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Monday, August 31, 2015

We Find Another Gem Of A Place.

We said goodbye to the river Loire as we crossed it this morning and headed in a south east direction.

The price of the fuel was good 74p a litre ...

It was a really lovely drive through lots of villages and small towns ...



This was the best bit, sunny and 30 degrees, the perfect temperature ...

This afternoon, we stopped, just by chance (as there is an Aire here),  at a little village called Mennetou Sur Cher ...

The Aire is a free one and was located next to the war memorial and the Berry Canal ...


Just across the road we found the ruins of a castle with a medieval village within the castle grounds (as you do!) ...

Its' a fully functioning village but we only spotted about four of the locals ...


This three bedroom house was up for rent 380 Euros a month £269 ($528 AUD)  ... can you believe that a month?!!

It was labsolutely stunning inside with an open fire place and central heating ...


We then headed off for a walk down the river ...

Sammie cooled off in the river.  He has to wear a rashie as he has very thin fur and his skin burns easily! 

We popped into a Boule club bar for a beer.  Elaine practiced her French on the locals and a local English lady had a chat with us ... she found this place in 2006 and loved it so much she and her hubby now live here. 

We can't believe we keep finding these places and nearly all of them have an Aire and welcome motorhomes.  It is now 21.00 and there are now eight motorhomes moored up.

It is such a shame that such a system cannot operate in England, but I think the main problem there is a lack of space - there is so much space over here.

Here we are at the mo ...

As I finish writing this blog, we have just had a massive thunderstorm ... which I suspect is going to do a u-ey and come back again soon!  It was really spectacular and has cooled us down a treat!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Doing Bugger All.......

Was our plan today and we succeeded very well......

I forgot to put this on last night, this is our present location.

Talking of last night, it was such a lovely night we sat out side the van drinking and chatting before calling time at 01.30.

Today we caught up on a bit more washing, Elaine gave Bombo a trim as he is already suffering with the heat and too much fur.

Then it was pool time, it was considerably quieter now that the little shits darlings have had to head off and get ready for school. 

Elaine swam lengths, whilst I..... 

Checked out my toes and read. 

It was nice to have a mega chill. 

Later in the arvo we went back to the van where we both sat outside and read our books, we quickly fell asleep, I was awoke by a couple walking by saying they are still sleeping!!

As I write this sat outside at 21.30 the temp is still 30 degrees but it has just started to rain, I think we could be in for a thunderstorm and much lower temps.

Tomorrow we will leave and make our way to the French alps, but not too quickly, we have no plans so will stop on the way at anyplace that looks interesting.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

One Perfect Day.......

... actually, we have had two perfect days!

Back to Friday, we followed the river Loire, the road runs along the top of a flood levee ...

We found a great spot to stop for the night but couldn't work out what this sign meant apart from camping cars =  motorhomes!  We tried various internet translations plus spoke to our fluent-French-speaking-boating buddies back in the UK and we concluded that  ... 'slags can park here, but don't milk it'! 

We are happy to be slags so we parked up for the night!

We went for a walk around the the village, its great to see the little 2CVs in every day use ...
1
This is for John on NB Triskadeika !

Lunch was very nice ...

It was a very quiet and delightful little village ...

Not a bad spot eh? 

We were soon joined by another 'camping car' and by the end of the night there were seven of us moored up including a young couple from Jervis Bay in Australia!

Here we were ...

We went for a walk along the river bank and through the park ...

The levees are huge!  I will have to do some research to find out when they where built ...

It was a superb sunset and a precursor to the next day ...

So to today and what a lovely sight!

Our plan today was to drive to Saumur, which was only 20 mins along the flood levee road ...

We booked into a campsite in Saumur for a few reasons ...

1. We are now in the low season (from today), so it is cheap!.

2. We need to use their washing machines.

3. The forecast for the next couple of days was sunny and 32 degrees, so it would be nice to have the use of a pool (and showers!).  We havn't seen temperatures in the 30s since Spain last October. 

This is the Chateau in Sameur ....

The forecast was correct ...  after checking in and loading up the washing machines it was straight in the pool ...

Not a bad view from the pool ...

After a big dip in the pool, we headed back to the van, where we had left the dogs (in the shade).  The dogs get very excited whenever we return to them and today was no exception.  Bombo did his usual jumping around bit but misjudged and went flying off of the side of the chair ... only to start a high pitched squealing and wailing ... for what seemed like a long time!  Our instant thoughts were that he had broken his leg and thought of having to find a French vet on a Saturday etc ... but after a few minutes he was OK again, thank goodness!!  He must have pulled a muscle!

