Edit Blog Post
Published: June 20th 2010
Monday 7th June
We had intended to stay in an Aire out of our usual guidebook, however when we turned up we were greeted with a closed notice and a hike onto the next possible stop. Liz hit trumps when after a couple of minutes she spotted a French passion sticker attached to a vineyard by the roadside. We had paid a membership fee back in the UK for this scheme where you stay for free in small businesses sites usually farms, vineyards etc. Anyway we rolled up and were made welcome and to keep us company a German couple also parked up alongside. Bran then disgraced us by running at the German lady and barking aggressively, so it was the doghouse for him.
Our next site was a bit peculiar as it was in the car park of a small villages fete site complete with ponds, boating lake, imitation windmill and the village itself about 3 miles away I.E. we were in the middle of nowhere with the noisiest frogs you have ever heard. As it was raining when we woke, we headed to a place called Charity sur Loire which was probably a really interesting old town,
France Passion site
however as it was raining cats and dogs for 36 hours we trudged round in dismal conditions and decided to move on and come back another time to see it in a better light. On the 10th we turned up at an Aire on a hydro dam on the Loire by a village called Villa rest. The lake was picturesque and as a bonus had a good cycle path which took us through the small medieval village which had some well maintained timbered buildings.
On the 12th we tried to get into an Aire near the village of Coupon as seen in our guidebook, however when we arrived we were the only camper in what was a leisure area car park and for neighbours we had some Gypsies and their kids zipping up and down the car park in mini-motorbikes. For extra measure the local skate-park was 10 metres away and we have experienced Saturday night teenage skate-parks before so we knew straight away we were not hanging around. Plan B was to go to the next nearest Aire in a place called Le Monastier about 30 minutes away. When we arrived the town was heaving as there was
a large car rally event being staged there and the road to the Aire was packed. Fortune smiled on us though as we spotted a notice highlighting an overspill area just for campers and had a peaceful night. Good luck continued as we were able to watch the Argentina v Scotland rugby which Scotland won and some English football game didn’t go to plan when their keeper let in a howler. Cheers!
Sunday 13th we eventuallyThursday 17th June
At last then weather seems to have set fine, over the last two weeks we have had some very wet weather. Some parts of France have experienced 6 months rainfall in 24hours! This has lead to a loss of 19 lives so far. Luckily for us we spotted the low pressure developing and decided to head further south from the Loire region and ended up in the Ardeche, we have been holed up on a very nice campsite beside the river Ardeche but approximately 30 feet above the river to avoid any flash floods.
With the herald of fine weather Alan and I took a bike ride down stream to look at the Pont d’Arc, a famous limestone
arch over the river. The next day we returned in the van complete with picnic and dog. Alan went swimming with Bran in the river which confused Bran a bit and then we sat in the sun and watched the canoes capsize in the rapids in front of us. We then took the road along the top of the gorge camping at one end then back up the other side the next day. On route we went into the cave “Aven de la Forestiere” and had a guided tour in English. We have decided to head to the Camargue for a week or so and have stopped off on route high up in the village of Villefort which on following the Sat Nav. we found ourselves on an extremely beautiful single track road over a mountain coll. We had a moment when we met the only driver in France who was unable to reverse her car, Tomorrow (Monday) we will head south to Ales and then onto the Mediterranean.
made the Ardeche region arriving at Vallon Pont D’arc after a spectacular drive through the mountains from the north.
Tot: 0.219s; Tpl: 0.018s; cc: 14; qc: 61; dbt: 0.0168s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb