Tag Archives: Lac de St Pardoux

Mennetou-sur-Cher, Monday 2nd November 2015

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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.

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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.

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Joan of Arc’s gate at Mennetou-sur-Cher

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Quaint old building in Mennetou-sur-Cher

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Old buildings at Mennetou-sur-Cher

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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.

Forest Pool to St Germain de Coudre 065Giving away edible plants and herbs!

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Lovely and humourous flower display

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Seasonal plants

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

St Nicolas-de-la-Grave, Tarn-et-Garonne Department, Tuesday 1st April 2014

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Lake at St Nicolas-de-la-Grave

Lake at St Nicolas-de-la-Grave

 

We spent a lovely day at Meung-sur-Loire on Sunday after an easy drive from Pont-de-l’Arche following the N154 past Evreux, Dreux and Chartres to Orleans and then took the A10 south west to J.15.

 

Attractive Motorhome aire at Meung-sur-Loire

Attractive Motorhome aire at Meung-sur-Loire

 

Collegiate at Meung-sur- from motorhome aire

Collegiate at Meung-sur- from motorhome aire

 

 

We really loved the free motorhome aire there by the river, sports facilities and with lovely views of the Collegiate and the Château, which we visited in the late afternoon, having forgotten that the clocks had gone forward and it was already 5 pm and not 4 pm, as we thought. Still, we paid our €8.50 entry fee and, although the château was supposed to close at 6 pm, nobody came looking for us and they let us finish our visit undisturbed. We finally came out at 6.40 pm with the attendants waiting by the gates ready to lock up. 

 

Meung-sur-Loire

Meung-sur-Loire

 

The Chateau at Meung-sur-Loire

The Chateau at Meung-sur-Loire

 

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The modern façade of the chateau

The modern façade of the chateau

 

 

It’s amazing how each château has something different or unique to offer, and on this one, we really enjoyed the loft, where the laundry would have been dried, and the Medicine and Herbal rooms. There was also a short video in the dungeons, 7 metres below ground, with a brief history and information about the place. Well worth the visit!

 

 

The Medicine room

The Medicine room

 

The Herbal room

The Herbal room

 

The attic/laundry room

The attic/laundry room

 

All set for a special feast

All set for a special feast

 

The dungeons, where a short video is shown

The dungeons, where a short video is shown

 

 

Yesterday, we turned east to join the A71 south of Orleans to Vierzon and the A20 south to Châteroux, past Argentan and La Souterraine to J.25 to Lac de St Pardoux, where we spent a relaxing afternoon and Beano enjoyed a swim and a play with his ball in the lake. It was lovely to see him run on the grass and the sand after having spent a whole month in the crate and having only short walks on the lead. His leg seems to be fine now and we hope he’s not going to have any future problems with it.

 

St Pardoux lake

St Pardoux lake

 

 

St Pardoux was beautiful and quiet and we enjoyed a very peaceful evening with a chilli con carne followed by the second episode of series one of ‘House’, which we have bought especially for this trip, and very good it is too!

We are also very happy with our new ‘All the Aires in France’ Vacarious guide book, as it has pictures and brief information about the location of each aire, as well as GPS co-ordinates, except that our new TomTom has packed up and it’s absolutely useless at the moment. We are annoyed about this, as we spent over £300 before the summer holidays last year, so it’s only barely 6 months old and have hardly used it! We might have to send it back.

 

Wild camping at St Nicolas-de-la-Grave

Wild camping at St Nicolas-de-la-Grave

 

 

This morning, we topped up with water at the bourne, which works with a jeton (token) to be bought from the Information Centre, and we set off again at 9 am back on the A20 south past Limoges, Brive-la-Gaillarde, Cahors and Montauban, where we took off at J.65 (only £13) west on D958, past Castelsarrasin and a short distance north to St Nicolas-de-la-Grave. We were here on our Christmas holiday 2012 with Sasha and it had been very wet and I didn’t get to enjoy the place, but today it’s been very hot and sunny (25 ºC in van) and I took Beano for a long walk by the beautiful lake and came back when he started panting. I then sat outside in the glorious sunshine for nearly 2 hours until the wind picked up and it cooled down. The parking is free, but there’s no bourne here, as we are in the Plan d’Eau and not actually in the proper aire, so I expect we’ll go there to empty tomorrow before going to Barbotan-les-Thermes, our first proper stop of the holiday at a campsite.

