Tag Archives: Sarthe

La Fresnaye-sur-Chédouet, Sarthe, 27th August 2015

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Our parking spot at the aire in La Fresnaye-sur-Chédouet by La Forêt de Perseigne

Our parking spot at the aire in La Fresnaye-sur-Chédouet by La Forêt de Perseigne

We made it to Parthenay early on Sunday morning, but, although the motorhome aire looked very good and right by the lake, we didn’t stay, as it was raining, windy and it felt a bit cold, so we decided to carry on driving and ended up in Étang de la Tricherie, just off the D160, about 20 miles north west of La Rochelle and just south east of Les Herbiers, south of Cholet. We were there for midday and soon after the weather improved considerably, so we spent a very warm sunny afternoon by the lake.

Enjoying a walk around the Étang de la Tricherie

Enjoying a walk around the Étang de la Tricherie

Being a Sunday, the area around the lake was buzzing with families picnicking, fishing, swimming or having fun on paddling boats. Adonis enjoyed a spot of fishing and Beano and I a long walk all the way around the lake. We finished this fine day with a BBQ courtesy of Adonis and first and last of the summer holiday, but we must definitely do this more often. Come to think of it, it’s the first time ever that Adonis has cooked in all the 6 years of our motorhoming life!

Plenty of water activities for the whole family at Étang de la Tricherie

Plenty of water activities for the whole family at Étang de la Tricherie

The aire at the Étang de la Tricherie is free and very large, with spaces on grass and hard standing, the services being by the shops, amenities and restaurants.

Motorhome aie at Étang de la Tricherie

Motorhome aie at Étang de la Tricherie

Monday morning started wet again and we intended to stop for the day at the aire at Brissac-Quincé, just south of Angers. We were there early enough to go for a walk around the lovely gardens of the Château during a break in the rain. The Château de Brissac is the tallest castle in France, boasting 7 floors, and it is quite impressive from the outside, but we just fancied a stroll outside and didn’t do the full visit, but no doubt we’ll be back, as the motorhome aire in town was quite adequate and free.

I simply loved this ivy-covered house at Brissac-Quincé

I simply loved this ivy-covered house at Brissac-Quincé

The impressive Château de Brissac

The impressive Château de Brissac

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A gentle stroll around the gardens of Château de Brissac

A gentle stroll around the gardens of Château de Brissac

After our visit to the château’s gardens we continued a little bit further north west to spend the rest of the day at the lovely aire at Bouchemaine in the Maine-et-Loire Department. We were surprised to see how much the fee has increased since we were here last, jumping up a whopping 5, costing now a total of €13.50 to include electricity, water and showers. Not too bad, I suppose, when you consider we paid €26 for the Sosta at La Villa/Stern in Italy back in July. Here, we just enjoyed the long walks along the rivers Maine and Loire and made the most of the showers, although the water was only lukewarm when I had mine and I wished I had taken it in the van instead, where the water gets really hot.

Wonderful (if pricey) motorhome aire at Bouchemaine

Wonderful (if pricey) motorhome aire at Bouchemaine

Bouchemaine

Bouchemaine

After Bouchemaine we intended to stop at the municipal campsite at Sablé-sur-Sarthe, but the access road the SatNav took us on was too narrow and too busy and we couldn’t get through, being forced to get out of town again. A bit annoyed by this, we continued on the A11 and A28 to Beaumont-sur-Sarthe, at junction 21 north of Le Mans, and stopped at the municipal campsite there instead. We came here back in 2012 and had really liked it and it has changed little since, except that there is now a coffee shop with a bread and pastries service, a large TV and book borrowing service at one end of the excellent shower and washing facilities block, which has also got access for the disabled.

Disabled access to wonderful shower and washing facilities block at Beaumont-sur-Sarthe campsite

Disabled access to wonderful shower and washing facilities block at Beaumont-sur-Sarthe campsite

The weather here was a bit mixed with showers and sunny spells, but we managed to have lunch outside and Adonis enjoyed some fishing, culminating with a prime catch of a 34lb carp!

