It’s only proper I should start this new diary book at this most beautiful campsite on the Vallée du Loir. It’s just 6.15 pm and I’m making chilli con carne for tonight’s dinner. Adonis is fishing about 15 metres away from the van and Bramble is lying peacefully licking his paws by my feet. I’m also enjoying a glass of Cabernet D’Anjou Rosé wine watching the sunset to my right and nothing could be more perfect than this moment. I must remember this next time I feel stressed out and try and bring myself back here with the power of the mind.
We set off from home in Bognor Regis just before 4 pm and only encountered some minor delays on the M25, but made it with plenty of time to Folkestone and got on the 7.20 pm crossing as planned. One in France, we just drove to Wissant aire, off junction 40 on the A16 south of Calais and on the D940, between Cap Blanc-Nez and Cap Gris-Nez. We were there for 9.15 pm (local time) and I quickly heated up a pizza, as it was too late to do anything else.
On Saturday morning we drove to Auchan in Boulogne, junction 31 off the A16, where we stocked up on essentials, wine and beer for the next few days.
Then we carried on merrily on our way on A16 south towards Abbeville, where it joins the A28 southwest to Rouen. Once again I glanced longingly at the Cathedral I hope to go and visit soon, as it really is quite an impressive sight from the road.
Just south of Rouen, at Château de Robert-le-Diable, we joined the D840 and D438/E402 towards Bernay and finally the aire at Broglie, where we arrived just before 2.30 pm. After a late lunch of baguette, French cheeses and saucisson, I took Bramble for a walk along the charming Charentonne river and enjoyed and marvelled at the reflections of the afternoon light on the water, as well as the ancient water mill on its banks.
We spent a very peaceful evening and quiet night and we left this morning just after 9.30, after taking pictures to capture the calm and beauty of the place first thing in the morning.
We followed the D438 south, past Alenςon, the D338 towards Le Mans, round the ring road and south by the 24-hour race circuit, except that road was shut due to some sort of marathon and had to take a small detour on the D304 and D140 before being able to join the D338 again at Mulsanne.
After that it was plain sailing to Château-du-Loir and Lac des Varennes, where we arrived for 12.45 pm to find reception closed for 3 hours until 4 pm, so we found our favourite pitch (Number 209) right by the lake and set up home for the next week.
It’s been very hot all afternoon and have been outside until 6 o’clock, enjoying the stunning views from the lake and sunset.
I finally registered at 5 pm, as there was still nobody in reception at 4, when it was supposed to open. The bloke was impressed we’d already got our fishing licence from the Tabac at Marςon, which we knew from previous experience: only 18 euros for 2 weeks!
I forgot to get password for WiFi, so must do it tomorrow when I collect my baguette in the morning.