Tag Archives: Portiragnes Plage

Boisee-Penchot, Aveyron, Thursday 13th August 2015

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River Lot at Boisse-Penchot

River Lot at Boisse-Penchot

Sommières was absolutely lovely and we enjoyed a restful day in the free motorhome aire by the arena and the River Vidourle. We found a very convenient bay under a tree, which provided us with the all important shade, and were happy to stop there for the day.

Motorhome aire at Sommières by arena

Motorhome aire at Sommières by arena

After lunch and swim in the river, we walked into the medieval town and climbed up to the castle to enjoy some lovely views of the surrounding area, followed by a beer and ice-cream (yes, again) at one of the many bars in the town.  

View of Sommières from castle

View of Sommières from castle walls

Bunting in festive Sommières

Bunting in festive Sommières

Sommières dates back 2,000 years and it boasts a Roman bridge built by Tiberious at the beginning of the 1st century as part of the road between Nîmes and Toulouse and which leads into one of the gates in town, the Tour de l’Horloge. The whole town is quite fascinating and we really enjoyed strolling peacefully along the vaulted passageways and narrow streets, some decorated with bunting for their summer festivities, and there is also a great variety of shops catering for just about every need.

The First Century Roman Bridge in Sommières

The First Century Roman Bridge in Sommières

The Tour de l'Horloge at end of bridge

The Tour de l’Horloge at end of bridge

Medieval vaulted passages in Sommières

Medieval vaulted passages in Sommières

Typical street in Sommières

Typical street in Sommières

Festive Sommières

Festive Sommières

In the evening, there was a Encierro bull show in the arena, in which young men take turns at taking ribbons off the bull’s horns, as well as live music by the river, which was quite pleasant.

Encierro

Encierro

Encierro

Encierro

On Friday morning, we drove to Portiragnes to stay a few days with Adonis’s parents, which, as always, was very pleasant and peaceful and we enjoyed a couple of delicious meals out, one in a magnificent restaurant called Vogue in Agde and the second one in Portiragnes Plage. Both meals were of very high quality and innovative food with efficient and friendly service.  We also had another opportunity to watch the exciting Abrivado and enjoy the happy atmosphere in the village.

Abrivado in Portiragnes

Abrivado in Portiragnes

Abrivado in Portiragnes

Abrivado in Portiragnes

We left Portiragnes yesterday and went back to Lac de Pareloup, where we went 3 years ago at Easter time with Bramble. Last time we were there, we camped wild and there was nobody else around, but it was cold and windy. Yesterday, by contrast, was very hot and we stopped at a new aire which used to be a municipal campsite, so it had wonderful facilities with toilets, showers, etc and only cost 10 a night. Payment is on exit, but there is a barrier at entrance with a machine issuing tickets, for which your vehicle registration number must be entered prior to entrance.

The motorhome aire at Paraloup

The motorhome aire at Paraloup

The aire is very large and on 3 different levels, most pitches with shade and separated by hedges and all with wonderful views of the lake.

Our pitch directly above the lake

Our pitch directly above the lake

We were going to stay 2 days, but the weather changed dramatically overnight with a mighty storm that kept us awake for a while and, although it looked like it had cleared by morning, another front came in after breakfast and we decided to leave by 10 am. Pity, as it really is a magnificent place to stop with all kinds of water sports available, bread delivery service in the mornings and a pizza van on Thursday evenings, which we had decided to take advantage of today, but alas! It wasn’t to be.

The sky got even blacker as we were driving towards Rodez and had to stop for a few minutes to give the windscreen a chance to clear the steam that had built up whilst driving, as we could hardly see through it!

The rain was on and off for the rest of the morning and it was still raining when we got to Boisse-Penchot at midday, so we had lunch inside, but the skies have cleared again and it’s back to 30ºC.

Boisse-Penchot

Boisse-Penchot with motorhome aire in background

This aire is lovely too, right by the River Lot, with neat pitches on hard standing and with grass bays, a bit like Broglie. It is free with a borne that works with jetons (tokens) to be bought at Brasserie du Château or Bar-Tabac for water and electricity. There is also a pretty walk along the river for Beano and refreshing swimming for everyone.

Attractive location by river Lot for motorhome aire

Attractive location by river Lot for motorhome aire

Tomorrow, we are thinking of going further west past Cahors to Luzech, but we’ll see what happens…

Montferrand, Aude, Saturday 1st August 2014

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Montferrand to Arudy 025

Beautiful field of sunflowers by motorhome aire at Montferrand

 

We have spent 6 superbly lazy days at Adonis’s parents’ house in Portiragnes, where the most strenuous thing we did was to cool in the swimming pool and walk the dogs around the vineyard at the back of the house. It was wonderful to have that time to rest from the driving and route planning and to spend quality time with the family.

 

Chilling by the pool

Chilling by the pool

 

We were all a bit concerned during the first couple of days because Huntely, my in-law’s dog, is much bigger than poor little Beano and he just wouldn’t leave him alone, following him everywhere, walking almost above him and licking his back and neck continuously, even wanting to mount him. The first day he kept this behaviour up for 6 hours and we had to resort to locking ourselves in the van with Beano for a long siesta and afternoon break just to keep them apart. Later on, Adonis’s dad came up with the idea of throwing water from a bucket over Huntley’s back and this seemed to do the trick. So, for the next day, Peter kept that bucket of water nearby as a deterrent from Huntley’s amorous advances on Beano and just the threat of lifting the bucket was enough to stop him. Thanks to that, we enjoyed 4 days of more appropriate dog interaction, playing with the ball and chasing each other to everyone’s relief, as Adonis and I were thinking we might have to go and stay at a campsite or the new motorhome aire in Portiragnes beach, which is not that close to the Saysell’s residence, just to keep Beano safe and our sanity intact, but I am pleased to say it never came to that.

