Tag Archives: Charente Maritime

Soubise, Charente Maritime, Saturday 16th August 2014

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Charming Soubise

Charming Soubise with motorhome aire visible on right of picture

 

Alfter spending 5 very lazy days at the tranquil municipal campsite of Fontaine du Pre St Jean at lovely Dompierre-sur-Charente, we are now ready to make our way to Brittany, which we intended to do on the first week of our travels, but the weather changed our plans then and we thought we could do it on our way back north instead.

The tranquil Fontaine Pre de St Jean

The tranquil Fontaine du Pre St Jean on the banks of the Charente river

 

We didn’t do much at all at Dompierre other than fishing, reading, crocheting and walking Beano along the river. The weather was a bit temperamental and nowhere near as hot as last time we were here and visited Cognac in the sweltering heat. This time, we had a combination of sun, wind, showers and storms, maybe because of Hurricane Bertha coming from the west, but we still managed to lounge around outside the van and eat outdoors everyday.

 

the idyllic river Charente by Dompierre

the idyllic river Charente by Dompierre

 

We really like the simplicity and laid-back feeling of the place and watching passengers on the ‘bac’ (barge) crossing the Charente river on their cars and bicycles, all the more enjoyable for being the only working ‘bac’ left in France!

 

The 'bac' on the Charente, the last of its kind

The ‘bac’ on the Charente, the last of its kind

 

 

The campsite itself is basic with adequate toilet and washing facilities and just by the river with direct access through a back gate. It only costs 11.16 a day for a pitch with electricity, so what’s not to like?

It certainly seems to be getting more and more popular as, despite the dogey weather, it was fairly busy with campers, caravanners and motorhomers, but still very quiet, peaceful and idyllic.

 

A flooded reserved pitch due to unseasonal weather

A flooded reserved pitch due to unseasonal weather

 

This morning, we left heading for Rochefort, past Saintes on D24 and D137 and did our weekly shop at Super U in Toonay-sur-Charente, just east of Rochefort. We then joined the motorway for just one junction (32 to 31) and south on D733 to Soubise’s motorhome aire. This is another wonderful aire for only €7 a night, with electricity, water, showers, toilet and washing facilities, all included in the price! There is plenty of shade, a charming pond with fishing and a lovely dog walk. Weird to think we are so close to the mouth of the river Charente, just a few kilometres north!

 

Motorhome aire at Soubise, with lovely walks around

Motorhome aire at Soubise, with lovely walks around

 

The fishing pond at Soubise

The fishing pond at Soubise

 

There is also a restaurant here right by the Capitainerie on 2 Rue Henri Drouet called Lestran and that’s where we’ll be eating tonight as it looks absolutely lovely and authentic. I’ve seen they’ve got ‘Moules Frites’ for only €7, as well as crêpes!!!

 

 

Enjoying a walk around motorhome aire

Enjoying a walk around motorhome aire

 

The 'Yacht' park

The ‘Yacht’ park at Soubise

 

Old cannons by Marina

Old cannons by Marina

 

Tomorrow, we’ll be heading towards Nantes and hope to stop at the motorhome aire at St Philbert De Grand Lieu.

Dompierre-su-Charente, Charente Maritime, Thursday 16th August 2012

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Spacious Campsite at Dompierre-sur-Charente

This little village by the Charente river has a special place in our hearts and we seem to drift here almost unconsciously.  We wild camped by the usual fishing spot for Adonis last night, but we have now moved into the adjacent campsite to make use of the showers, the washing facilities and electricity.

It’s been very hot and the place is very lively on the river bank, with both campers and day trippers, especially by the ‘bac’, the river crossing barge to Rouffiac, almost like a snap-shot from the past and so nice to see it in operation being manually worked by staff and customers alike!

Wild camping at Dompierre-sur-Charente

We arrived yesterday afternoon after a bit of a dramatic trip on the A10, where our right back tyre burst, just 11km south of our exit at J36.  The funny thing is that it was the first day of rain we’d seen since we crossed from Germany into France back on 22nd July and we had to stand on the hard shoulder under an umbrella until our road rescue arrived, thankfully only 20 minutes!  The mechanic tried to change the tyre there and then, but the spare tyre was not fully inflated and he took us to his garage at Soubran, off J37 to get it up to road-worthy standards.  This all happened just before midday and we finally made it here for 3pm, so we had a very late lunch!  The burst tyre also managed to damage the skirt panel and completely obliterated the mud-guard, so we were lucky we didn’t get hurt.  It certainly made me scream when it burst, but luckily Adonis was driving and he had the van under control.

Le Bac at Dompierre-sur-Charente

After all that excitement and adrenaline flowing, we just chilled by the river bank fishing and reading and I finished ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo’ e-book, which I enjoyed enormously.  I will download the other 2 in the future too and I hope they’ll be just as good.

This morning we drove into Saintes to buy 2 new back tyres, just to be sure, as we don’t want any more nasty surprises.  The front ones were replaced earlier on in the year, so we should be all right for a while.

Tomorrow we are planning to do as little as possible and on Saturday we’d like to visit Cognac and by some of the famous liquor, which will be very comforting in the winter months.

After that, we’ll be heading for V.I.P Pêche (Ayron) near Poitiers again, as I’d like to see it in the summer, after having seen those gorgeous autumn colours last October.

Fishing on the Charente

 

 

 

Dompierre-sur-Charente