I can’t believe it’s been 2 years and 4 ½ months since we came here for the first time on our first ever trip to France in our motorhome and we had Pepo and Bramble with us then.
The place is just as charming and relaxed as we remember it, with the stunning willow trees on the bank of the river Vienne and loads of space around us. The river is much lower now and there is a little beach with a sort of cordoned area for safe swimming, as the current is really fast. The municipal campsite is a lot more lively now in the height of summer, with a few young families having fun playing, swimming and jumping from the floating pier to cool off from the heat.
Last time we were here on 5th and 6th April 2010 it was just us and another camper from Cornwall: happy memories already flooding back.
The truth is we weren’t planning to come here today, but to V.I.P. Pêche on the Plan d’Eau at Ayron, near Poitiers, but we were extremely disappointed to find it was shut when we got there. Apparently the contract was terminated in April 2012 and, although there is still fishing in the lake, both the campsite and the shop/bar were permanently shut. We couldn’t believe that it’d all happened so quickly, as we were only there last October when they were holding a fishing competition, which seemed to be very popular, judging by the number of fishermen on the banks of the lake.
So it was that we had to think quickly and come up with plan B and, after a glance at the map, I saw my circle round L’Île Bouchard, just over 1 hour’s drive north on the A10, from J.29 at Migné Auxances to Châtellerault at J. 25 and then just about 10 km west towards Chinon. It was a good move, for we arrived at this campsite, Les Bords de Vienne, for 1 pm without feeling too tired and the calm and beauty of this place is enough to fill anybody’s heart with joy.
We’ve booked for 2 nights, but we might stretch it to 3, as there’s no rush to go anywhere.
After leaving Dompierre-sur-Charente yesterday, we headed north on the D150 past Saintes and St Jean-d’Angely and the D950 past Aulnay to Melle, where there is an aire outside the municipal campsite, but it wasn’t quite appropriate and we headed for the Base de Loisirs de Lambon, just northwest of Melle, where we found another lovely lake, very popular with the Sunday pick-nickers and fishermen alike, so that’s where we stopped for the day to enjoy the shade and the fishing. Everyone left between 8 and 9 pm, so we had the place all to ourselves again in another little gem of the French countryside at Deux-Sevres.