A much calmer week this week with no major drama other than Beano getting two ticks just as he was due for this month’s spot-on treatment. I did not enjoy pulling them out with my tweezers, especially the second one, which was full of blood and burst with the squeeze, splattering blood all over my white trousers: absolutely gross! It almost turned my stomach and it is an experience I don’t intend to repeat. I applied the new pipette yesterday, so I hope that will be the end of it.
After we left Léoville in the Charente-Maritime last Friday morning, we drove to St-Jean-d’Angely, between Saintes and Niort on the A10. It was a very hot day and we had to put the awning out. The motorhome aire here is in a lovely spot by a lake and open-air recreation centre, which turned out to be a little bit too noisy for our liking because of all the facilities on offer, like the skate ramp, young children screaming in the playground late in the evening, teenagers playing loud music until night time or simply painfully loud motorbikes just going round. All in all, I didn’t think the aire was worth the 7 euros daily fee, not just for the lack of privacy and peace, but because there was only one electricity hook-up in the whole place, which is quite large and was very busy for the weekend, and only available for 1 hour per ticket. Not a place I would choose to go back to at all. Having said that, the night was quiet after the teenagers finally left with their loud rap!
On Saturday morning, we tried the aire by campsite at Parthenay, north of Niort, but as we arrived there just after noon, the campsite was shut for lunch until 2pm and the aire itself has a barrier that can only be opened by getting a code from the campsite and, as it was still very hot and we didn’t feel like waiting for 2 hours on a narrow road for the campsite to open, we unhinged the trailer, turned around and continued on our merry way.
It was mercifully only a short distance to our next chosen destination, north of Parthenay at St-Loup-sur-Thouet, a marvellous stop-over by a Nature Information Centre, camping and gorgeous lake, where we took our first swim of the year, including Beano. Another unexpected treat here was the happy song of a nightingale which sang all day and it was a joy to listen to until the setting of the sun of a most beautiful warm evening.
That was followed on Sunday morning by a two-day stop at the lovely campsite in L’Île-Bouchard, just east of Chinon, where we just chilled and I had a chance to do another load of washing using the laundry facilities outside the very convenient SuperU store by the campsite. It was very quiet here and we spent most of Monday being the only campers on site, until we were joined by a couple in a caravan. The price of the campsite was very cheap, costing us only 25E for 2 days, but the facilities are basic and the showers were only lukewarm. Still, this is a beautiful and tranquil place to rest for a day or two.
Yesterday, we drove to another tried and tested aire at Marboué on the north side of Châteaudun in the Loir-et-Cher department, where Adonis spent another sunny afternoon fishing in the river Loir and Beano and I enjoyed some very pleasant walks by the river bank. It was also a perfect day to make my first potato and tuna salad of the year, as temperatures have been high this last week.
So, we are still heading north to Belgium and Holland and today we have stopped at another one of our favourite sites at Pont-de-l’Arche in Normandy. The aire has moved and it is now outside the Camp’ Eure campsite and it costs 5 euros, but still on the river bank, and we are parked right underneath the eye-catching Gothic church of Notre-Dame-des-Arts: not a bad spot at all!