Tag Archives: Garonne river

Aire de Sévignac-Meyracq, Arudy, Pyrénées Atlantiques Dept. Monday 4th August 2014

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Beautiful setting for the private aire at Sevignacq-Meyracq

Beautiful setting for the private aire at Sevignacq-Meyracq

 

We didn’t quite make it to Boussens as planned on Saturday and opted instead to go to the municipal campsite at Rieux-Volvestre, which turned out to be absolutely lovely, very quiet and just perfect for us. Getting there, however, was a bit of a mission, as the co-ordinates given in the camping guide were wrong and the TomTom took us all the way down south of junction 23 when it should have been 26 and then through Cazères, where the main road was blocked and we kept running round in circles trying to get out of town. There were no signs to indicate the detour route, but we eventually found D10 north east back to Rieux-Volvestre. This is one of the occasions when I wished Adonis followed my advice rather than the SatNav, as all this added at least 40 minutes and 15 miles to our journey totally unnecessarily.

 

Camping du Plan d'eau at Rieux-Volvestre

Camping du Plan d’eau at Rieux-Volvestre

 

 

When we eventually arrived at the Camping du Plan d’Eau, I had to queue behind 2 large families who were paying for their stay with Holiday Cheques given in 20 each, which had to be stamped individually before being filed away by the receptionist. This procedure for both families took nearly half and hour and I swear I was about to walk out when the receptionist asked me if I needed assistance.

 

Our pitch at Camping du Plan d'eau at Rieux-Volvestre

Our pitch at Camping du Plan d’eau at Rieux-Volvestre

 

 

I am glad I managed to hold on to my patience, as the site was definitely worth both the wait and the extra miles. It sits just by the river Garonne, which transforms into a huge lake thanks to the dam at just south of Carbonne, about 2 miles north of Rieux-Volvestre. We had a large pitch (Number 28) on gravel with our own water tap and electricity in a shady spot, which was very welcome, as we spent 2 hot and sunny days there. The booking also gave us access to the enormous community swimming pool, surrounded by a large field with plenty of shade, as well as the lake for fishing. The toilet and shower blocks were immaculate and all in all we couldn’t have been more pleased with our choice for only 36 for the 2 nights! This is definitely a place to come back to.

 

The large swimming pool at Plan d'eau de Rieux-Volvestre

The large swimming pool at Plan d’eau de Rieux-Volvestre

 

A happy Adonis fishing at the Plan d'eau de Rieux-Volvestre

A happy Adonis fishing at the Plan d’eau de Rieux-Volvestre

 

The Lovely Plan d'eau at Rieux-Volvestre

The Lovely Plan d’eau at Rieux-Volvestre

 

Plan d'eau at Rieux-Volvestre

Plan d’eau at Rieux-Volvestre with Heron

 

Yesterday morning, I cycled into the town itself for a baguette and a packet of Galoises for Adonis and for more cash, as the campsite didn’t accept card payments and we thought we might stay 2 more nights. We didn’t in the end as we had a big storm last night with torrential rain which lasted for hours and kept me awake for a bit and, when we got up this morning, it felt much cooler and the sky was overcast, so we decided to make a move and continue heading west.

 

Cycling through Vieux-Volvestre

Cycling through charming  Rieux-Volvestre

 

The old Cathedral of La Nativite-de-Marie de Rieux

The old Cathedral of La Nativite-de-Marie de Rieux

 

Old houses at Rieux-Volvestre

Old houses at Rieux-Volvestre

 

Ancient Rieux-Volvestre

Ancient Rieux-Volvestre

 

The Cathedral tower

The Cathedral tower

 

We intended to stop at one of the motorhome aires in Lourdes and maybe go and see the shrine, but the first aire was right on the road and totally unsuitable, even just for lunch, and the second one, supposed to be by the coach park and with room for 50 vehicles, was shut so we had no choice but to get out of town through heavy traffic, hundreds of traffic lights and road bumps and tried to find a more suitable stop for the day and night.

 

Lourdes Shrine in the mist

Lourdes Shrine in the mist

 

The lovely setting of Lourdes Shrine

The lovely setting of Lourdes Shrine

 

I’ve got to say that I did like the look of Lourdes with its old and beautiful buildings and I would have loved to go for a proper stroll through the streets and visit the sights, but it was not to be and I had to content myself with a few snaps as Adonis was driving as fast as he could (which wasn’t very fast at all) for the exit.

