Thursday morning and a short drive again to an Aire we visited back in our doggy days, Brezolles. But enroute we planned a detour to Verneuil sur Avre. According to our tourist info map a pretty town worth a detour!
The journey was very pleasant, through the forest of Breteuil and some large looking estates. We spotted our first live sighting of a wild boar nuzzling away at the undergrowth fenced off from the road. The camera was not to hand of course and we would no doubt have missed the magic of the moment if we had reached back for it.
Verneuil, when we arrived was a good sized town with an enormous square towered church which acted as our landmark as we headed on foot for the town centre. The aire we parked in was opposite the fire station so again, well signposted back to the van, Centre de Secours!
We enjoyed a bit of sightseeing and a walk along the town walls, now a grassy path. Brezolles was only a 15 minute drive away so we decided lunch there would be quieter. Its just as well we did, Brezolles is a walled aire in a village next to a park and fishing ponds. No charge at all and water is freely available, maybe this makes it popular, either way what was a quiet aire when we arrived about 1, was a full to capacity aire a few hours later. We chatted to a couple who arrived and swapped recommendations and books and even were given half a cake which was a chocolatey meringue affair that was pretty rich and huge!
We had a good long walk up along the river and back through the village. The butchers and patisserie have survived here. Last time we stayed an old lady knocked on the van doors with a basket of ceps, I wondered if she would still be on the go. John thought she would be long gone, so imagine my delight when a small white van appeared early evening and the old lady looking exactly the same, headed over with a basket in her hand. No ceps this time but fresh eggs and poussins. I bought a dozen of her small, fresh eggs for 3euros. The other brits also bought, but not so many of the French vans.
We remembered Brezolles as being quiet, well no longer! The traffic, mainly lorries, started early in the morning… that could well be our last stay over in Brezolles.
Thank goodness we had only a short drive again to reach here. Courville sur Eure, and the contrast couldn’t be greater. I am sitting beside the Eure, a water wheel further downstream is providing some pleasant background sounds. Across the river are a few cottages whose gardens reach down to the waters edge, where old fashioned wash houses have survived and are open to the river. The ducks and moor hens are entertainment enough for us this weekend together with a red squirrel’s acrobatics amongst the trees and a kingfisher catching and eating his lunch.
We booked onto the campsite here for the weekend after having a wander around and deciding it would be well worth the 12 euros a night. We have electricity so everything has been charged. There should have been a washing machine but the door developed a problem and the engineer was at it Saturday morning, so laundry was completed by hand, the old fashioned way and soon dried in the sun in spite of not being spun!
We have made use of the local bakers and butchers and a friendly veggie shop as well as the small supermarket for groceries. Menus Issy have included terrine du lapin with apple chutney brought from home and made with Fiona & Patricks’ apples. Breast of duck with french beans and sauteed potatoes, and merguez sausages.. and of course a pattisserie or two! Sorry no photo of the tartalettes de pommes, crispy light pastry and definitely no soggy bottom!
John has had a couple of bike runs but most of all it has been a relaxing place to stay and so lovely and quiet day and night.