We made it to Parthenay early on Sunday morning, but, although the motorhome aire looked very good and right by the lake, we didn’t stay, as it was raining, windy and it felt a bit cold, so we decided to carry on driving and ended up in Étang de la Tricherie, just off the D160, about 20 miles north west of La Rochelle and just south east of Les Herbiers, south of Cholet. We were there for midday and soon after the weather improved considerably, so we spent a very warm sunny afternoon by the lake.
Being a Sunday, the area around the lake was buzzing with families picnicking, fishing, swimming or having fun on paddling boats. Adonis enjoyed a spot of fishing and Beano and I a long walk all the way around the lake. We finished this fine day with a BBQ courtesy of Adonis and first and last of the summer holiday, but we must definitely do this more often. Come to think of it, it’s the first time ever that Adonis has cooked in all the 6 years of our motorhoming life!
The aire at the Étang de la Tricherie is free and very large, with spaces on grass and hard standing, the services being by the shops, amenities and restaurants.
Monday morning started wet again and we intended to stop for the day at the aire at Brissac-Quincé, just south of Angers. We were there early enough to go for a walk around the lovely gardens of the Château during a break in the rain. The Château de Brissac is the tallest castle in France, boasting 7 floors, and it is quite impressive from the outside, but we just fancied a stroll outside and didn’t do the full visit, but no doubt we’ll be back, as the motorhome aire in town was quite adequate and free.
After our visit to the château’s gardens we continued a little bit further north west to spend the rest of the day at the lovely aire at Bouchemaine in the Maine-et-Loire Department. We were surprised to see how much the fee has increased since we were here last, jumping up a whopping €5, costing now a total of €13.50 to include electricity, water and showers. Not too bad, I suppose, when you consider we paid €26 for the Sosta at La Villa/Stern in Italy back in July. Here, we just enjoyed the long walks along the rivers Maine and Loire and made the most of the showers, although the water was only lukewarm when I had mine and I wished I had taken it in the van instead, where the water gets really hot.
After Bouchemaine we intended to stop at the municipal campsite at Sablé-sur-Sarthe, but the access road the SatNav took us on was too narrow and too busy and we couldn’t get through, being forced to get out of town again. A bit annoyed by this, we continued on the A11 and A28 to Beaumont-sur-Sarthe, at junction 21 north of Le Mans, and stopped at the municipal campsite there instead. We came here back in 2012 and had really liked it and it has changed little since, except that there is now a coffee shop with a bread and pastries service, a large TV and book borrowing service at one end of the excellent shower and washing facilities block, which has also got access for the disabled.
The weather here was a bit mixed with showers and sunny spells, but we managed to have lunch outside and Adonis enjoyed some fishing, culminating with a prime catch of a 34lb carp!
We stayed here 2 nights, but it didn’t stop raining last night and it was still pouring down this morning and by 11 am we had had enough and decided to leave. The bill came up to €32.32 for the 2 nights, which is quite reasonable considering the idyllic location.
We only drove for a mere 40 minutes to about 5 miles east of Alançon, where we’ve found this little aire by the Forêt de Perseigne, which is absolutely lovely. It’s been raining most of the day, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying a long walk with Beano through the forest, as the tall and mature trees made perfect umbrellas!
It’s only been 15ºC outside today, so for the first time ever we’ve put the heating on in the Hymer and I’m very pleased to report that it works perfectly well and it’s very efficient and quick.
Due to this wet and cold weather, we’ll be having that tin of Cassoulet that’s been on the shelf ever since we left home 2 months ago. Only 5 days left of this holiday and we have already made an appointment for Beano’s Pet Passport at the vet in Broglie. It really feels now like our long summer holiday is coming to an end. Where did the time go and were we really that hot in Italy and Croatia?