Tag Archives: Château-du-Loir

Vaas, Sarthe Department, Tuesday 15th April 2014

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Vaas seen from bridge

Vaas seen from bridge

 

We didn’t go as far as Richelieu yesterday as we had originally planned, for it was getting a bit late in the morning after doing our shopping at Vivonne, just south of Poitiers on the N10, so we decided to drive the 4 kms east out of town to Château Larcher instead.

 

The very efficient motorhome aire at Château Larcher

The very efficient motorhome aire at Château Larcher

 

We were very impressed with the motorhome aire there, right by the football grounds and with an easy walk to the Château ruins and round the lake, all very picturesque and with the usual charm these small villages tend to have. The aire is only 4 a night, with electricity and water included in the price, to be paid either at the Mairie or to the guard that comes round in the evening (he came about 7 pm), who speaks good English. There is also a bread service van in the morning and that’s how we got our baguette today for just 90 C. The area was very quiet and, although there is room for 10 motorhomes, only 4 vehicles spent the night there, including us.

 

A very pleasant walk around Château Larcher

A very pleasant walk around Château Larcher

 

The ruins of Château Larcher

The ruins of Château Larcher

 

I just liked this building

I just liked this building

 

Enjoying a stroll around lake at Château Larcher

Enjoying a stroll around lake at Château Larcher

 

We left Château Larcher after 9 this morning and made the mistake of sticking to the national road bypassing Poitiers, but this turned out to be incredibly slow due to so many traffic lights and roundabouts, so we must remember to use the motorway next time. So a bit tired and exasperated with such slow going, we joined the A10 at J. 25 south of St Maure-de-Touraine after a coffee stop at Dangé-St-Romain, and stayed on it up to north of Tours, where we came off at J. 20 looking for the France Passion site at Parçay-Meslay (Domaine de Vodanis), but there didn’t seem to be enough parking space, which would have been by the road anyway, so we decided to keep going north to find something more attractive and to our liking. We joined the motorway again at J.19 and took A28 north. After a quick look at our new ‘All The Aires in France’ Vacarious guide, we opted for Vaas, just west of Château-du-Loir and only 4 km off the A28 at J.26, only paying ₤6 for the privilege of such good road.

 

Vaas

A hot afternoon walk in Vaas

 

We made it here at about 1.15 pm and, again, we are very impressed with this aire by the camping and Espace Culturel. It’s free and has an Euro Relay bourne for water if needed.

 

The motorhome aire at Vaas

The motorhome aire at Vaas

 

 

The River Loir at Vaas

The River Loir at Vaas

 

We’ve just been for a lovely walk along the river Loir, past the campsite both ways east and west and stopped to admire the ancient water mill and the views from the nearby bridge. It’s still quite hot (24 ºC inside van) and the sun’s still shining and, although the holiday is slowly coming to an end, we can’t complain about the weather or the lovely spots we’ve discovered so far.

 

The ancient water mill at Vaas

The ancient water mill at Vaas

 

The Water Mill wheel

The Water Mill wheel

 

 

It’s Broglie tomorrow, where we have an appointment at the vet’s for Beano at 9 am and after that it will be Le-Crotoy and Wissant, as usual.

We’ll be back on the road again at the end of May, when we’re hoping to visit Van Gogh’s grave, Rouen Cathedral and stay a few days at Les Andelys, if time.

Oudon, Loire-Atlantique, Friday 25th October 2013

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Oudon, on the River Loire

Oudon, on the River Loire

 

We started our half-term holiday last Saturday morning, 19th October, and, after an uneventful crossing in the Eurotunnel, where we enjoyed a quick sandwich, we made our way to Boulogne-sur-Mer (junction 31 on A160 for our usual shopping at Auchan. As it had already been a long drive from home in Bognor Regis, we decided to stay on the motorway and followed the A28 south of Abbeville to junction 9 and on to the motorhome aire at Buchy on the D928 and D41, about 15 miles north east of Rouen.

 

The well maintained and pleasant aire at Buchy

The well maintained and pleasant aire at Buchy

 

Buchy’s is a very pleasant aire by the car park at the sports centre (Parking Salle des Sports), Route des Fourges, and near the college. The book says it has 4 pitches but we reckon that there’s room for double that number. It is free, with a borne for water and electricity for 2.50. The pitches are on hard standing and there is no clear division between them but they are surrounded by well maintained grass and it’s perfectly adequate for an overnight stay. As it was already late afternoon, we didn’t do very much other than walk Beano, our new puppy, and eat our flammekueche (or Tarte Flambée), which is a lovely alternative to pizza.

