Charming Charmilles

We left L’Ile Des Papes on Thursday 31st May and aimed at travelling 70 km to the next planned stop, it again had been raining heavily since the day after we’d toured Avignon… so we left in the rain headed for a campsite called Les Arches we arrived a few hours later booked into reception and drove off to find ourselves a pitch following the campsite map which was wrongly printed and again took us into what was now turned into a dead end!!! after carefully maneuvering back out of that sticky situation… we drove to the top of the site where we were advised by reception that there were dry pitches in full sun…  Only to find waterlogged and by now very soft ground of full on grass pitches… after finding the least wet pitch that the motorhome could possibly get onto upon maneuvering into it we found ourselves already getting slightly bogged down and with our wheels just spinning and full of mud so after 10 minutes of trying to pitch we had to leave the by now already slightly churned up and muddy pitch… Pete walked the site to try to find any other suitable place for us and returned unsuccessfully 15 minutes later… the site itself was lovely and immaculate but we just couldn’t find anywhere that we wouldn’t struggle on or churn up in a desperate bid to free ourselves from when pitching and when the time came to leave… so with heavy hearts we had to leave the site behind us and head off onto our next backup destination…

15 minutes later and we’d pulled up into Camping Les Charmilles another very popular site with good reviews on ACSI apps but again to our disappointment the pitches were all grass and still so very waterlogged due to the amount of rain in the last week… But by now we were full out of ideas and options as I hadn’t taken note of any more back up campsites nearby, thinking we would have been pitched and well settled by now, so Pete took a short walk around the latest camp and we have ended up pitched on what must be the worst pitch available with no real option of sitting outside on the muddy ground and in constant shade (actually I’m not even sure if it is a pitch to be fair!!)… but we are pitched here for several sensible reasons… we’ve walked the site to see if there was any alternative options for us and its fairly busy with the bigger more suitable and flatter pitches already taken… but to be honest with a motorhome of our size, dimensions and handling ability (after all we are not exactly a 4×4 are we?!!!) the other available nicer looking pitches just weren’t going to be viable due to the road layouts inside the campsite leading to them which were either on a hill, down around badly damaged camp road or had low hanging trees of about 2.5m high (we’d have never fitted through without taking a few of the trees with us, and the other option would have meant a hill start with a 3.5 tonne truck with an added tonne weight of a trailer along a broken up roadway and a hill start off of a soft grass ground when we leave, this would have given absolutely no grip or traction the road off the pitches were also slightly raised giving the pitches a slight kurb coming off of them and onto the small roadway… this would have equaled in a massive churning of the sites grass pitches by us and other possible mishaps) So we will put up with this pitch for 3 nights and give ourselves chance to explore the area…

The camp is set into a hillside and does have amazing panoramic views of the valleys below and mountains ranges far in the distance, if I was able to be pitched on a more suitable and pleasant pitch, I would come again… the site staff here are all pleasant, polite and helpful and most seem to be multilingual too, the site itself has a very friendly and relaxed feel to it, facilities are clean and adequate, we dined out in the restaurant on our second evening here which was pleasant enough and you are treated again to the lovely views of the valley from the restaurant area… again I had steak and peppercorn sauce, never one to miss the opportunity of feeding my face with my favourite meal…

The next day was pleasant and the sun came out to play so we took the chance to walk down into the nearby and very quiet Village of Darbres, it took us about 30 mins to walk down the fairly quiet lane to reach it, while walking around we spotted a young fledgling who had just left the nest but he had situated himself unsafely in the road, Pete then carefully picked it up and placed on the pavement nearby so that the poor thing at least had a chance of life without being flattened by the next vehicle that went past (and one went past not shortly afterwards!!!), its parents were flying overhead nearby and keeping an eye out on it!!! so hopefully it’s flight feathers complete fast and was able to take off asap…) the village was pleasant enough but very, very quiet with lots of for sale signs… The heat started to get to Toffi on our way back to camp so we had to stop several times under the shade of trees we passed and while Toffi and Pete made friends with the local bovine population…

Well we will be off again on our travels in the morning, 3rd of June and will be heading further North, we will update more of our adventures as they happen but for now time for food and to relax and chill…

Take care

Donna x

Camping Les Charmilles €17 per night GPS N44°38’0″  E4°30’30”   free wifi