We stayed here 2 nights, but it didn’t stop raining last night and it was still pouring down this morning and by 11 am we had had enough and decided to leave. The bill came up to €32.32 for the 2 nights, which is quite reasonable considering the idyllic location.

Beautmont-sur-Sarthe

Beautmont-sur-Sarthe

We only drove for a mere 40 minutes to about 5 miles east of Alançon, where we’ve found this little aire by the Forêt de Perseigne, which is absolutely lovely. It’s been raining most of the day, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying a long walk with Beano through the forest, as the tall and mature trees made perfect umbrellas!

Perfect for walks rain or shine, Forêt de Perseigne

Perfect for walks rain or shine, Forêt de Perseigne

It’s only been 15ºC outside today, so for the first time ever we’ve put the heating on in the Hymer and I’m very pleased to report that it works perfectly well and it’s very efficient and quick.

Due to this wet and cold weather, we’ll be having that tin of Cassoulet that’s been on the shelf ever since we left home 2 months ago. Only 5 days left of this holiday and we have already made an appointment for Beano’s Pet Passport at the vet in Broglie. It really feels now like our long summer holiday is coming to an end. Where did the time go and were we really that hot in Italy and Croatia?

La Suze-sur-Sarthe, Sarthe, Tuesday 30th December 2014

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Charming La Suze-sur-Sarthe

Charming La Suze-sur-Sarthe

We have spent two very cold, but with bright blue skies, days at this charming (and one of our favourites), motorhome aire (N47° 53.333′ E000° 01.850′). It would normally cost 5 a day to include overnight stay, water and electricity, but the paying machine is out of order and the water’s been turned off due to the freezing weather, although the electricity hook-ups are still working, thank goodness, as we have needed the heating on all the time and it would have used up a lot of our gas. The aire was full last night at the far end (8 vehicles), but there would have been ample more space right by the river if needed.

All spaces taken up at the motorhome aire at La Suze-sur-Sarthe

All spaces taken up at the motorhome aire at La Suze-sur-Sarthe

We have enjoyed lovely leisurely walks along the river Sarthe and Adonis has had a couple of fishing sessions, albeit in short bursts, due to the biting cold. We walked into town in order to buy some bottled water from the local Carrefour Market, as we fancied a shower today and didn’t want to use up all our reserves in the tank. The funny thing is, as I started writing this, it looks like the water has been turned on again and we have now topped up, which will see us for the next 3 days.

The quaint bridge at La Suze-sur-Sarthe

The quaint bridge at La Suze-sur-Sarthe

Looking upstream from the bridge with quay and motorhome aire on left

Looking upstream from the bridge with quay and motorhome aire on left

Enjoying the peaceful sights along the River Sarthe

Enjoying the peaceful sights along the River Sarthe

Which one to pick?

Which one to pick?

We also had a very pleasant stay and long walks along the Charentonne river at beautiful Broglie, where we probably spent the coldest night ever during our motorhoming trips. It’d been -5°C during the night and yesterday morning we woke up to frost on the inside of the windows in the above-cabin sleeping quarters! It really was a shock to the system and it was a while before I got up after Adonis bravely climbed ‘downstairs’ to switch the heating on. Tonight, as we have electricity, we intend to leave the heating on, so, hopefully, it won’t be so unpleasant in the morning.

Walking along the Charentonne river at Broglie

Walking along the Charentonne river at Broglie

The Charentonne River

The Charentonne River

While at Broglie, I walked to the vet’s to make an appointment for tomorrow, as we’ll be going back to England on Saturday morning and Broglie is the most convenient place to take Beano for his pet-passport check, they are very friendly and they know us now.

The water mill at Broglie, where time seems to have stopped

The water mill at Broglie, where time seems to have stopped

This short break is going all too fast from my liking. Sometimes I wish I could just stop time…

Motorhome aire at Broglie

Lovely soothing light Motorhome aire at Broglie

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