 

As we have our new puppy with us, we had to get up early for toilets, etc and were ready to leave Buchy before 9 am on our way to the aire at Montbizot, still travelling on the eastern bank of the River Seine at Rouen, as Pont Mathilde on the western side is still shut for repairs until the summer of 2014! So we followed the D6015 to Junction 21 of A13 west to J. 24 by Château de Robert Le Diable and then the usual route past Bernay, Broglie, Sées, Alençon and Beaumont-sur-Sarthe.

 

Montbizot is half way between Beaumont-sur-Sarthe and Le Mans and we made it there by 12.30 pm, as the roads were empty, being a Sunday morning. We had a heavy downpour for a bit, but it was still warm and pleasant for walking by the river Sarthe. This was another quiet afternoon, followed by a delicious Parmentier de Canard bought at Auchan, which only required heating up in the oven.

 

From Montbizot, we carried on south to our main destination of this break at tried and tested and very much loved Lac des Varennes, near Château-du-Loir on the D338 and D305.

 

Beautiful and reliable Lac des Varennes

Beautiful and reliable Lac des Varennes and Adonis inspecting his ‘swim’

 

As this is our seventh visit to this wonderful campsite and Base de Loisirs, there is nothing much new to say except that this time John and Julie, whom we met in the summer holidays at the aire in Bourget-du-Lac, came to meet us there and we spent 3 wonderful days with them and their daughter, Hannah, and her boyfriend, Adrian. So we shared some lovely food, including a most delicious Confit de Canard with Saute Potatoes courtesy of our friends, and, of course, plenty of cheese and wine!

 

A very happy Adonis with his 19lb (9kg) carp.  Photo courtesy of John D.  Southworth

A very happy Adonis with his 19lb (9kg) carp. Photo courtesy of John D. Southworth

 

On Tuesday night, at around 11 pm, Adonis finally caught a 19lb carp (roughly 9 Kg), which made it even more special for him, as he hadn’t caught anything at Easter or in the summer holidays. Unfortunately the flash on my camera went on strike and I had to rely on John to take pictures with his mobile phone.  Thank you John!

 

Enjoying the warm sun at Lac des Varennes

Enjoying the warm sun at Lac des Varennes

 

Wednesday was quite a warm day and we spent it outdoors most of the time, just enjoying the sun and the peace of the place this time of year, when Beano can run freely as there’s no-one around.

 

Beano running freely and chasing his ball at Lac des Varennes

Beano running freely and chasing his ball at Lac des Varennes

 

Yesterday started overcast but it cleared after lunch and Adrian, Hannah and Julie enjoyed a paddle in our inflatable boat around the lake, of which we are very pleased, as we hadn’t used it yet on this holiday. That was followed by some refreshing beers and snacks by John and Julie’s pitch, where we decided to move from our usual fishing area when Adonis decided he didn’t want to fish any more. So we packed the van and up we drove to the drier area near the only open shower block closer to the reception area.

 

Adrian and Hannah enjoying a paddle in the lake

Adrian and Hannah enjoying a paddle in the lake

 

We left this morning after saying our goodbyes and hoping to meet up at Easter again and we were on the road again for 9.30 am. We did a quick shop at Leclerc in Château-du-Loir and headed slightly south west on D766 past north of Angers on A11 to J. 20 with the intention of stopping at the aire at Le Celier, which is supposed to be behind the church and have room for 5 motorhomes but it is non existent. We were annoyed at this, as it was already 1 pm and we hadn’t stopped at all since leaving Leclerc, so we turned back on our heels on D723 to Oudon and here we are, right by the river Loire and just outside the 2* campsite of La Tour, which is now shut until June 14.

 

The Tour at Oudon, seen from Camping de la Tour

The Tour at Oudon, seen from Camping de la Tour

 

There is a well-maintained motorhome aire at the entrance of the campsite with running water and emptying facilities and it’s free but we are in the general car park, closer to the river, only a few metres from the aire itself.

 

Parked outside Camping de la Tour

Parked outside Camping de la Tour

 

I enjoyed a walk with Beano around the campsite and down to the river bank, which seems to be very popular with the locals.

 

Exploring the walk path at Oudon along the River Loire

Exploring the walk path at Oudon along the River Loire

 

Tomorrow, we’re heading for Carnac on our first ever visit to Brittany. I am really looking forward to discovering a new region in this beautiful and amazing country.

 

 

Lac des Varennes, Château-du-Loir, Sarthe, Sunday 25th August 2013

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We just love it here, beautiful Lac des Varennes

We just love it here, beautiful Lac des Varennes

 

It’s pouring down with rain at the moment. I was sitting at the outdoor reception area checking my emails and social media messages, but I had to rush back to the motorhome as laptop was getting wet. I only just made it back before the real downpour started. This is the second day of proper rain we’ve had since we left England, the first one being at Bourget-du-Lac back on 29th July, so we can’t complain and I’m sure the land needs it after such a hot and dry summer.