 

Uzerche, Thursday 20th December 2012

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View from St Peter's Church

View from St Peter’s Church

 

 

We are now at the motorhome aire in the beautiful medieval town of Uzerche, right by the river Vezère in the Correze Department.  There are supposed to be 30 pitches for motorhomes, but there are only two of us here and the rest is just being used as the town car park.  In fact, when we arrived here at 11 am this morning, there was a NO ENTRY  sign on the way in as there is supposed to be a market here every 20th of the month and every Saturday, when motorhomes would not be allowed from 6 am to 1 pm.  Luckily for us it’s been pouring down with rain for most of the day and there weren’t many merchants at all, not even half a dozen, so they let us through without too much resistance and we were able to hook up to the electricity outlet for free.  The water tap outside the old station building has been neutralised, but Adonis’s just filled up using the sink the the toilets, which happen to be open.

 

View of the car park and motorhome aire from hill top

View of the car park and motorhome aire from hill top right by the bridge

 

This really is a wonderful aire, with stunning views of the old town and the clifftop and with a tarmacked footpath along the river, perfect for dog walks.  I am amazed that this is totally FREE, even the electricity, in such a pretty and  peaceful place.  Hats off to the French again.

St Peter's Chruch, Uzerche

St Peter’s Chruch, Uzerche

 

As we got here so early, we had plenty of time to wander around the town and visit St Peter’s Church or Église St Pierre, a fortified church with an amazing XIth century crypt, one of the oldest in the Limousin.  the views from outside the church, on Place de la Lunade overlooking the river valley, are quite staggering and we took our time photographing the views all around us.

 

11th Century crypt

11th Century crypt

 

11th century crypt

11th century crypt

 

11th century crypt

11th century crypt

 

 

11th century crypt

11th century crypt

 

11th century crypt

11th century crypt

 

 

Another peculiarity of this town are the ‘Maisons à Tourelles’, or turret houses, with their typical cone-shaped roofs, just like witches’ hats, dating from XV and XVI centuries, as is the XIV century Porte Béchaire, one of the nine original gates allowing access to the town: all well worth a visit, even on a rainy day like today.  In fact, the whole place is so full of amazing buildings and walls to look at that even the rain couldn’t spoil our visit and enjoyment of this remarkable little town.

 

Maison a tourelles (Turret House)

Maison a tourelles (Turret House)

 

Buildings on the cliff top

Buildings on the cliff top

 

Porte Bechaire, one of the 9 original  access gates to the town

Porte Bechaire, one of the 9 original access gates to the town

 

Uzerche from the hill top by St Peter's church

Uzerche from the hill top by St Peter’s church

 

 

Old steps at Uzerche

Old steps at Uzerche

 

Uzerche and the Vezere river

Uzerche and the Vezere river

 

Yesterday we stopped at Lac de St Pardoux, just off junction 25 on the A20 on our way down south from Montrésor.  It was our second choice after deciding the original aire we were heading for at Béssines-sur-Gartempe (also off the A20 at J.24) wasn’t quite up to Adonis’s liking and we thought the stay by the lake might be much more pleasant, which indeed was!  We had made very good time coming down from Montrésor on the D755 and D975, past Châtillon-sur-Indre, Azay-Le-Ferron and Le Blanc and then the D675 to Le Dorat and east on D942 and D45 to Béssines-sur-Gartempe, all fantastic straight roads until the D45, where we encountered some very interesting, almost hairpin, bends.

 

Aire at Lac de St Pardoux

Aire at Lac de St Pardoux

 

We really thought that the aire at Santrop beach by Lac de St Pardoux would make a fantastic stop in warmer weather and, again, we’d love to come back at Easter or early in the summer before the crowds arrive.  Sasha had a whale of a time leaping and charging about on the sandy beach and it was great to see her running around without worrying about traffic at all.  There was another motorhome when we arrived there, but it left early in the afternoon, so once again, we had the place completely to ourselves and another FREE night stay.  There is a motorhome service borne which operates with €3.50 for 100 litres of water and 1 hour electricity, but we didn’t need either, although it’s good to know for future reference.

 

Lac de St Pardoux

Lac de St Pardoux

 

Sasha cooling down after a run at Lac de St Pardoux

Sasha cooling down after a run at Lac de St Pardoux

 

Tomorrow we’re travelling towards Toulouse and we’ll decide where to stop when we get there.

 

Lac de St Pardoux

Lac de St Pardoux

 

Our motorhome in the woods seen from Santrop beach at Lac de St Pardoux

Our motorhome in the woods seen from Santrop beach at Lac de St Pardoux