Tag Archives: Lac de Léon

Camping Lac des Varennes, Vallée du Loir, Monday 15th April 2013

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Lac des Varennes 13 002

We have found the sun again at the always reliable Lac des Varennes near Marçon, one of our favourite spots in France, and not just for carp fishing.  This is just a very relaxing and beautiful campsite, especially this time of year when not too many people come on holidays.  We are surrounded by the lake, the trees and the sound of cuckoos: what can be more soul-lifting than that?

crocheting in the sun

crocheting in the sun

We’ve been here for 4 days already and are sad to have to leave tomorrow to start our slow journey northwards to the Channel Tunnel.  It was a very hot day yesterday, which required a hat and sunblock, and I definitely made the best of it after having been deprived of proper sun for so long.  It was just a wonderful feeling being outdoors all day, fishing, crocheting and reading by the lake in the heat of the first proper summer day of this so cold a year.

Carp Fishing in the sun

Carp Fishing in the sun

Our journey here from Lac de Léon can be summarised in 3 words: Rain and Roadworks!  They’re turning the free N10 motorway south of Bordeaux into Spain into a toll road and, therefore, they’re improving its surface and placing toll booths, so I fear next time we come this way we’ll have to pay.  Because of the massive roadworks, the road was reduced to one lane only and there were loads of lorries from just about everywhere in Europe, so the journey was slow and wet.

The very congested N10 south of Bordeaux

The very congested N10 south of Bordeaux

A very flooded Vallee du Loir

A very flooded Vallee du Loir

Our first stop on Tuesday was Verteuil-sur-Charente again, but it was still raining heavily, so we didn’t go to visit the château gardens as I would have liked to do.  Maybe 3rd time lucky next time!

Our usual pitch was under water at Lac des Varennes

Our usual pitch was under water at Lac des Varennes

Unusually high water's edge at Lac des Varennes

Unusually high water’s edge at Lac des Varennes

The next day we stopped at Ste Maure de Touraine, just south of Tours, where we found a lovely private aire with room for 6 motorhomes which provided toilets, showers and electricity.  We paid just €2.50 for the night as we didn’t need electricity, but a fee of €4.50 would have covered the electric hook-up and water.  Unfortunately, it was a very very wet day and we didn’t venture out of the motorhome, but there was a wood nearby for walks, handy for people with dogs.  When we left in the morning, the manager gave us a free baguette!  How nice is that?

We finally arrived here on Thursday morning, but the campsite itself didn’t open till Friday, so we spent the day and night at the Espace de Loisirs (Leisure outdoor centre), on the opposite side of the lake, where at least Adonis could do his fishing and, of course, we had a wonderful room with a view!

The beach at Lac des Varennes

The beach at Lac des Varennes

So, we’d been enjoying the relaxing atmosphere of this superb spot until Saturday afternoon, when Adonis woke me from my short siesta to tell me he’d shot himself in the eye with one of his fishing pellets as he was using his sling to propel the bait in the lake.  Somehow, very mysteriously, this boilie ‘turned back’ and landed on Adonis’s right eye and, as a consequence it was all blood-shot and he couldn’t see through it at all.  Without any delay, we marched into Reception and they very kindly called a taxi for us, who arrived very promptly.

The taxi driver himself went out of his way to help us and came into the hospital at Château-du-Loir with us and waited until we registered.  After a short ½ hour wait, Adonis was seen by one of the doctors on duty, who decided it was an urgent case and referred him immediately to the Ophthalmology department at Le Mans hospital, as he was worried that if Adonis didn’t get immediate treatment he might lose the sight in his eye.  They called another taxi for us and, amazingly, the same taxi driver appeared and so set off very downcast to Le Mans hospital,

45 km north.

Once again, we were seen straight away and the very kind taxi driver, David, waited through the whole examination to take us back to the campsite.  Unfortunately, there was too much blood at the back of the eye for the ophthalmologist to see properly or to even do a scan, so she gave us 3 different kinds of drops to use to help the eye settle and told us to go back on Monday.

By the time we got back to the campsite, it was already 8.15 pm, so we went to bed feeling exhausted and with just a banana for tea, as neither of us felt very hungry after all that trauma.

So we tried to enjoy the beautiful hot and sunny Sunday as much as we could, fishing included, as first thing on Monday morning we had to make an appointment to go back to Le Mans.  And so it was that this morning, at 8.30 am prompt, I started my first attempt to make an appointment with the eye department for later on in the day as I was told to do, but a whole hour passed before I got through to talk to someone, who told me an appointment wasn’t necessary and that we should just turn up.  So we called the taxi again and the same David came back, this time with his son in the back!

After dropping David’s son to his mother’s he kindly took us back to Le Mans hospital and directed us to the Ophthalmology department.  There, he spoke to the same eye specialist who’d examined Adonis on Saturday and she took us straight away for the scan.

