Here we are at last at beautiful and serene Lac de l’Uby, which will be our home for the next two weeks. This is another of our favourite haunts for a number of reasons: the location itself, between Barbotan-les-Thermes and Cazaubon, both a very short cycle ride, but also within walking distance, big carp in the lake, an abundance of wildlife (including some kind of otter or coypu), and usually a very friendly crowd of people who, like us, return here every Easter holiday, mainly for the treatments in the thermal spa in town. This little jewel in the Gers department in southern France is simply second to none as far as we are concerned: it really has it all!
We arrived on Saturday morning, even though the campsite didn’t open till Sunday 1st April, but we were allowed to park and stay the night by the leisure park adjacent as there was a fishing competition going on, as well as the French Rowing Championship, and there were lots of other motorhomes parked there too because the aire itself was closed in order to accommodate both events.
The weather has improved enormously and it has been quite warm for the last few days, with just a little rain last night. I have packed most of my winter clothes in the suitcase in the trailer now, so I really hope the mild temperatures are here to stay.
We have both walked and cycled into Barbotan-les-Thermes and Cazaubon just to get our daily baguette and I cycled this morning to Barbotan’s market for some vegetables and I even bought my first punnet of strawberries of the year and also booked my usual Serenity treatment at the Spa for Friday morning: I can’t wait!
Adonis caught a 13kg carp yesterday afternoon and I am sure it won’t be the last, as this lake never fails to deliver big fish.
And talking about fish, something funny happened on Easter Sunday morning: Adonis gave me a beautiful fish-shaped Easter egg at breakfast time, which I left on the table while we walked into town to get our baguette and have a look at the car boot sale, for it was only 7ºC outside at 9am and the campsite didn’t open till 10am. We came back, checked in and were shown into our pitch by a very friendly and helpful steward, with me carrying the egg on my lap to keep it safe, and we immediately set up camp and I went for a shower, leaving the egg by passenger’s window at front of van. When I came back, I thought I would take the chocolate fish out of the bag and photograph it, but Alas! the sun had come out by then and the poor creature had melted away, just like a snowman. We had a laugh about it, despite the disappointment, and I still enjoyed it after lunch, being delicious as it was, shape or no shape!
There are also some interesting wildlife creatures at the lake that we see every year, but this is the first time I sort of managed to capture them on camera, as the moment they see you, they scatter away. I am not sure if they are otters or coypus, but I just love to watch them in the evening when I take Beano for his final walk of the day.
And, of course, the sunsets are always spectacular here!
After leaving our wild camping spot at pretty Eauze, we spent a very pleasant day at the free aire at Villeneuve-de-Marsan, about 10km east of Mont-de-Marsan. It was very warm and we enjoyed a walk into the village and in the woods round the back of the church, where we found an interesting open air theatre, all grassed over and very attractive. Unfortunately, just like at Argelès-sur-Mer, the main part of the village was having a major make-over and was all dug up, so we couldn’t see it properly.
On Friday morning, we went back to the aire by the river at Aire-sur-l’Adour, about 20km south of Villeneuve-de-Marsan, and spent another very warm day with long walks along the river and cold drinks in the sun.
I am looking forward to my friend Dany arriving tomorrow from Brittany, as she is a lot of fun and we can crochet together while we have a chat, which is great for my French.
When we leave Lac de l’Uby in a couple of weeks, we’ll be starting our way up north, for I really want to visit Holland (to see the tulips) and Belgium in the spring before we go back to the UK for Adonis’s hospital appointment, the van’s M.O.T. and a visit to the dentist: oh, joy of joys!