We did stop 2 nights at charming and relaxing St Amand-sur-Sèvre as it was so absolutely heavenly and hot and we didn’t feel like going anywhere. Adonis enjoyed a spot of fishing and I just carried on with my crochet and reading my kindle. I did venture out on Wenesday morning and tried to walk into the village thinking it would be closer than it actually was (2.5km), but after walking for over 15 minutes I still hadn’t arrived and the vilage didn’t seem to be anywhere in sight and I walked back empty handed, only to find the landlady of the motorhome aire arriving in her car and, after asking her if there was a bakery nearby, she very kindly offered to take me in her car, so I climbed on the front seat and, with her dog Filou on my lap, we drove into the village. Don’t you just love the kindness of strangers! Only then did I realise what a fool I’d been and she laughed saying I should have checked first before setting off, but neither the map nor the road sign gave any indications as to how far the the village was from the farm.
With baguette and cake in hand, we drove back to camp, where we enjoyed the rest of a very hot day and met Ian, another British motorhomer with a Hymer similar to ours who had decided to live full-time in the van and was doing building work in France, amazed at how cheap everything was and considereing very seriously leaving Britain for good. I can’t say I blame him as I would love to do just that myself.
We left Thursday morning for tried and tested Dompierre-sur-Charente municipal campsite, where we stayed for 4 days, making the most of the tranquil atmosphere, the hot weather and swimming in the river, with only an escapede to Cognac to stock up on provisions.
Docking platform and Adonis ready for a swim
We left Dompierre-sur-Charente on Monday morning for a short drive to the France Passion site of Combe Longue in Cars, near Blaye. We were very impressed by this vineyard stop, with bays separated by trees providing much needed shade, as temperatures reached 37°C yesterday, and a very friendly reception by the hostess, Micheline Torlois. It was too hot to take Beano out for his usual afternoon walk, for there was not much shade beyond the farmhouse buildings, and we had to wait until late in the evening, when Adonis took him through the vineyard.
Early in the evening we visited the vineyard shop and came away with 3 bottles of their red La Gustave and 3 of rosé of Château Tour des Graves, all from the Bordeaux area.
Something else we loved about this wonderful France Passion stop were the chickens running around all over the place, that also made us feel very welcome and even joined us for lunch, as we couldn’t resist sharing some breadcrumbs with them. Beano didn’t take kindly to their presence, however, and chased them away when they came too close, causing a great commotion.
Predictably, we were woken up this morning by the farmhouse rooster, which was very handy, as we wanted to make an early start to avoid travelling in the hotter part of the morning and to allow time for a quick shop.
We arrived at Parentis-en-Born for midday after some delay on the A10 around Bordeaux and making a bit of a detour to get onto the D1010 south to Pisos and the west on D43 to Parentis-en-Born. We like this aire and its proximity to the lake, where we all 3 had cool swims to counteract the burning heat. The aire has a bollard at the entrance, where payment is made at machine by entering your vehicle’s registration number and it costs €8.50 for 24 hours, but it includes everything: not a bad price around here.
Unfortunately, Adonis woke up with a toothache this morning and decided to try his luck at the local dentists, but he could not get an appointment at all, so we are going to try Léon tomorrow and if not, San Sebastián, our first stop in Spain in 2 years! Let’s hope the pain won’t hinder his enjoyment too much until he can be seen.