After a very cruisy afternoon we walked into the centre of Saumur tonight.  A hot air balloon, flew over the top of the campsite as we left ...

It's a 15 minute walk from the campsite to centre ville ...

The town looked superb across the Loire ...

This was our surreal pinch ourselves moment ... it just felt so special to be here ...

The town centre didn't disappoint.

No rain here thanks! 

We stopped in the town square for a beer or three!  Our waitress was French but had lived in Cleethorpes for three years and had the strangest accent - and she stuffed up the order so we had free beer!  

We stayed over there 'till quite late at night - and forgot about eating a we were just soaking up the ambience ...

As we walked back along the river, there was a little band playing outside a few of the riverside restaurants.  It was an amazing atmosphere. 

I took a couple of night shots on the way back to base ...


I'm writing this up at midnight and its still 28 degrees!!! Elaine is sitting outside reading her book as she says it is too hot to sleep ... but no complaints here, it's been a longtime coming!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Getting Stoned

We left Dinan yesterday morning - Sammie always likes a smoke before we leave to calm his nerves!
He hasn't been the same since spending 24 hours in the hold of a jumbo jet flying to the UK from Oz back in March 2012.

The fuel price wasn't too bad  at 1.16 Euro or 82 p a litre (even though after we filled up at this price, we saw another one down the road which was 1.08 Euro a litre!!).  The supermarkets are the cheapest for fuel. I spotted one today, it worked out at 73p a litre ...

The passengers assumed their positions and off we went ...

We stopped off for a smoko at a lovely little Aire, but I can't remember where ...

We had a break from the rain for a while so we walked around the lake and spoke to a fisherman, he was English!  He said it was a lovely place to be in the summer ...

Lots of the trees and bushes had ID plates on them, which is pretty handy for people like me who haven't got a clue what trees and plants I am looking at ...

There was all sorts of activity equipment around the lake, I got half way across this one! 

Our destination for the day was Carnac to check out the over 3000 prehistoric standing stones. They were erected around 3300BC.....Why??   It is the largest Megalithic site in the world ...

 To me they are just stones, but Elaine is much more into their special powers!

Rock dog 1 ...

They are quite impressive ...

Rock dog 2 ...

Elaine feeling the energy ...


You can also hug the stones! 

There are acres of the things ...


Final stone pic ...

After we checked out the stones we checked out the local Aire in the town of Carnac, which was right in the centre of town but was a bit to crowded for our liking so we headed off towards the beach - and kept going a bit further!

We eventually stopped at a fantastic Aire opposite the cliffs at Quiberon, it was a pay Aire but worked out £3.55 for the night.

We also had the sun shining on us for the first time in a few days ...

This is the Aire GPS location ...

We went for a walk along the stunning cliff path ...


Elaine was collecting treasure for her home made jewellery and artworks ...

Our plan for today was to go back to the beach where Elaine would collect more crap treasure, unfortunately it hammered down with rain all night and this morning it hadn't let up.

We checked out the French weather radar and the situation was dire!  It was pouring everywhere in our area, it looked like the best option was to head inland as the rain is supposed to ease off on Friday then Saturday it is forecast to be 33 and sunny.  So we decided to head towards the Loire Valley!

We stopped off at Lidl for some supplies and cheap wine.  Even I like shopping in French supermarkets, check out the lack of people!  (We did stop and chat to a couple from N Yorkshire though, who had lived there for 7 years!) ...

The rain was the worst I had seen in years, it was non stop and incredibly heavy.  Unfortunately the French drivers don't slow for the conditions, the result being that we were on the road for 5 hours and were held up by 5 crashes, in what should have been about a 3 hour trip!

With all the chronically bad driving it was like being back in Oz ... 

This was the last one, only about 5 mins from our destination, two cars and a truck ...

The truck won! 

And here we are at tonight's stop.  The rain is hammering on the roof and it's 13 degrees, however we are all happy and I am sampling the delights of a nice bottle of £1.35 red!

We are now stopped in a free Aire on the banks of the Loire river at La Dagueniere ...


Our location is the little blue dot to the bottom right of Angers, I can't find the pen for the hitech map pic ... 

 Please stop raining tomorrow!!