I am very happy to report that Adonis passed his eye test with flying colours, being able to read even the smallest writing on the projection.  The specialist was very happy with the results too and said Adonis had an inflammation of the retina, but that it would go down with the medication and time, but she still wanted to see him again the following Monday.  We said we were due back in England at the weekend and she said to visit an optician there next week, for which she gave us a letter explaining all about the examination, etc.

So here we are again, €300 lighter on taxi fares, but we’re hopeful to get a refund from the travel insurance, and very relieved knowing that Adonis won’t lose his sight on his right eye.  David brought us back after waiting with us at the hospital and suggested we should meet up for a drink next time we are down here, which might be in August or October.  So we have made a new friend!  Funny how these things happen.

Now Adonis is back fishing and I’m continuing with my crocheting and reading.  We might stay here tomorrow night as well if Adonis is not feeling up to driving as, much as I love travelling in a motorhome, I don’t enjoy driving it!  Qué será, será?

Another stunning sunset at Lac des Varennes

Another stunning sunset at Lac des Varennes

Camping Punta Lago, Lac de Léon, Landes, Sunday 7th April13

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A very generous pitch at Punta Lago campsite

A very generous pitch at Punta Lago campsite

 

I am so glad to be here for the third time and so happy to see that it’s just as good as we remembered it.  We first came here on a very hot August day in 2010, after a long journey from the north coast of Spain and were rewarded with this wonderful campsite with 2 swimming pools – one outdoors and one heated indoors with 2 Jacuzzis – very generous pitches separated by hedges and lots of space, all within a 5-minute walk to the Lac de Léon, even more beautiful.  We came back at Easter in 2011 and it was still quite hot, so we’ve tried it once again and, even though the weather is not as hot as last time for this time of year, it is still warm enough to sit outside in the sun, especially when the breeze drops.

 

It has been a long and cold winter in most places, so just to be able to sit outside or to walk around in shorts is a luxury not to be taken for granted.

 

The heated indoor pool all to ourselves

The heated indoor pool all to ourselves

 

It’s our second day here and, as before, I joined the Aquagym class this morning and thoroughly enjoyed it, though it wasn’t as busy as last time, being after Easter now.  Still, more room for the rest of us.  We have also enjoyed swimming in the ‘empty’ (no people) heated pool and a relaxing time in the Jacuzzi, all included in the €20 fee per day for the 2 of us, the van and the electricity supply: very reasonable indeed.

 

Enjoying a relaxing time in the jacuzzi

Enjoying a relaxing time in the jacuzzi

 

The outdoor pool

The outdoor pool

 

 We have also been for cycle rides around the lake, taking in all the gorgeous views from various angles and getting busy with the camera.

 

Lac de Léon

Lac de Léon

 

The Pedalos at Lac de Léon

The Pedalos at Lac de Léon

 

Lac de Léon

Lac de Léon

 

It’s all very quiet and most pitches are empty, but there are young families in the bungalows, albeit not many, unlike last time.

 

We have one more day here and then we’ll start to make our ‘very’ slow journey north, hoping to stop at Verteuil-sur-Charente again, then Lac des Varennes on the Vallée du Loir for 4 days and finally at our usual stop-over aires on the way to Calais (Broglie and Wissant).

 

Lac de Léon

Lac de Léon

 

Lac de Leon 022

 

Lac de Léon

Lac de Léon

 

Lac de Léon

Lac de Léon

 

Lac de Léon

Lac de Léon

Lac de Léon

Lac de Léon

 

 

 

Punta Lago, Léon, Thursday 21st April 2011

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Lac de Léon, Landes

I think it’s Easter Thursday today, judging by the amount of people who arrived last night and this morning, and all the games organised for the children.  Most of the holiday makers seem to be Spanish, so the campsite is getting quite lively. 

I’ve been trying to keep fit – apart from cycling into town and walking Bramble – so I joined the stretching class yesterday and the aquagym today, which was very popular, with over 30 people in the pool, which was just big enough, even though it is 12 metres long!  It felt a bit surreal, as the instructor was playing mainly Spanish and Mexican music, including the Gypsy Kings and Julio Iglesias singing in French.  She also had a few Spanish phrases written down on a card, which I found quite touching, and tried very hard to pronounce them properly, asking for our help.  I’d like to go back on Saturday again.

Adonis’s been busy fishing and cycling to village and had his gears fixed at the very reasonable price of 15E.  He was so pleased he gave the repair man 20E.

We’ve also witnessed what looked like some kind of aeroplane firefighting training and it was quite fascinating to watch them come down to collect water from the lake and then drop it again.  I’d never seen that before.

