Although we didn’t plan it this way, this has turned out to be the Holiday of the ‘Wine Routes’.
After enjoying an afternoon walk around the vineyards at Merceuil and our Frankfurters with a cool Bourgogne Rouge in the evening, we carried on south the following morning on the D19 to Calon-sur-Saône, the N6 past Tournus and the D56 slightly south west to the motorhome aire at Lugny, travelling through beautiful Chardonnay country and the Chardonnay village itself, where the wine gets its name from.
It was an easy drive and we were there before 11am, which is a good thing, as travelling in the middle of the day in this heat is very unwise. The motorhome aire at Lugny is just outside a very simple and cheap campsite, with loads of shade, so we opted for the latter, as the former was in full-on sun and not really very sensible this time of year, and for the sake of €10 for the campsite it really was a non-brainer decisions.
After lunch, we walked down the hill to explore Lugny itself and ended up at the local Chardonnay Visitors’ Centre and wine tasting shop, totally unplanned, of course! Being unable to decide which variety we enjoyed the most, we settled on a selection of 6 different bottles, which we intend to take back home to England if we don’t succumb to temptation in the next 5 weeks.
We really enjoyed the extremely quiet and cool campsite at Lugny and the fact that there was nobody at the Reception hut to book customers in, relying on people’s honesty once again to put their money for their stay in the envelopes provided, to be inserted in the postbox by hut, just like with the wine the night before at the France Passion site in Merceuil. I just love this laid-back and trusting attitude of the local folk in this part of eastern France.
There was a storm in the night which seemed quite strong and intense for a few minutes, but which I believe sadly heavily damaged some of the vineyards around Beaune, where we’d been the night before, and I understand that the damage could run into thousands of euros in this area that produces some of the finest wines in the world! What a shame! I do hope they’ll be able to make up for it somehow.
On Wednesday morning, 24th July and Adonis’s birthday, we paid a visit to the historic town of Cluny, following the D82/D15 slightly south west, where we visited the famous Benedictine Abbey and walked around the old streets. Amazing to think that the monks here had so much power they practically ruled Europe for centuries in the Middle Ages.
We left Cluny late in the morning for our short drive to Cormoranche-sur-Saône in the Ain Department, about 4 miles south of Macon, as we had been quite impressed with the campsite/base de loisirs here last year. Once again, we really enjoyed the cooling lake for swimming, fishing and rowing our boat and there are, of course, lots of entertainment for young families, including the huge inflatable castles of various shapes and descriptions.
We had intended to stay 5 nights, but unfortunately, this time round it turned out to be quite noisy in the evening, first with our ‘neighbours’ talking and laughing until the wee hours in the morning, then a duo playing and singing on the beach until 11.30pm and last night a disco that went on till midnight. Although we appreciate that some people enjoy this type of entertainment in a campsite, it is not what we really look for whilst camping, so being Saturday today, we thought they might have another noisy ‘soirée’ and we voted on making a move. The 3 nights here cost us €62: not bad for high season.
After doing a quick shop at Super U in Pont-de-Veyle, we headed for the lakes a bit further south east on D2. We first tried Parc des Oiseaux by Villars-les-Dombes, but couldn’t wild camp there and we didn’t fancy another campsite, so we tried other lakes around the area with no success, as parking wasn’t available. As it was almost lunchtime, we decided to head north again on D1083 to this aire just south of Bourg-en-Bresse, which has proved to be just right for us, with shade under the trees and a water supply with a hose, which I’ve just used to have a cold shower to cool off a bit. It’s still 34 °C inside the motorhome in the shade.
This aire is free with free water and emptying facilities, but no electricity; the bays are clearly separated by grassy patches and bushes and have gravel pitches: not bad at all!
We’re going to try another France Passion site tomorrow at Hauteville-Lompness before heading for the lake at Aix-les-Bains in the Savoie Department.