 

The river running past the motorhome aire at Sevignaq-Meyracq

The river running past the motorhome aire at Sevignaq-Meyracq

 

We headed west on D937 and D35 towards Arudy, about 12 miles south of Pau and, again, we are delighted with our choice. This is a commercial aire for 10 a night plus €2 for electricity if needed, on a beautiful field by a little river (I think it’s the Nez, but I am not 100% sure) on hard standing surrounded by grass and trees and our ideal kind of place: tranquil and peaceful with just the sound of the flowing water and the birds singing. Beano loves it too, as we were able to let him off the lead to chase the ball and cool down in the river.

 

Having fun and enjoying the beauty of the river

Having fun and enjoying the beauty of the river

Verteuil-sur-Charente, Sunday 31st March 2013

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Verteuil-sur-Charente's  impressive chateau

Verteuil-sur-Charente’s impressive chateau

 

Once again we’ve come here on the off-chance of finding somewhere to stay by the river and we have been pleasantly surprised and gratified by our instincts.  This place is just charming and, although it meant a longer drive than we intended today, it was well worth the extra hour on the road.

The river and park by the motorhome aire at Verteuil-sur-Charente

The river and park by the motorhome aire at Verteuil-sur-Charente

 

Our initial plan was to stop at Vivonne, just south of Poitiers on the N10, but we arrived there a bit too early to stop for the day, so we just had coffee and continued on south on that road, which is very good indeed and partly the reason why we made such a good time.  We then tried an aire listed in the guide at Sauzé-Vaussais, on the D948, just 5 km west of the N10, but it was just a big car park with a borne and not very inspiring, so we headed for the Charente river south of Rouffec and here we are.

 

Motorhome aire at Verteuil-sur-Charente

Motorhome aire at Verteuil-sur-Charente

 

This free aire has room for 10 motorhomes and has free fresh water, with just a €2 charge for electricity payable at the town hall or Mairie, but being Easter Sunday it is shut.  Nevertheless, we still managed to get a couple of hours supply from whoever had paid previously.  Adonis put the hot water on in that time and we enjoyed a lovely hot shower before our walk through this beautiful village with its water mill and chateau offering guided tours of the gardens.  Unfortunately, by the time we got there after 4 pm, the chateau was shut, but it was still a very pleasant stroll in the sun in the hottest day so far of this Easter holidays.  It’s 5.20 pm now and the thermometer in the van is showing 22°C and we haven’t had the heating on at all since we got here just before 2pm.

 

Beautiful water display and rainbow by watermill

Beautiful water display and rainbow by watermill

Adonis was brave enough to walk in his shorts, but I need another 5° or so more, as I still wore a jumper for the walk. It felt more like mid-teens temperature, which is a massive improvement on the last 3 days, or indeed the last 3 months!

We’ve taken lots of photos with both our cameras and we’re comparing shots: while I just point and shoot with my simple Canon digital SX220, Adonis plays with the exposures, light and speed with his fancy Nikon DSLR, so he wins!

 

The Watermill and cafe

The Watermill and cafe

 

 

A lovely view from the bridge

A lovely view from the bridge

 

We’ll be somewhere south of the Garonne river tomorrow and we’re looking at various possibilities to stay for the night, so everything is open to chance again.

Créon, Gironde, Friday 28th December 2012

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Stunning sunrise at Leucate Plage

 

After spending 5 very pleasant and warm days on the Mediterranean coast, including Christmas celebrations with the family, we are now limping back northwest, taking things very easy indeed.

Christmas with the family

Christmas with the family

 

After Portiragnes, we went back to south of Narbonne on Wednesday 26th December and spent the day and night at the motorhome aire on Leucate Plage.  It was a very sunny and warm day and we really enjoyed our two long walks with Sasha on this east-facing beautiful beach.  The aire is divided into two areas, north and south, at Parking du Gallion, and there are loads of parking spaces.  There were only 6 vans when we arrived, but it was quite busy when we left in the morning, with all the spaces facing the sea taken up.  This aire is €7 a day in the summer months, but it’s free this time of year, as the facilities for clean water and electricity are closed.

 

Spectacular sunset

Spectacular sunset

We also enjoyed a spectacular sunset and sunrise and managed to take decent pictures of both.

 

Sunset at Leucate Plage

Sunset at Leucate Plage

 

On Thursday morning we went back on the A9 to Narbonne and west on the A61 past Toulouse and A62 north of this city to J9, where we got off onto the D813 to Moissac and west to St Nicolas de la Grave, where we parked right by the lake on the Country Park of Tan et Garonne.  This was another smashing wild parking/camping spot, but the weather changed and it rained quite heavily in the afternoon, so I didn’t really enjoy it as much as I could have done.  Adonis took Sasha out for her afternoon walk while I was still waking up from my siesta and they were gone for almost an hour, enjoying the herons and the egrets and a good run around.