 

Our favourite pitch (208) at Lac  des Varennes

Our favourite huge pitch (208) at Lac des Varennes (picture taken from the lake shore)

 

We arrived here on Friday just before 1 pm and, as reception was shut, we had to have lunch in the visitors’ car park and wait until 2 pm to install ourselves on our pitch. While we were waiting, we took the opportunity to walk down to the lake to see if our favourite pitch (number 208) was available and, as luck would have it, it was! So Adonis asked if we could take it and here we are for the sixth time on one of the best spots on the campsite, where Adonis can watch his fishing rods from, only a mere 5 metres away!

 

Adonis's in his element, fishing right by our pitch

Adonis’s in his element, fishing right by our pitch

 

It was very hot when we arrived and, as I was about to go for a paddle in my inflatable boat, 2 very friendly children, Ollie and Megan from Stoke, approached me and asked where we were from in England. We talked for a little while and eventually met their dad too, John, who surprised me greatly by asking me if I blogged. On saying I did, he said he’d recognised me and that he’d read my blog and that was the reason why they were there. Isn’t that great? That’s all I ever wanted when I started publishing my diaries as blogs, to share travelling information with fellow travellers, so I’m delighted that my efforts have actually helped someone with a decision about their holiday destination. So John and Sarah, if you’re reading this now: you made my day!!! And thank you for reading.

 

Lac des Varennes.

Just chilling at Lac des Varennes.

 

So we have spent another 3 very lazy days by the lake, fishing, crocheting, reading and occasionally checking my mail and today we’ve met another lovely couple from South Africa living in Southampton who have been travelling in their motorhome for 15 months with loads of interesting stories to tell. I just love meeting all these wonderful travelling people and could listen to them forever.

 

We have one more day here before setting off for Broglie, then shopping at Boulogne-sur-Mer and finally Wissant for our Eurotunnel crossing on Friday 30th. We have brought forward our departure by one day as we’re going to collect our new Jack Russell puppy and we want to spend a whole weekend with him before going back to work.

 

Some needed shade at Souillac's motorhome aire

Some needed shade at Souillac’s motorhome aire

 

Before coming to Lac des Varennes, we spent one night at Souillac’s aire in Le Lot department, which is still free with a bourne for water for 3. It was very hot, but we managed a pitch in the shade of some trees and we enjoyed a couple of swims in the Dordogne river, right by the Camping Las Ondines, only a 5-minute walk from the motorhome aire.

 

Camping La Tete Noire

Camping La Tete Noire

 

After that, we spent one day at Camping La Tête Noire at Buzançais in the Indre department. This is a charming little campsite with plenty of shade and clean facilities with an access ramp for the disabled. It very much reminded me of the municipal campsite at Beaumont-sur-Sarthe. It was also very cheap at just over €14 for the night for the two of us with electricity supply. Another good stop to remember for future reference, as it also had direct access to the river for swimming and fishing.

 

I love this HUGE willow tree at Camping La Tete Noire

I love this HUGE willow tree at Camping La Tete Noire

 

'Inside' the tree.  Well, under the branches.

‘Inside’ the tree. Well, under the branches.

 

I really can’t believe we are now into our 8th week and we only have 5 days to go!

 

Camping La Tete Noire

 Peaceful and charming, Camping La Tete Noire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Montrésor, Tuesday 18th December 2012

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We made it to Montresor 038

 

 

We made it to Genillé by 1 pm today, only to discover that the motorhome ‘aire’ was just a parking space behind a farmhouse where a rusty old caravan with a dog tethered to it were standing.  The place looked very unwelcoming indeed and the actual ‘parking’ space was on tall grass, so without giving it a second thought or having the need to discuss it at all, we turned around and headed southeast on the D10 to this charming medieval town of Montrésor, complete with a chateau and an abbey, all on top of of a hill on the river Indrois, a tributary of the river Indre.  The aire is FREE and has room for 15 motorhomes and it also has a free water tap and facilities to empty the toilet and grey water.  The aire overlooks the chateau and is very quiet, so this has been another lucky find due to last minute change of plans!  It’s good to be flexible.

 

The pleasant walk along the river Indrois in Montresor

The pleasant walk along the river Indrois in Montresor

 

We have just come back from a walk around the town and along the river, where every so often there are information panels about the history of the town. This place is well worth a visit and we’d like to come back again to explore the chateau (originally built in the XIth century and re-inforced on the XVIth) and the abbey.

 

One of the bridges along the river walk

One of the bridges along the river walk

 

We made very good time this morning after leaving La Suthe-sur-Sarthe, with only one stop at Leclerc at  Chateau-du-Loir to buy some bottled water and some more food, as we were getting worried that all the water outlets might be shut again, like it happened last January.  Luckily, there is water here, but you never know when or where the next source is going to be.

