Ok so we moved on from our little forest oasis – Paradis Nature in the region of Chappelle D’Angillon the site itself was easily accessible which makes life easier when travelling in bigger rigs, we’d stayed for 5 nights the weather was still pretty dismal with some outbreaks of sun in spite of this we still managed to get a load of washing done and dried in those 5 days which helped and we also managed to take a few walks one around the local Chateau and the small lake which is right next to the campsite the lake was full with water fowl such as ducks and herons.
The next day we took a walk through a lovely tree lined walk/cycle route and although we walked for miles we saw not a soul, it is a refreshing change from the UK where no matter how far you think you are from civilization you always seem to bump into someone along your way.
We were getting very low on supplies by this time after failing to stop at a supermarket on the way to the site so we really needed to find some sort of food shop hence our little trip into the village, there were a couple of other motorhomes parked up wilding on some parking bays nearby to the village we had seen these spots on the way in but with us towing a trailer we would have had to have parked lengthways across the bays which it seems would have been acceptable as one of the other mh’s was doing just this and there was still plenty of parking left for others.
Our village trip was similar to our country walk seeing very few people once again, a whole 12 people to be exact, the village was a little run down but quaint there were very few shops and fewer of them open for business, the tabac cafe, a carpenters workshop and luckily for us a butchers were open the butchers doubled up as a kind of corner shop that sold all types of food, topped up with our supplies we ambled back to camp where we cooked ourselves a well deserved meal of steak, potatoes, tinned haricot green beans (we had purchased these from the butchers) and my favourite to take away the taste of that foul tinned veg was peppercorn sauce that i’d also brought a few sachets of with us from the UK.
We left the site early on the Sunday morning armed with the knowledge that French Sunday opening times for super markets are restricted and they close by 1pm and we still needed to find one though because by then we really needed proper supplies and although the butchers cornershop had seen us out of a scrape we needed to get supplies in unless we wanted to live on baked potatoes and tins of baked beans (I’d also been thoughtful enough to bring about 10 cans of those with us too, along with the various packet sauces & bisto gravy – double bonus points to me!)
Supermarket shopping done it was time to head to our next destination a campsite called La Roche situated in the Centre-Val de Loire approx 50 miles down the road, now it has to be said we are currently picking out these sites from the ACSI book/app its description as follows… a well kept maintained green grassy site with WiFi and heated shower rooms etc all sounding rather promising.
We approached the campsite before French lunchtime was over which normally seems to be 12-2pm but here at this site is 12 till 3pm and in the pouring rain we set up (although the weather forecast promised it was only a shower let me assure you this rain shower continued for hours) blooming weather! The campsite personnel happily raised the barrier and allowed us to find ourselves a pitch at 1.45pm knowing we had booked prior to make sure of availability and booking ourselves 7 nights to get discount of 1 night for free the site is €14pn after all the description in the book sounded fab! But in the bleak wet weather it didn’t appear to be so.
Now most people don’t pre-book in France they just turn up and hope because it’s the off season there will be a pitch available and most of the time there is, plus unless you speak fluent French it can become tiresome communicating (I still insist they are loving my pigeon-Cockney accented French… enough so that they look at me in what I take as admiration that I can make their language sound so fulfilling and romantic).
Now not one to hold back on descriptions I’m wondering if ACSI sent someone with a visual impairment issue to inspect this site it is supposed to be rated 3* but the pitch we picked in the pouring rain yesterday is more mud than grass pitch… but I guess the weather has done little to help the situation here but neither has the fact that they have cordoned off the other two big fields of pitches to the site that have lush green grass on them these have clearly not been in use at all this year but is clearly where the photos that are in the book were taken, anyway what a mess of pitching up we made this time it took us 2 attempts to put the wheels levellers under and then when we thought we may have got it right the boiler told us otherwise (those of you not familiar with motorhomes won’t know that the gas appliances such as fridges or boilers will not work unless they are levelled to a certain extent they just throw themselves into fault mode and refuse to work) so once again we had to re-level just enough to make things work, Pete then hooked up the electric, which I then went and tripped it out by taking cover from the rain in the motorhome i was soaked through and freezing cold so I thought I’d be helpful and heat the place up at the same time as making us a cuppa now in the last place it had worked but unluckily for us in the new site the electrics are a lower amperage… oups my bad.
The site seems to be a little run down and I know it’s late in the season but I’m having trouble even deciphering where the pitches are, although there are a few nice pitches that Pete has spotted… now we are already pitched up i really can’t be bothered with the agro of moving pitch again after we made such a hoolah of it yesterday and to be honest although they are better pitches with more grass than mud, the trees that are planted smack bang right in the middle of these pitches kind of put me off, this is for various reasons such as tree branches falling or hitting the motorhome or the solar panels as we move onto the pitch, not to mention the tree sap (which is a blighter to remove) and the thought of too much shade in already bleary weather, I may regret my decision of not moving if the weather perks up and then I shall start to whinge on about it being too hot…
As per the description of the site having WiFi well it’s kind of a con as you have to use the leisure/games room that to be frank looks as welcoming as the canteen room in Wandsworth prison cos that’s the only place that you will get the signal for it on the whole campsite and to add injury to insult you have to sign up to a contract where they can then sell your details to use it!!! So bit of a disappointment with that aspect too but luckily for us I purchased a mifi unit and we have our own limited internet to travel with us.
As I am writing this the sun seems to have made an appearance at nearly 2pm on Monday yay but looking at a forecast it tells me it’s not going to last, there’s more rain due in again tomorrow but it looks promising for later in the week so fingers crossed for a bit of sun and heat to ward off the damp chill that’s been following us on our journey so far, besides all the dogs at this campsite seem to be restless alongside their fellow companions and when one barks another answers this includes our own dear doggy Toffi who seems to delight in answering the calls of the fellow camping dogs too!
Time for a quick stroll in the sun while it’s out to see our surroundings, just outside the campsite is a canal, the canal de Berry to be precise the canal is no longer in use and was built by Spanish prisoners of war in the early 1800’s, we decided to walk along this but at 162 miles long we thought we would just maybe do 1 or 2 of those miles, at the nearest lock we encountered a strange French cyclist lying facedown on the ground, I at first thought he may have been injured but it turns out he was just gathering heat from the ground he looked a little embarrassed when he saw us noticing him with concern and tried to act normal… but it was too late, I had already sussed the guy to be totally insane!!
Almost forgot driving along on the D905 the other day we finally saw a motorhome the same make and model as ours, a Rollerteam Granduca 265 now in the UK ours is to my knowledge the only one of its kind registered and on the road so we never get to see another, I was way, way too excited and waved like a loony and although motorhome owners do wave at each other i was that excited my waving looked more like I had possibly just escaped the nearest nut house…
Now Pete purchased a dashcam for use on our travels but we’d never really bothered setting it up before but Pete decided he would set it up and got it working he thought it could be amusing to watch back some of the times that my navigation skills get us totally lost however the next day when we went to switch it on it wouldn’t work Grrrrr… back to the drawing board on that one then.
Also an update for those who may have been slightly concerned by my total lack of navigational skills, fear not I have reviewed my map reading skills I can now read a map to a degree anyway whoohoo (but don’t get too excited guys I can only do so when stationary… have you lot seen the size of the writing on these damn paper maps?) But not only that I took a good look at the satnav and after thinking that this thing didn’t do coordinates I have now discovered it does so that makes life a hell of a lot easier than area codes it got us here really well so if co-ords are available for locations and the sat nav can communicate with satellites flying around up there then we should be just fine…
Till next time take care and have fun