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.
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.
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.
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!