 

The Abbey at Montresor

The Abbey at Montresor

 

The TomTom decided to take us up north again from La Suthe-sur-Sarthe to join the motorway, but we changed our minds and opted for the D338 south, just by the 24-hour-circuit and Musée Automobile of Le Mans, past Ecommoy, Chateau-du-Loir and all the way to the north of Tours, where we headed east on the D801 and joined the A10 motorway from junction 20 to 23 (only 90 cents!) and then the D943 southeast towards Loches and D764 to Genillé.

 

Montresor 034

 

As we’ve had a long day on the road today, we might have a shorter drive tomorrow.  Let’s see what happens…

 

View from the hilltop

View from the hilltop

 

 

The old town

The old town

 

Entrance to the Chateau

Entrance to the Chateau

 

 

 

 

 

Lac des Varennes, Thursday 12th April 2012

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Lac des Varennes

Here we are again at one of our favourite spots to relax and fish in the Vallée du Loir near Château-du-Loir.  It’s warm and sunny and we have booked for four days in what is now going to be our first proper rest on this holiday, as so far we haven’t stopped anywhere else for more than two days.

 

 

 

 

 

It poured down with rain in Cransac, accompanied by thunder and lightning, so I never had a chance to go and explore what looked like a very pretty thermal town and the woods surrounding it.  On the plus side, nobody came to collect the €5.30 fee for the facilities at this lovely and secluded aire.

Rocamadour

So yesterday morning, we followed the D840 from Viviez northwest past Figeac, Thémines and Gramat and stopped at Rocamadour for mid-morning coffee to make the most of the fact that being mid-week, there wasn’t a problem with parking and it wasn’t packed with visitors, as it tends to happen in the high season.  It certainly is a very impressive little town, perched high up on a cliff and pretty as a picture, of which I took a few.  It’s all very dramatic and wonderful and I’m glad we’ve seen it, but not being the religious type, we didn’t bother to visit the inside of the shrine where the miracle performing black Madonna is held, for we are not after miracles or healing of any sort.

 

 

From Rocamadour we went on to join the A20 motorway just south of Brive-La-Gaillarde at J54, past Limoges and La Souterraine to J20 to Cuzion, where we had enjoyed it so much last July.  I went for a long walk with Bramble along the river Creuse, downstream from the water dam, and really loved the tranquillity and beauty of the place.  I took some photos of wild orchids and other flowers before the skies opened again and had to make a run for the van, where Adon very thoughtfully had the heating on.

The River Creuse at Cuzion

 

I baked two fresh salmon fillets covered in chopped garlic and herbs de Provence and served it with new potatoes: a luxury meal in a place of outstanding natural beauty: life just can’t get any better sometimes.

Rain again first thing this morning, so we continued north on the A20 to Châteauroux at J13, to go northwest on D943, past Loches to Tours, the A28 to J27 and D938 to Château-du-Loir and D305 to Marҫon.

I love this place: the sun is really hot now and there’s no wind.  I can’t remember it ever being windy here.

Adonis is already fishing 10 metres away from me and he’s used our new inflatable boat to cast some bait into the middle of the lake. I hope he catches something this time.  I’ve got the password for wifi, so I hope to check on my messages later on.

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Well, it’s Monday  16th April today, our last day here, and Adonis’s caught 3 carp, a 19lb, a 39.1 lb and 34 lb, so it

Adonis and his 39 lb carp

has been a very successful fishing break.

Adonis and his 39 lb carp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The weather has been changeable and we’ved had a mix-bag of everything, but that doesn’t detract from the charm and calm of this wonderful campsite.

Lac des Varennes campsite

Amboise, Thursday 14th April 2011

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View of Château and river Loire from aire at Amboise

We are now at a very convenient and well maintained aire by the river Loire at Amboise, a very pretty and interesting medieval town; it sort of reminds me of Canterbury.  The aire costs just 8 E a night, which includes electricity: great value for money for a room with a FANTASTIC VIEW!

It’s 5.45 pm and I have just come back from a long walk through the town, including a steep climb to the view point by Château, where we took some panoramic pictures of lovely views of the town nestled amongst the trees of every imaginable colour.

Amboise Château

 

 

 

We set off this morning from Lac des Varennes with a quick stop at Le Clerc in Château-du-Loir.  Then we followed the D938 and D5 at Beaumont-La-Ronce, all the way to Amboise, where we arrived at about 12.30pm.  We had lunch and then I walked Bramble along river and through public park just by aire.  It’s all superb and tomorrow we are planning to visit the Château.

Amboise town form viewpoint

 

 

 

Amboise from river walk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amboise bridge on the river Loire

 

 

 

 

Amboise aire