Le Botanic

We seem to be somewhat stuck here at the lovely campsite Le Botanic while waiting for a parcel to be delivered from the UK, the French postal service is I must admit not entirely one to be rushed and to make matters worse it is a bank holiday week… We have had to order a part for our gas system, we need a new regulator, as our gas regulator has become faulty and although we have tried resetting the safety feature on the regulator, the gas flow to the cooker etc is still limited to low which in turn is making cooking any meals on it hard work!!!

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To be fair there are worse places to be stranded at, the site we are on is called Le Botanic and is on the whole a pretty decent site, with awesome friendly, lovely, well mannered and helpful staff, the nearby town is good for a visit too, so that’s a bonus… there are two pools which are great… one of which looks like an oasis from a paradise Island with white sand surrounding it and great looking wicker shades to place a lounger underneath and relax, the only downside to this camp would be the timing on the water flow at the showers, they are those rather annoying type… where you have to push a button for the water, I understand that these are for reasons of water saving and I agree that these are very useful as they prevent water waste and over usage, so I am not against such showers… but usually you at least get a 10 second jet of water from each button push at a time… but these ones you literally have to keep the button pressed or the water stops immediately and you get nothing… It’s pretty hard trying to shower, rinse soap suds off or wash and rinse your hair with one hand permanently pressed on a push button and well it’s nigh on impossible to wet or rinse your back off without trying to get into a position resembling something similar to a demonic possession off of the film set the exorcist… seriously… you have to be some sort of contortionist to use them!!! But the campsite other than that is rather nice the plots are plenty big enough and the staff care about the place which does make you appreciate the efforts they make to make your stay a good one!!

There’s lots of wildlife around here too with a mix of birds, frogs, Lizards, snakes, insects, squirrels etc which are lovely to see and hear, and of course it also means the campsite is also doing it’s job in caring for the environment too… there’s also a pony and a horse in a paddock here, both are gentle and friendly creatures who come running over if you approach their paddock to see if you have any goodies or treats for them (ahhh bless, I was gutted I didn’t have any apples or carrots etc that I could have cut up to take down to offer them…)

The weather has been amazing in the last week here everything has dried out and we’ve had beautiful blue skies, lots of sunshine with the occasional fluffy white cloud passing over and then some odd and very short lived dry thunderstorms passing over head very quickly in the afternoons… the 12 volt endless breeze fan has been getting its fair use to help keep me and Toffi cool and comfortable in the heat… We have spent our time here mostly just chilling out, it’s been too hot to walk Toffi for any distance and to be honest she just doesn’t want to go anywhere in this heat except sitting in the shade or with me beside the fan enjoying the coolness of the air it provides…

We have spent the week here considering our options and whether we would be better off in a caravan and car and to be honest and we are seriously looking into this option when we return to the UK… as throughout this trip we could have done so much more with a car available to us on many, many occasions… now don’t get me wrong the motorhome has been an idyllic mode of transport in many ways and we love the motorhome we have, it is sound in all ways mechanically and structurally and hasn’t skipped a beat with just the odd maintenance or pretty cheap replacement part here and there needed (as in the habitation water pump and the gas regulator)… both of which are just part of either motorhoming or caravanning issues and maintenance anyway… but due to Toffi not getting with the plan and not taking to her doggyhut in the way we hoped she would (even after a good sitting down and talking too, bribery, short training sessions etc…)  she still refuses to travel in the thing, and it would be unfair, potentially dangerous and stressful for all to force this on her, so we feel we have missed out on many trips, sights and days out which could have been great…

Wherever we go we have had lots of people telling us about their making good use of public transport, buses, trams, trains etc… but we have found that poor Toffi is also banned from the use of these modes of transport in most of the countries we have visited so far, the general rule being if your dog is a toy breed or small enough to fit inside a handbag sized bag and able to be carried whilst on the transport then its fine, if not… then they are simply not allowed or you may be allowed at individual drivers discretion (which is then a gamble in itself as one driver on the way to the destination you are headed too may let you travel only for a different driver on the return journey to refuse you travel back)… now Toffi weighs in at over 4.5 stone so she’s definitely not a handbag sized dog and what’s more she is a bull terrier breed… so this is even further frowned upon on public transport as she would generally be categorized as a guard dog also… so this public transport option just isn’t available for us to use.

Sometimes the lack of ability to drive such a large vehicle into some smaller towns, villages or cities becomes annoying… and when it is possible to do so, we then have to think of it’s safety when parked in public… can we leave it and its entire contents parked… safely? in some of the smaller towns or larger cities it’s becoming a major flaw to our plans… for example the camp we are currently at is lovely, and although the town isn’t that far the walk into it takes 45 minutes each way, probably 15 minutes by bike and less than 5 minutes by car, but its not suitable to drive the motorhome into, which means we have only been able to get to the town altogether once this week, reason being because it’s been too hot to safely walk Toffi that far in this heat and she refuses to ride in her doggyhut therefore its left us feeling a little trapped at camp… whereas if we had a car we would have been able to get out and about with much more ease… there has also been the issue of the ability and availability of parking for larger vehicles or even fitting through many towns, in many places it’s just not viable, even the supermarkets over here seem to have height restrictions and some have those lovely shades over the car ports to keep cars cool whilst you shop… but the height of these are roughly 2 metres high so again no chance of us parking to even go get shopping safely, not to mention again the safety of the vehicle when it’s left alone in places of which we have no idea whether the motorhome would get broken into, damaged or even stolen along with our entire life contents and leaving us possibly homeless on the side of the street!!!

So now we have to seriously think about our options, we could tow a car behind us… but really??? what’s the use of having 2 engine/vehicles to tax, insure and maintain… and as we have already experienced it’s pretty hard to reverse if needed when your towing something full time, then there are different rules in different countries on how you go about towing that extra car… some allow A frames, while some want the entire car on a trailer etc then there are weight/size issues of a tow vehicle plus trailer and also train weight limits to consider… so we have started our research into changing our set up to a car and caravan instead, yep we are thinking of going to the dark side…. and becoming tuggers instead of chuggers… I have been looking at layouts/types of suitable caravans for us, while Pete has been looking at 4×4 vehicles and their weights and abilities to tow… We also have to take into consideration weights of combined train weights of the vehicles, lengths and max payload capacities for both… due to my lack of what they call a grandad licence!!! (if you passed your test after a certain date you are restricted about the overall weight/size of vehicles you can legally drive, even though you are just as capable as the person that obtained their licence before that date… different rights all because of the date you passed your test!!!) Other option is I arrange and take a C1 test when I get back to the UK to enable me to drive larger heavier vehicles…

Well we will just have to wait and see what we come up with, but in the meantime we shall enjoy lounging around and just being lazy overall…

Have fun wherever you may be…

Take care,

Donna x

Campsite Le Botanic GPS N43°32’28  E3°44’50” €15 per night

 

 

1 thought on “Le Botanic”

  1. Sounds lovely there apart from the showers lol!
    I think maybe it’s a wise move regarding the car and caravan going by what you’ve said about the motorhome, but until you do these things you don’t know. Still it’s a lot to think about.
    Loves ya both xxxx

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