Blogs from Poitou-Charentes, France, Europe


Europe » France » Poitou-Charentes » Poitiers June 25th 2023

23/6/25 Driving Day heading slowly north. Though it was a driving day it wasn’t too long a drive as we had inserted the Brantome, previous stop, into the originally planned itinerary so it reduced the miles to travel to next stop. A pleasant drive through lots and lots of agricultural land, fields stretching for miles in all directions and full of sunflowers and potatoes and of course golden grain. Harvesting has already started and we saw lots of farmers cutting their crops. We bypassed Poitiers where a massive amusement park Futuroscope is located. We saw some of that as we drove by but were not tempted to stop. Campsite for the night was Camping du Lac de Saint-Cyr at Beaumont Saint-Cyr. Sunday, a big leisure lake and a gloriously sunny day. The turn into the campsite ... read more
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It rained overnight and the air was fresh smelling when we woke up. The rain did not do anything to remove the humidity as it was still at 80%, but humidity on the ocean is different than humidity inland, the breeze keeps it more bearable. The alarm went off at 7:30 and instead of getting ready, we again, just chose to splash water in our face and go down to breakfast. This gives us more time to just relax when we come back up and not hurry to get ready. The breakfast room was less frantic than yesterday so a bit more enjoyable. The concept of them actually cooking your eggs anyway you want is pretty novel. I just cannot imagine a Hampton Inns cooking to order eggs. As I write this post, Jerry is out ... read more
Market Vegetables
Fish at the Market

Europe » France » Poitou-Charentes » La Rochelle May 4th 2023

The bodies spoke very loudly this morning, the alarm amy have gone off at 7:30 but we didn’t get out of bed until 9:30. Breakfast is until 10:30 so we just splashed water on our faces and hair quickly dressed and went down to eat. The breakfast room was very busy and warm. The offerings were extensive, including the egg station where they would cook them anyway you wanted, including an omelet, they even had batter for crepes. We made it easy and just had scrambled eggs with the usual suspects. The croissants here, obviously not from a bakery but mass produced and small. At the moment we are just finishing up getting ready to go pick up a couple of bikes to explore two different sections of the city. It is a sunny day, a ... read more
Cod Tempura
Local Street Scene

Europe » France » Poitou-Charentes » La Rochelle May 3rd 2023

Today we head to the Coast. La Rochelle is in Charente-Maritime on the Bay of Biscay. Since Millau, we have been in uncharted territory (except Saint-Emilion) so everything is new to us. While Jarnac may not be our dream home for retirement, it is important to experience as much of France and all corners, if you plan on living there someday. La Rochelle has been on our list of potential retirement homes for a few reasons: 1) it is on the coast and deep down I am very much tied to the water; 2) there is a train station with a TGV to Paris; and 3) the weather appears to be very similar to Portland, meaning low humidity. We are close to starting our third week, and since we are in La Rochelle for three nights ... read more
The West Port
Towers across from Hotel
Pink Gambas

Europe » France » Poitou-Charentes » Cognac May 2nd 2023

We woke up to a beautiful sunny day, clear skies, light breeze, the workers in the vineyards, I can’t think of a better scene to wake up too. It was such a nice morning that breakfast was served on the outside terrace under an Olive Tree. The breakfast spread was similar to the others; eggs, bread, meats, yogurt. What set this apart from the others was the freshly squeezed orange juice, and I mean freshly squeezed. The oranges were in a machine and when you turned the knob, your juice was made fresh right then. After breakfast we loaded the car and were off to Jarnac, in the heart of the Cognac region. We stayed off the A roads and took mainly D and N roads. When we did get on the N88, it was clearly ... read more
The House
30 year

Europe » France » Poitou-Charentes » La Rochelle June 16th 2022

After the heat and indeed overheating of yesterday we decided there was only one thing to do to ensure we kept cool. We headed for the Hyper U just 1/2 a mile from the campsite. The campsite was probably all on its own in the countryside once on the edge of a village on the outskirts of La Rochelle. Now it is on the edge of a massive shopping centre. This is not a problem as the campsite is away from the shops and that Hyper U was pretty handy. My plan was to hang about the chiller cabinets for a good part of the day and I think we were in there for at least 2 1/2 hours. Bob doesn't usually like to spend too long on shopping but today even he enjoyed his extended ... read more
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Europe » France » Poitou-Charentes » Deux-Sevres June 15th 2022

Having to think carefully how we spend our time for a day or two. The temperature is soaring, record breaking heat wave for June which is also affecting sourthern England but not much at home. Think Staffordshire might be due a couple of hot days then back to normal grey skies. Decided we really couldn't plan to go anywhere which involves walking any distance at all in the sun so chose a drive to Coulon in Venise Verte, the Poitevin Marais, an area just inland from the Vendee coast with lots of wetlands and canals. We have stayed at Coulon twice before and enjoyed it so an obvious spot to head for. Smart Arse and the Tomtom did not agree. I actually suggested at one point that the Tomtom might be upside down as it was ... read more
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Europe » France » Poitou-Charentes » Ile de Re June 14th 2022

Tried to get fresh bread for breakfast today and failed. There is a boulangerie across the road just outside the campsite. I know there is. I have seen it but today I went out the back gate to the campsite, nearest to us, crossed to the boulangerie and it was a beer shop ! Inexplicable. Actually not quite so when I realised later that the back gate comes out on a slightly different road from the reception main gate. Tomorrow I will go across the toad from that gate instead and we will have Bread, We have stayed on the Il de Re on quite a few occasions though not this trip but decided a day trip visit would be lovely and it was. Very easy drive to the Pont de Re from the campsite and ... read more
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Europe » France » Poitou-Charentes » La Rochelle June 13th 2022

Very pleased with this campsite and especially our pitch as, as it gets hotter, the shade provided by a couple of big tall trees is keeping us reasonably comfortable. Forecast for the next few days is to get hotter and even hotter until we probably spontaneously combust. Hopefully a storm will come along before that happens ?. Decided for first time to use campsite showers rather than the excellent ones in the van mainly because there is no grey waste emptying grid on the campsite And the water supply is a little far to want to carry too much water to fill the tank. As it happens the showers are super so good decision. No idea why there is no grey waste or motorhome service point. Campsite is so well set up it seems an odd ... read more
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Europe » France » Poitou-Charentes » La Rochelle June 12th 2022

Packed up the motorhome and manoevred it round so we could attach the trailer onto the back and then load the Smart Car on that. Slowest part is attaching the straps round each wheel but now we have good set of straps again we did that with more confidence. Another gorgeous day when we woke and the forecast is for pretty amazingly hot for at least the next week. We did pass under a rain cloud a few miles further south but nothing much and the sky soon turned bright blue again. This area of the country is very flat. Green or golden fields and now plenty of vineyards and not much opportunity for photos which need height when taken on the move. We have driven along the route before. I could tell this as I ... read more
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