This is our second day at this very peaceful and well maintained campsite on Lac de Miélan. Most pitches are in the welcome shade near the lake and the only drawback is the fact that swimming in the lake itself is not allowed for some peculiar reason. The notices up by the lake say it’s due to the steep bank and they’ve obviously stopped launching boats from this side of the campsite, but Adonis’s just been in and says it’s alright for a competent swimmer, but not for little kids. Our guess is that the management doesn’t want to be liable for any possible accidents that might end up with them in court, so it’s all cordoned off with warning signs in place instead.
There’s a good size swimming pool at this end, as well as a paddling pool for young children and water slides in the day-visitors area near the café-restaurant, so there are plenty of opportunities to cool off in this very dry heat.
All in all it has been a nice short break on our slow way back to the northwest and we’d definitely come back here again. Wifi access is free from the terrace and it’s also fast, unlike the previous campsites we’ve been to, and you can also order your bread from one day to the next, which seems to be standard practice in French campsites.
We were ‘a bit’ foolish yesterday afternoon when we decided to cycle to the other side of the lake to find a fishing spot for Adonis. I thought it’d be possible to cycle around the shore of the lake, but we ended up on the main road to Miélan just before 4pm, uphill, in baking heat and no shade! It was only around 20 minutes, but it seemed to take forever and, although we’d had a swim and a drink before we left the campsite, we nearly melted on the road along with the asphalt, which seemed to be bubbling away. After all that, when we eventually got to the opposite side of the lake, it didn’t look suitable for swimming at that end, as the water was really low, and the fishing spots were a long way down, which we didn’t fancy. We came back our bikes uphill from the lake to the village and my mouth felt as dry as if I were in the Sahara desert: I even considered knocking on somebody’s door and ask for a glass of water, but once back in Miélan, it was only another couple of minutes downhill back to the campsite, the shade, the pool and a cold beer! Poor Adonis wasn’t wearing a hat and he regretted it.
We spent Wednesday at the Base de Loisirs aire at Samatan, again very pleasant with some shade amongst the trees and very close to the lake. This is obviously a very new holiday complex with very pleasant looking small units around the lake, where one was allowed to swim, but only to the depth of 1.20 metres as the life-guard told us. We found this a bit patronising, but were happy to comply, as the main thing was to be able to cool down in these 35+°C temperatures.
This aire has room for 10 motorhomes and the guard closed it off with traffic cones when it got full in the afternoon, so it’s advisable to arrive early. It only cost €3 a night plus 40C per person, so a real bargain.
The beach by the lake was very popular with young families again and it also had big water slides for all, big and small, therefore it was very lively and noisy and I chose to read my kindle on the quiet side over the bridge, where I discovered the lovely weir and was able to relax peacefully in the shade.
The only thing we found very strange and annoying was some extremely loud music at around 3am that woke us up and which seemed to be part of the village celebrations. I can’t see how anyone could possibly enjoy such terrible pounding on their ears and if ever there was a case for noise pollution, I think that was it! How do the locals cope with it?
On the plus side, this is Cassoulet country and there’s a hut right by the aire selling local products, so Adonis treated himself to a large jar of Cassoulet Maison au Magret de Canard Confit by Conserves Artisanales C. et J.P. Laffaure, Domaine de Pompiac, for €10, which we’ll keep until the winter. Nice to have something to look forward to in the cold winter months!
Each year, a tree will be planted that will lengthen the life of anyone who passes along here out of friendship.