Five Feet High and Rising(Johnny Cash) - Lazin' Beside the Lake,Lac-de-Der Chantecoq,France - 23rd June 2016

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June 23rd 2016
Published: June 27th 2016
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We have an appointment today to have the car serviced so our day will have a period when we will be without wheels something we haven’t endured in nearly 3 ½ months. Well at least for an hour and a half.

We need to use a Peugeot agent to service the car and the nearest who would do the job for us is at Montier-en-Der about 15km away and close to one of the largest lakes in France.

So what better to do with today’s temperature projected to go above 30C than to have a picnic by the lake before we take the car for its service.

Gretchen is making the most of having a washing line to hang clothes out on after trying to get stuff dry by letting them drip in a shower and then trying the best way she can to finish off the drying process hanging them up somewhere they can catch some breeze or sun. When you are travelling for as long as we are you make the best of what is available wherever you are and while we don’t have a washing machine here at least there is a washing line to hang stuff on.

To get to Lac de Der we have several villages to pass through and so we will rely on one of them to have a boulangerie in the main street for somewhere to buy a baguette from.

Setting out just before noon we were giving ourselves around a half hour to get to the lake and then spend time having lunch and reading our books before we were due to have the car serviced.

The first couple of villages were like DLSP with just houses but no shops left open in their main street. Many of the small villages appeared now to be somewhere a house could be purchased cheaply for people to live while they worked somewhere else as none of the villages supported any businesses of any size.

At Wassy we took a park as there was a market happening in a side street and there was a chance we would find the baguette we were looking for to complete the lunch package we had put together from our grocery supplies before we left the apartment.

There was plenty for sale in the market but not bread products. Then we spotted an Intermarche supermarket sign and we headed for it as we left the market.OK the baguette probably won’t be quite as fresh but we were running out of places we might buy what we needed. As it turned out, the baguette we bought was quite fresh and we got the opportunity to buy our lunchtime sweet treats too.

It was just a short drive further on to the lake and we found ourselves a parking spot with a table under a large tree which provided good shade from the now very warm sun.

The lake was created in 1974 by channelling water from the River Marne which had the effect of stopping flooding of the Seine in Paris which was occurring. Underneath the relatively shallow lake are three villages that were in the basin that filled with water as the water from the canal that was built when the Marne was redirected.

We had an hour left after lunch before we had to have the car at the servicing garage in Montier-en-Der and the best place to read our books and keep out of the sun was to move the car into the full shade of the tree, recline the front seats, leave the front doors open and relax and read. It didn’t take long for Gretchen to nod off.

There we were both very much in relaxed mode alongside the lake when there was an almighty boom overhead. We hadn’t heard it coming and we wondered what on earth it was.

Yesterday there had been fighter jets in the sky above DLSP when we had heard them pass overhead but at such speed you couldn’t focus quickly enough where the noise was coming from to see the actual plane.

This fighter jet had passed over head at a low altitude and was gone in a split second.

It might have happened quite timely as it was time to drive onto Montier-en-Der and we gathered our thoughts and packed up.

Having the car serviced now, even though we hadn’t reached 20,000km, would mean we didn’t have to worry about finding a garage in the short time we would have when we got back from Norway and before we gave the car back in Paris next month.

The garage was on the outskirts of town and we were looking forward to the walk back up the hill to pick the car up especially if the 30C+ temperatures were still happening in an hour and a half.

As it was now early afternoon the streets of the town were empty and we had to hunt out a cafe/bar that was open to have a cold beer in the shade out of the warm sun.

We spent a good half of our waiting time at the bar and then moved on to a park with plenty of tree cover and watched a group of children with their after school carers keeping them occupied with games.

The afternoon had drifted by and now it was time to tackle the hill in the direct sun with no shade to get back to the garage. At least we would have the advantage of the air conditioner in the car once we got there and headed on our way home.

Back home we opened the large sliding window of the apartment to try and get some air movement. It is strange how we have gone from temperatures in the teens to the thirties in such a short time of 2 days.

Tomorrow we will venture south to explore the countryside around Chaumont and also visit the memorial to the most well known Frenchman of our time, Charles de Gaulle.

PS:Ok the song from the great Johnny Cash is more about a flood that eventually receeded but you get the idea about what happened to the three villages that disappeared when Lac-le-Der was formed.Enjoy on Youtube


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