 

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The Pyrenees: a beautiful backdrop to the motorhome aire at Leucate Plage

 

This morning we stopped at the aire of Valence, just west of St Nicolas-de-la-Grave, still on the D813 to empty toilet cassette and top up with water, where for €4 you get 15 minutes of water, which is more than plenty to fill up.  We really liked this aire for future reference and the town itself was full of character and fascinating buildings.

 

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Motorhome aire at Leucate Plage

 

 

Motorhome aire at Leucate Plage

Motorhome aire at Leucate Plage

 

We were hoping to stop for the day on the banks of the Garonne and we tried several aires listed in the book, but luck wasn’t on our side and we only found this aire at Créon, about 10 km north of the river, at 3 o’clock this afternoon.

 

Leucate Plage

Leucate Plage

He first place we tried was St Martin de Sescas on the D113, west of La Réole, which according to the official motorhome guide (Guide Officiel Aires de services Camping Car), should be open all year round, but when we got there the farmer told us it was closed for the winter.  So we carried on further west to Langon, where we found parking right on the river at a large car park, where a market was being held.  We were just finishing our lunch when a gendarme came and told us they were going to put the barrier down and we couldn’t stay there the night, so we moved on towards Cadillac, on the D10 northwest of Langon.  We didn’t really like the aire at Cadillac and, checking the map again, we chose to try Créon, even though it is not on the river.  This is far more pleasant and we have free electricity, even though there are signs on the borne saying it’s been switched off.  According to the guide it costs €3 a day.  The aire is on Boulevard Victor Hugo, Station de Vélo, and it has a lovely cycle and walking lane that goes on for miles, all the way to Bordeaux!

We are hoping to stay by the Charente tomorrow, but we shall see how we get on…

 

Sasha enjoying a sniff on the Mediterranean coast at Lecuate

Sasha enjoying a sniff on the Mediterranean coast at Leucate

 

Leucate Plage

Leucate Plage

 

 

Gaumont-sur-Garonne, Lot-et-Garonne Department, Tuesday 14th August 2012

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Gaumont-sur-Garonne motorhome aire

 

We’ve just finished our dinner of Flammekueche with onions and lardons accompanied by the most delicious fresh Marmande tomatoes that we purchased from a lady by the side of the canal on this most fantastic little aire.

 

Having dinner right by the canal

Unusually for us, we travelled after lunch as the aire we had chosen to stop for the day at Casteljaloux was full, even though we arrived there by 11am, so we were forced to find somewhere nearby to stop for lunch and we took our chances down the D6 slightly north east to Le Mas d’Agenais, right on the Garonne river.

 

Le Mas d’Agenais

 

A barge down the canal at Le Mas d’Agenais

 

We found a nice spot by Le-Boat offices in the shade of a tree and we had lunch there, a quick siesta and a swim in the river, as it was extremely hot in the van and needed to cool off.  While we were resting, the sun had shifted and we felt we were being baked alive inside the motorhome, so we felt it was wise to go and find some shaded further down the river on the D143, only about 6km downstream and, as we crossed the little bridge over the canal, we spotted a few motorhomes on the side we’d just come from, so we did a u-turn as soon as it was possible to do so and came back to this little gem on the Garonne, which seems to be free too and has space for 10 vehicles.

 

Fishing at Gaumont-sur-Garonne aire

 

It’s been a very easy day all in all after returning our key to the Tourist Information Office in Barbotan-les-Thermes just after 9am and doing our shopping at Intermarché in Cazaubon.  We then followed the N524 past Gabarrer to join the D933 at Lapeyrade and north to Casteljaloux, which looked very lively by the lake Lac de Clarens, similar to Samatan’s.  It would have cost £10 a night, but it wasn’t meant to be, so since we are full of water and everything is charged up, we can afford to ‘wild camp’ for a couple of nights if necessary and for free!

 

Our parking spot at Gaumont-sur-Garonne aire

We have bought a set of Petanque boules, so next time we stop by a suitable ‘sandy’ pitch, we can try our skills at this ultimate French game.

Adonis is fishing on the canal, not even 5 metres away from the van.  We must remember these golden moments when things get difficult or depressing in the winter.  Thank goodness for pictures!

We’ve met a nice fellow from Liverpool with his dog, the first British motorhomer we’ve seen in weeks!

Our parking spot at Gaumont-sur-Garonne aire

 

 

 

Our parking spot at Gaumont-sur-Garonne aire