Lovely warm and sunny morning by canal and enjoyed walk with Br. and Adonis while Pepo sorted himself out. It was great being able to enjoy the eastern morning sunlight by the river before setting off again on route to Estivareilles in the Allier region. Just had a couple of stops before Millau for coffee and Clermont Ferrand for lunch. I got to drive for a while, but I must admit it wasn’t easy driving on all those hills going up and down at an altitude of 1,100 metres and windy roads all through the Massif Central. I learned that in order to change from 4th to 3rd gear in this van you have to be driving at just over 40 mph, otherwise it’s tricky to find the right gear, and on a couple of occasions I had to drop down to 2nd gear before going up to 3rd again! Lesson learned!
The reward fo this difficult drive is, of course, the spectacular views of the gorges, rivers, bridges and little villages dotted here and there.
We arrived at the aire of Estivareilles at 5.20pm and were a bit surprised and slightly disappointed to discover that contrary to the information given in Le Guide Officiel d’Aires de Services Camping Car, Estivareilles’s aire didn’t have any toilets or facilities to empty ours. Still, we were able to enjoy a warm sunny evening by the Salle Polivalente and I cooked some rice with tomatoes and peppers for Pepo and myself and Cassoulet for Adonis. It wasn’t so good for walking Bramble, though and we just went round the village with him on the lead. We bought half a loaf of bread in the local boulangerie for dinner and after this, Adonis and I enjoyed a beautiful strong coffee and cognac at the local Hotel/Restaurant, The Lion D’Or, all served by friendly waitress. Again, it was surprising to see that the village Bar/Tabac was closed by 8 pm, although it had been open when we went for a walk earlier at about 6.
It’s not easy to write on the move, so I’m going to leave it there!