What a find this has been after another morning of tries and errors at various points, but I am glad we persevered with our search, as this is an extremely good place to spend a very hot day, under the shade of the trees, but only 100 metres or so from the beach on the lake! We’ve been here since lunchtime with ample space around us to put our dining table and chairs out.
After lunch, we needed to cool down a bit and went swimming on this beautiful lake, very popular with young families, as there’s lots of room for picnics on the grass in the shade of the trees, toilets, a snack bar and boat hire facilities, as well as life-saving personnel.
We like it so much we may well stay here for Adonis’ birthday tomorrow and eat out at the sailing club.
We’ve just been told by one of the assistants at the capitainery that someone will come around tonight to collect €9 fee for the overnight stay, but we could still have spent all morning and afternoon for free, as many people have and are just leaving now.
We left the aire at Baume-les-Dames this morning because there was nowhere to swim and we knew it would be very hot today, so we carried on south west to Besanҫon on the D683 with the idea of following the national road N83 south of the city to Champagnole, but the road was shut and after a short ‘deviation’ (diversion) through Beure, Arguel and Bonnet Rond on the D9, just east of the main road, we were able to join the N83 again and continued on south without any further detours.
All was well until we arrived at desired spot south of Champagnole at Lac de Chambly, where there was no place to park, so we went up north again to the south side of Lac de Chalain and followed directions to the beach. At this point we had to pay a €3 fee to use the car park until 10 pm, as overnight stay wasn’t allowed and the campsite was far too expensive at €33 per night. We had a quick drink and continued on south again on the N5 and tried another campsite at Clairvaux-les-Lacs, but, as it was 12.40pm already, it was shut for lunch until 1.30 pm and, being so hot, we didn’t feel like waiting that long to set up camp. How silly not to have various lunch-time shifts for the staff to have their break in the height of summer: a wonderful way of turning good paying customers away!
A quick look on the map showed me a Base Nautique just south of Clairvaux-les-Lacs on the D27, which looked like it would have parking for motorhomes (going by previous experience of these places) and so it was that we finally struck gold on the sort of improvised aire, which does not appear on the official aires guide, found purely by chance!