Pretty medieval Mennetou-sue-Cher with lift bridge on canal
After 3 failed attempts at finding a motorhome aire to stop for the day, we finally found something we liked at this pretty little medieval village on the river Cher on the D976, just slightly north west of Vierzon. The aire is free and has a borne for water and electricity by the fire station right behind us. It is by the canal and a lift bridge leading to the village, the canal offering a lovely dog walk as well as fishing.
Motorhome aire by canal
We’ve just been for a stroll in the village, which is very interesting, dating back to the 6th century, when Ingertrude, daughter of Clotaire I, decided to build a monastery. The village was then fortified during the 13th century, starting in 1212 by Hervé II, Lord of vierzon, who built a fortress with 5 towers, 3 of which still remain today.
Joan of Arc’s gate at Mennetou-sur-Cher
Quaint old building in Mennetou-sur-Cher
Old buildings at Mennetou-sur-Cher
Artists hard at work
We really enjoyed looking at the old walls and buildings, as well as all the flowers and edible plants cultivated all around the village, some even being offered for free, amongst them parsley, basil, rosemary, calendula and sage. I would have liked to visit the Art Centre and the Beads shop for my crocheted jewellery, but alas! They were both closed.
Giving away edible plants and herbs!
Lovely and humourous flower display
Beads shop. Shame it was shut!
We had originally planned to stop at the motorhome aire in Valençay, opposite the château, but it was just a car park behind the Tourist Information Office and we didn’t like the look of it, so we continued further north to Selles-sur-Cher. Unfortunately, the aire here was closed for the winter and we were forced to continue with our search and tried the aire at Langon, just about 3 miles west of here, but this was practically on the main road and it would have been noisy, making it unsuitable for our needs. So it was 4th time lucky today!!! Sometimes, you just have to persevere.
Our base camp at Forest Pool with lodge on the left
After Uzerche, we arrived at Moulin de Bret to meet up with Nikki, Julian’s wife, who was looking after their fishing lakes while Julian went fishing in Bordeaux. We had to phone her in order to find their house and she very kindly drove to Bret to meet us so that we could follow her to her house for a coffee prior to going to the lake itself. She also led the way to the lake, Forest Pool, as, again, it would have been impossible for us to find it, being as it is in the middle of nowhere about 20 miles south of Limoges, in the Fôret de Fayat, near Château Chervix.
The lodge and fishing swim from far side of lake
The place was absolutely wonderful, like an oasis in the middle of the forest, with a fine lodge with a big kitchen and living area, a shower/toilet room and a bedroom, although we decided to stay in the motorhome as our living quarters and just use the shower and the sink for washing up and the oven to warm things up. Around the lake itself, there are 3 bivvies set up for prospective customers, but Adonis just used the one closest to the lodge. This place would be ideal for 3 friends who want to share the cost of a fishing holiday, as the fishing gear is also included when making the booking.
Adonis and Beano enjoying fishing in the sun
The weather was very warm and sunny during the day and it was lovely just to sit by the lake wearing only t-shirts, but it cooled down very quickly after sunset. It was also very quiet as there was nobody else there most of the time, with only Nikki and a couple of friends coming round to set things up for a Halloween party on Saturday night, which we helped with too.
Enjoying a drum fire on Halloween night
I was surprised to see how many British people have settled in this neck of the woods, as around 30 people turned up for the party, including children, and they all seemed very happy with their decision to move to France and had no regrets at all.
The party was very lively and we had some wonderful French food like chicken soup, Boeuf Bourguignon and Cassoulet prepared by Nikki herself, all accompanied by great music courtesy of Mark, a friend and neighbour of Nikki and Julian’s. Most of the ladies and children dressed up and I felt I had to join in the spirit of things and had one of the young girls make up my face like a zombie and she did a wonderful job.
Yours truly turned into a zombie for the night!
We went to bed at around 1 am, but the hard-core party goers kept going till 4 am! I was woken up by Beano wanting to go for a walk at about 8.30 am, so I was glad I had had an ‘early’ night.
We left Forest Pool yesterday morning and spent a very relaxing day at Lac de St Pardoux, about 12 miles north of Limoges, to recover from the excesses of the party.
Peaceful Lac de St Pardoux
Tomorrow, we are hoping to get to St Germain de la Coudre in Normandy, south west of Nogent-le-Rotrou.