Sommières was absolutely lovely and we enjoyed a restful day in the free motorhome aire by the arena and the River Vidourle. We found a very convenient bay under a tree, which provided us with the all important shade, and were happy to stop there for the day.
After lunch and swim in the river, we walked into the medieval town and climbed up to the castle to enjoy some lovely views of the surrounding area, followed by a beer and ice-cream (yes, again) at one of the many bars in the town.
Sommières dates back 2,000 years and it boasts a Roman bridge built by Tiberious at the beginning of the 1st century as part of the road between Nîmes and Toulouse and which leads into one of the gates in town, the Tour de l’Horloge. The whole town is quite fascinating and we really enjoyed strolling peacefully along the vaulted passageways and narrow streets, some decorated with bunting for their summer festivities, and there is also a great variety of shops catering for just about every need.
In the evening, there was a Encierro bull show in the arena, in which young men take turns at taking ribbons off the bull’s horns, as well as live music by the river, which was quite pleasant.
On Friday morning, we drove to Portiragnes to stay a few days with Adonis’s parents, which, as always, was very pleasant and peaceful and we enjoyed a couple of delicious meals out, one in a magnificent restaurant called Vogue in Agde and the second one in Portiragnes Plage. Both meals were of very high quality and innovative food with efficient and friendly service. We also had another opportunity to watch the exciting Abrivado and enjoy the happy atmosphere in the village.
We left Portiragnes yesterday and went back to Lac de Pareloup, where we went 3 years ago at Easter time with Bramble. Last time we were there, we camped wild and there was nobody else around, but it was cold and windy. Yesterday, by contrast, was very hot and we stopped at a new aire which used to be a municipal campsite, so it had wonderful facilities with toilets, showers, etc and only cost €10 a night. Payment is on exit, but there is a barrier at entrance with a machine issuing tickets, for which your vehicle registration number must be entered prior to entrance.
The aire is very large and on 3 different levels, most pitches with shade and separated by hedges and all with wonderful views of the lake.
We were going to stay 2 days, but the weather changed dramatically overnight with a mighty storm that kept us awake for a while and, although it looked like it had cleared by morning, another front came in after breakfast and we decided to leave by 10 am. Pity, as it really is a magnificent place to stop with all kinds of water sports available, bread delivery service in the mornings and a pizza van on Thursday evenings, which we had decided to take advantage of today, but alas! It wasn’t to be.
The sky got even blacker as we were driving towards Rodez and had to stop for a few minutes to give the windscreen a chance to clear the steam that had built up whilst driving, as we could hardly see through it!
The rain was on and off for the rest of the morning and it was still raining when we got to Boisse-Penchot at midday, so we had lunch inside, but the skies have cleared again and it’s back to 30ºC.
This aire is lovely too, right by the River Lot, with neat pitches on hard standing and with grass bays, a bit like Broglie. It is free with a borne that works with jetons (tokens) to be bought at Brasserie du Château or Bar-Tabac for water and electricity. There is also a pretty walk along the river for Beano and refreshing swimming for everyone.
Tomorrow, we are thinking of going further west past Cahors to Luzech, but we’ll see what happens…