Huntley and Beano enjoying a chase game

Huntley and Beano enjoying a chase game

 

Instead, we enjoyed 2 lovely meals out, one on Portiragnes Plage, where both Peggy and I were defeated by our enormous Gazpacho starter and were unable to finish it, delicious as it was, in order to give us a chance to finish our main courses of salmon and duck respectively and our delicious puddings (grilled pineapple for Peggy and mandarine and strawberry sorbet for me).

The other even better meal was at L’Ecluse last night on the Canal-du-Midi on the way to Béziers, where we all shared a Tapas starter and we all loved Adonis’s choice of Fish and Chips du Sud (of the south), which had us all intrigued when reading the menu and later found out it consisted of small pieces of fish fried in a thin batter with the chips served in a paper cone! We were all too full for a pudding, but very happy with our meal as we’ve always been every time we’ve gone there.

 

Canal-du-Midi

Canal-du-Midi

 

Our break in Portiragnes also gave us a chance to take the van to the garage, as it was making a worrying squeaky noise, both when we were driving or when walking inside it when stationary, and we thought there might be something wrong with the suspension. Adonis kept spraying it with WD40 for about a week prior to our arrival at Portiragnes, but to no avail. Adonis took the van to the mechanic just down the road on Tuesday morning and, after 3 days there, he finally collected it yesterday afternoon, only to be told there was nothing wrong with it and the chap refused to take any payment, as the van had sat in his garage for 2 days before he actually looked at it! Still, Peter gave him 20 for his time and trouble, which we later refunded and, feeling greatly relieved that all is well with our home on wheels, we put back all the stuff we had taken out ready for this morning departure.

 

Field of sunflowers on our way to Montferrand

Field of sunflowers on our way to Montferrand

 

All set and ready to leave by 9.15 am, we said our good-byes hoping to return next summer and headed towards Carcassonne on D612, D11 and D610. Although these roads are generally good, some stretches were being re-surfaced and there was a detour by Trèbes, which slowed us right down. We even considered stopping at an aire signposted at Puichéric thinking it would be by the canal, but it turned out to be right on a hill, away from the water, so we stuck with our original plan of stopping here in Montferrand, a shady aire right by the Canal-du-Midi on D6113, just west of Castelnaudary, surrounded by gorgeous fields of sunflowers.

 

Enough to put a smile on your face

Enough to put a smile on your face and brighten up your day

 

We’ve just returned from an hour-long-walk along the canal and enjoyed the procedure of a boat going through the locks. It seemed that everyone on the walk stopped to watch and admire the lock system, which is definitely worth the wait.

 

Watching the lock in action on Canal-du-Midi

Watching the lock in action on Canal-du-Midi

 

The happy travellers and spectators at the lock

The happy travellers and spectators at the lock

 

And the lock opened.

And the lock opened.

 

We are thinking about going to the municipal campsite of Boussens tomorrow, about 60 miles west of here, but we’ll have to head north first towards Toulouse and south west from there on A64 to enjoy the better roads.

 

Canal-du-Midi

Canal-du-Midi

 

Canal-du-Midi

Canal-du-Midi

 

Canal-du-Midi

Canal-du-Midi

 

One last time, just because it's so beautiful!

One last time, just because it’s so beautiful!

 

We’ve just seen that the bourne here does not work and won’t be able to empty toilet cassette!

Château Maucoil, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Monday 25th July 2011

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Relaxing after bike ride in Portiragnes Plage

 

It’s been a wonderful week with the Saysells at Portiragnes and managed to fit in two celebrations: a 50th wedding anniversary at the best restaurant I’ve been to, ‘Octopus’, in Béziers, where we all enjoyed a magnificent nouvelle cuisine meal, and Adonis’ birthday yesterday, when he insisted on cooking his famous Moroccan lamb with couscous.  The rest of the time we just lounged around the pool, apart from that cycle ride to Portiragnes Plage, where I swam in the sea.

 

 

 

 

I had to take Bramble back to the vet this morning and, as stitches had fallen off and the wound was open, I was given some spray at €32: some injury!

So we set off this morning and, after horribly congested roundabout, we joined the A9 towards Montpellier and Avignon and took exit at junction 22 to Orange, past Roquemaure on the D976 and then D17 to Châteauneuf-du-Pape and then the D68 to Château Maucoil.

Chateau Maucoil, Chateauneuf du Pape

Chateau Maucoil, Chateauneuf du Pape,

 

We got here just after 2 pm, to this France Passion prime site, with some wonderful views over the vineyards and the mountains beyond.  We had usual lunch and then visited the cave to buy some of the local wine for Adonis’ birthday.  Afterwards, I took Bramble for a walk up the road, past another Château (Mont Redon) and continued uphill to some more stunning views and got a bit carried away with it all.  I made it back to the van at 5.20 pm and enjoyed coffee and pear tartelette: a perfect afternoon.

 

 

What will tomorrow bring?

Chateau Maucoil, Chateauneuf du Pape,

Chateau Maucoil, Chateauneuf du Pape,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chateau Mont Redon