From Hérault to Charente-Maritime

Unusual decorations at Dompierre-sur-Charente, but what is that all about? Is it the Tour de France taken to the extreme?

Our next stop after the gorgeous lake at Salagou was the motorhome aire at Vias, Hérault, which gave us an opportunity to spend a few days with Adonis’s Mum and Dad, catch up on family news and to cool off in their wonderful swimming pool, as it was still uncomfortably hot and even cycling up the road to see them seemed like too much hard work in that burning heat.  While there, we had a lovely meal at La Paillotte restaurant on Portiragnes Plage, which never disappoints, and we all loved our choices, as usual.

We would have stayed longer had it not been for the extremely loud music coming from the adjacent campsite, Domaine de La Dragonnière, which seemed to have a different band or some kind of entertainment every night until at least midnight.  It got to the point where more of a holiday, it was turning into torture, so we left after 5 days and a big shop at Carrefour.  Nevertheless, it was good to see Peter and Peggy looking so well and exchange travel stories and anecdotes.

Parked in the welcome shade by Le Canal du Midi at Pompertuzat near Toulouse
Walking along the Canal du Midi during my afternoon walk with Beano

Our next chosen destination was Belflou, between Carcassonne and Toulouse, overlooking a lake, but the parking was in full-on sun and, despite a very long, narrow and windy road, we both agreed that it would be better to carry on and find somewhere shady, even if it didn’t have swimming facilities.  We settled for Castanet-Toloson, just south of Toulouse on the D813, although the wild camping stop-over was actually on the edge of Pompertuzat, with turned out to be a lovely spot by the Canal du Midi, with plenty of shade under the magnificent and huge oak trees.  We didn’t do much there due to the intense heat and swimming wasn’t an option, but it was nice to relax in the peace and quiet (no music) and Beano had a good long walk along the canal.  There’s also a park adjacent with fitness machines, so popular everywhere these days, and a play park and pétanque arena, very neatly kept and clean.

The tranquil park adjacent to Canal du Midi at Pompertuzat

From there, we drove all the way to the Charente and were surprised to find our loved and trusted municipal campsite, Camping Fontaine du Pre St Jean, at Dompierre-sur-Charente full due to a week-long international cycling event (the 81 Semaine Fédérale Internationale de Cyclotourisme) being held between 4th and 11th August.  A notification at the entrance of campsite stated that only reserved pitches were available and, being almost 2 pm by then, we drove the few metres down to the river and parked right by the ‘bac’ or ancient ferry that transports vehicles and people across the river, which funnily enough had been our very first stop here 9 years ago when we discovered this charming place. 

A festive looking campsite at Dompierre-sur-Charente, but what’s going on?
Oh! Surprise, surprise!
A few participants in the Cycletourism week held in Cognac
A very full campsite at Dompierre-sur-Charente

Adonis went back to the campsite when the receptionist opened in the afternoon and he was told there were indeed pitches available but with no electricity for the next two days.  We didn’t mind this in the least and decided to move into the campsite after all, where we stayed for 5 relaxing days to do some cycling, swimming and fishing and another big shop in nearby Cognac. But I think the best thing were the original and eye-catching decorations in the area surrounding the campsite!

The office block by the bac (ferry) on the Charente suitably decorated for the occasion
And I love crossing this rickety old bridge to get there from campsite!

14 thoughts on “From Hérault to Charente-Maritime

  1. As savvy travelers, you have to be resourceful as you travel, making adjustments for loud music and extra bikes! Thanks for posting photos of the bicycles “decorating” the buildings and light poles. The rickety bridge might give me the willies! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Do you go travelling a lot?
    I can’t imagine camping without electricity – although I’ve a friend who would join you any time.
    It’s nice to go back to the same places and see how they’ve changed or remained the same.
    Love, light and glitter

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, we have a motorhome so we go away every school holiday, but also took 13 months off work to travel in Europe from July 2017 to August 19: best year ever!
      It is good to step out of your comfort zone and experience something new.

      You can’t have a proper adventure without risking something! Thank you for your comment and observations. 👍

      Like

  3. lovely location

    glad u still enjoyed ur visit even with the loud music

    yrs ago i used to have to start work at 1:00 am

    so when my neighbors had loud music on during the night, it would be torture for me, and misery of sleepyness at work

    cool bikes outdoor decor!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. more than the neighbors, it was the cops who upset me because they said the law was that they couldnt stop the neighbors noise unless it was after 11:00 pm

        but thats my time to get up n get ready for work!

        cheers!

        🙆💕🌈

        Liked by 1 person

  4. You always find a way to make the most out of a not perfect situation. We saw yellow painted bicycles all along the Route du Vin in Alsace because of the Tour de France that had passed through there just like you must have. The first couple we saw in roundabouts didn’t ring a bell but we figured it out quickly as nearly every town had them.😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We were lucky enough to actually see the Tour going past Kaysersberg. We waited over 2 hours, but the build-up to it was great fun, with amazingly kitted-out vans giving out free gifts: I still have a bag made from 100% recycled plastic bottles I got from Vittel (bottled water company). Only in France would you find all kinds of buildings and features decorated with bicycles! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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