Once again we’ve come here on the off-chance of finding somewhere to stay by the river and we have been pleasantly surprised and gratified by our instincts. This place is just charming and, although it meant a longer drive than we intended today, it was well worth the extra hour on the road.
Our initial plan was to stop at Vivonne, just south of Poitiers on the N10, but we arrived there a bit too early to stop for the day, so we just had coffee and continued on south on that road, which is very good indeed and partly the reason why we made such a good time. We then tried an aire listed in the guide at Sauzé-Vaussais, on the D948, just 5 km west of the N10, but it was just a big car park with a borne and not very inspiring, so we headed for the Charente river south of Rouffec and here we are.
This free aire has room for 10 motorhomes and has free fresh water, with just a €2 charge for electricity payable at the town hall or Mairie, but being Easter Sunday it is shut. Nevertheless, we still managed to get a couple of hours supply from whoever had paid previously. Adonis put the hot water on in that time and we enjoyed a lovely hot shower before our walk through this beautiful village with its water mill and chateau offering guided tours of the gardens. Unfortunately, by the time we got there after 4 pm, the chateau was shut, but it was still a very pleasant stroll in the sun in the hottest day so far of this Easter holidays. It’s 5.20 pm now and the thermometer in the van is showing 22°C and we haven’t had the heating on at all since we got here just before 2pm.
Adonis was brave enough to walk in his shorts, but I need another 5° or so more, as I still wore a jumper for the walk. It felt more like mid-teens temperature, which is a massive improvement on the last 3 days, or indeed the last 3 months!
We’ve taken lots of photos with both our cameras and we’re comparing shots: while I just point and shoot with my simple Canon digital SX220, Adonis plays with the exposures, light and speed with his fancy Nikon DSLR, so he wins!
We’ll be somewhere south of the Garonne river tomorrow and we’re looking at various possibilities to stay for the night, so everything is open to chance again.