Last night we had a roast chicken and chips takeaway, which is very popular here, and was absolutely delicious.  We have one thigh left for lunch and tonight I’m just making pasta with pesto: nice, quick and easy!

Lac de Léon, Landes

Firefighting training at Lac de Léon, Landes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pepo’s been phoning every day and he seems a bit lonely, to the point when he’s almost decided to carry on studying at Northbrook College and not Glasgow.  He’s there now for his interview in about one hour’s time (12 noon in GB).  He’s found a youth hostel for the 2 nights he needs to stay up there and he seems to have managed quite well without any help from ‘so called’ friends, who let him down at last minute and couldn’t put him up.  I think he’s learning the painful fact that  friends can’t always be relied upon and at the end of the day you’re on your own when you reach a certain age.  He sounds happy and confident, though, and I’m sure he’ll sail through the interview.

Lac de Léon, Landes

It’s a bit overcast and cooler today, but still warm enough to be sitting outside in my bikini.

The German classes are going well, moving on to buying tickets at railway station, asking for information about departure and arrival times, etc.

Punta Lago, Leon, Landes, Tuesday 19th April 2011

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A nice couple of lazy days here at Punta Lago campsite, and very nice and quiet it is too!

Lac de Léon,

We cycled into Léon yesterday to get some more food and then just relaxed by van and had a swim in both, the heated and unheated pools in campsite, as well as a go in the Jacuzzi.  There are not many people in the campsite, so the pools were quiet and uncrowded, especially the unheated, which was virtually empty, except for a little girl and her toddler brother watched by their parents and 2 teenage girls.

We walked to the lake with Bramble again and he enjoyed his splashing about, chasing his ball there.

Bramble cooling down in lake

 

I cooked Merguez with couscous and did a lot of reading: 2 more Canterbury Tales – the Second Nun’s and the Canon’s Yeoman’s Tales.

Today Adon went fishing early in the morning, at around 7ish, and I stayed in bed till 8.30.  I had breakfast on my own and took Bramble to lake again, then I cycled into Léon to buy a baguette and tobacco for Adon and to send a postcard to Pepo.

 

Léon

Léon is a very pretty little town and I took a couple of pictures.  After that, I did a couple of units on my German book and Adonis arrived from his fishing adventure, but he didn’t catch anything.

 

 

Bramble having a good splash in Lac de Léon

It’s just before lunch now and Adon is doing his crossword.  We are thinking about cycling to beach tomorrow, about 10 km, and see what that’s like.  I am cooking chili con carne tonight, but before that, I must carry on sewing my puppy and reading Dickens.

I love the peace and quiet here and I am loath to think of leaving.  I could easily retire in a pace like this!

Sewing 'puppy

Punta Lago Campsite, Leon, Landes, Sunday 17th April 2011

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Punta Lago campsite, Leon, Landes

A very hot day here in southwest France and we intend to stay here for a week, so I hope the weather holds.

The meal in Amboise was absolutely fabulous.  We sat in the conservatory, which seemed to be full with British people mainly, but there were also a French couple and two young men who sounded American.  The restaurant was called L’Alliance, run by Pamela and Ludovic Meunier, and it couldn’t be more pleasant, with very friendly service too and reasonable prices.  We decided to go for the menu at 22E plus an aperitif of Kir de la maison and a bottle of Vouvray.  I had the ‘Noix de St Jacques’ and the Coc-au-vin with tagliatelle and Adonis had the stewed beef and a fillet of fish (sandre), followed by some fruit in a cream sauce slightly brulée on top.  All together it came to about 70E, which we paid very gladly  and satisfied with everything.

We should have waited to go to bed a bit longer, as I think we were both a bit too full to sleep properly and I had a slight headache, which kept me up for a couple of hours at least after 1.00 am.  We got up early and left for La Charante, where we stopped again for the night at Dompierre with a prior stop at Chey aire for lunch (on the D611 , about 25 km east of Niort and 40km south west of Poitiers), which was very convenient and clean, with free water.  I was a bit too tired and after eating pizza, I read for a bit and went to bed while Adon did some fishing, although he didn’t catch anything.  

Another early morning start today and left river by 9.30 am, with a quick stop and boulangerie for baguette and cake, this time pear tartelette, which we’ll have tonight after steak haché and saute potatoes.

Steak Hache and saute potatoes

Lac de Leon, Landes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We arrived at the campsite at 12.30pm and set up before lunch, then we went for a walk and a swim in the lake.  I am doing my first lot of washing and I’m waiting for machine to finish, which can’t be much longer now.  No doubt everything will dry very quickly here.

Leon, Landes

 

Swimming in lake at Leon, Landes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adonis is trying to get the internet going, but we’ve just discovered it’s 8 E a day or 22 E a week and we agree it’s not worth it.  I am going to check my washing!