We left England a week ago to find a very warm and sunny France all the way from Calais until last night, when the skies opened. The rain really beat down on the roof of the motorhome and it was so bad at one point that I had to cover my ears in order to sleep. The rain continued for most of this morning and many of the fields around here, including vineyards, are under water. So much so in fact, we had to give Dompierre-sur-Charente (our chosen destination for the day) a miss earlier on today, not just because the campsite is shut until 15th June, which we didn’t know, but because the access to the river looked very bogged down and the river itself too high and murky to fish. So we came about 6 km down south to Montils, north of Pons, away from the river, but on higher ground and slightly drier.
We spent our first night in France at Neufchâtel-Hardelot aire again under the shade of the trees and moved on the next day, Thursday, to another one of our all-time favourite places, the aire at Broglie, where we had a mixture of very hot sun and showers, but we managed to enjoy a walk to the water mill on the Charentonne river and to the beautiful water gardens in town in between downpours and even a BBQ in the evening, which stayed dry and hot and it was a great opportunity to try out our brand new BBQ bought in Bunning Warehouse in Chichester.
From Broglie, we drove south to another much loved site at Beaumont-sur-Sarthe, between Alençon and Le Mans, where we spent 3 days in glorious sunshine right by the river, so Adonis could fish ‘from the van’, as he likes to do.
We said ‘au revoir’ to Beaumont-sur-Sarthe on Monday morning and carried on south past Le Mans and La Flèche and slightly further west to Bazouges-sur-le-Loir, to a Camping-Car-Park stop-over and a new site to us in what seemed to be a lovely little village with a picturesque château, but we had stormy weather that afternoon and we didn’t venture very far from the aire, even during Beano’s walk, but I did go into the village for a baguette in the morning and took the opportunity to snap a couple of pretty views.
Yesterday morning, we continued our journey south and stopped about 20 km south of Saumur at a beautiful Plan d’Eau or Leisure park by a lake at St-Martin-de-Sanzay, very popular with fishermen. This is a free aire providing water and electricity free of charge into the bargain and a lovely spot for a couple of days.
We left this morning and drove past Thouars, Parthenay and Niort, heading for Saintes and Cognac and were only too sorry to find Dompierre-sur-Charente waterlogged and out of bounds. Nevertheless, we have lovely views from the motorhome overlooking the vast expanse of fields to the north and Dompierre itself here at Montils and it looks like the rain has finally stopped for now and there are patches of blue sky around.
Not sure where we are going tomorrow yet…