain familiarity about one of the three motorhome parking areas, but scarily I had no recollection of walking along and up by the 7 locks! What’s more we hadn’t marked it up in our Aire’s book or we would have avoided it for an overnight stop, a bit noisy.

However, we parked up in a spacious area opposite the locks and after a walk and discovering one boulangerie closes on Wednesdays and the other is closed completely, we settled down to siesta in the shade of the van awning. This was maybe one our hottest days so far with temperatures around 27 degrees. We were roused from our lounging by a canal cruiser we had spotted earlier getting prepped for a private cruise, staff all smartly turned out and flower pots freshened up. It was amazing watching this boat go through a lock. It fitted incredibly tight into the deep, dark, depths before slowly rising with the water level back into the bright sunshine. One of the crew walked around the boat cleaning windows for the fortunate passengers who were sitting inside for their lunch whilst all this was happening.

After taking a few photos we jumped on our bikes (I don’t quite jump on as easily as John, I more clamber still!) and cycled along the path as far as we could before the path got too rough.

Back at the van, the car park got fairly busy with walkers coming and going and one local man came over for a chat. Before he left we had been given the rundown on his medical history; bad heart resulting in an op and he has lost a huge amount of weight, no longer smokes or drinks alcohol! He of course wanted to know about us too! Ages, drinking and smoking habits….. he was 68 years old by the way and had a full head of hair and really didn’t look his age, but boy, could he blether! My struggles at understanding parts of the conversation didn’t deter him in the least, in fact it seemed to spur him on! But, it’s good to chat!

 

 

 

We had decided that this was not going to be a quiet stopover, so out came the aires book and map and just 15 minutes away was a relatively new village aire at St Prive which had spaces for 4 vans. Good decision! Overlooking a tranquil lake on the outskirts of a very pretty village which apparently was home to the artist, Henri Harpignies. We had never heard of him but he seemed to paint rural scenes and was obviously well thought of in the village as artists easels displaying his work were in every street, placed there in his memory by ‘friends of the artist’ and his former rather grand residence overlooking the church had a plaque commemorating him.

The only two other vans at the Aire were Brits and so John had a good blether comparing journeys, aires and experiences. Two young lads from the village on bikes tried to play ‘knock door, run’ on our door. I must have been too quick to answer it and one lad fell off his bike trying to hide and stood up with nothing more than hurt pride and a few bruises. He said his friend was scared and had ran off. As we chatted the friend re-appeared and joined in the chat when he saw I was not annoyed with them.

As dusk fell, the still water and the distant church spire created a very tranquil scene. We had a very peaceful night’s sleep if we ignore the fact that our neighbouring van accidentally tooted his horn when he was locking up for the night!

 

 

 

Queen of the Auvergne

 

Sunday 23rd September was maybe not the quietest day to arrive at the overflowing Aire at Sully sur Loire. A huge overflow carpark meant we did get parked up and as we locked up the van, John noticed a poster on our neighbour’s van for Sylvie Pulles an accordionist by the look of her picture, but thought nothing more of it.

We headed into town through Chateau grounds, no less! A lovely walk, although it was drizzly, alongside a lovely lake lined by trees and in no time we found ourselves outside the local church in a flowery square. We popped into the welcoming open doors to a lively display of photos highlighting recent trips and activities.

We came out the church to a much wetter downpour and sheltered in a doorway until it eased enough for us to carry on exploring. Most shops and cafes were closed so we lingered and window shopped before heading back a circular route past the Chateau. There was not an inch of space left in the car park, it was full of cars as was the road leading up to an events hall and the carpark up there. Googling answered the question, Sylvie Pulles, Queen of the Auvergne, (music available on Youtube) was in concert here and wow, she must be popular! 2.30pm the concert started and cars started leaving again at 7pm. In between times, the heavens opened and it rained and rained. Meanwhile more motorhomes were lining up to park, doubling up after agreements were made with already parked vans. Some came and left again. We told one van to park close to us and we had space to move over once the car next to us had left. The amount of vans arriving couldn’t be down to the concert, so google came up with the answer again. Sully sur Loir has a market on Monday mornings…ahhhh..the French do like their markets. John had to keep putting his book down to watch the latest comings and goings and of course the car next to us was one of the last to go! However, when it did depart, John moved our van over and had a walk around, counting over 50 motorhomes between the Aire and the 2 overflow areas. No charge at Sully for the Aire by the way.

We enjoyed a nice steak and mushroom dinner accompanied by a rather nice Cahors. All was quiet, and that night we were lulled to sleep by the beautiful sing songy calls from a pair of owls.

9am Monday morning and John had put the kettle on, I was being lazy when ‘toot, toot, toot’ sounded (and it wasn’t owls!) . ‘Could be a bread van’, I said, ‘don’t think so ‘said John looking through the window, ‘it is a bread lady in a car! ‘he said, pulling on his clothes over his pjs and out the door in no time returning with two huge croissants and a baguette. Bliss! We’re easily pleased!

I wasn’t getting a strong enough wifi signal to upload photos for the blog, but during our walk yesterday I noticed the signal improve by the lake near a bench. So laptop in John’s bag we set off, but then noticed a space in the main Aire, so quickly moved the van and got a good pitch near the riverside path. Slowly but surely I managed to get photos to upload, not helped by the strong sunshine. John had a stroll about and spotted a lizard. Job done, we headed into town in time to see most of the market. Photos we had taken in drizzly conditions yesterday were repeated under lovely blue skies. The chateau stands very handsomely in the middle of the town and its visible from all angles.

 

 

We headed back for lunch and then a bike run alongside the river and some foraging for walnuts and chestnuts (John). A very lovely stay and somewhere we would definitely return to but maybe not on a Sunday.