Tag Archives: The River Sarthe

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

Le Crotoy, Thursday 3rd January 2013

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Le Crotoy as seen from motorhome aire.

Le Crotoy as seen from motorhome aire.

 

My first entry of the year happens to be on the Bay of the Somme on a misty, but warmish afternoon.  The thermometer in the van reads 17 °C and, as we haven’t had the heating on since 1.30 pm and it’s 4.45 pm now, the temperature inside can’t be very different from the outside.

 

Motorhome aire as seen from the Bay of the Somme

Motorhome aire as seen from the Bay of the Somme

 

We’ve just come back from a long walk with Sasha around the bay and the marshes and Sasha had a whale of a time leaping about, chasing the seagulls and the ducks.  I took lots of pictures all the way as I never tire of the beautiful sight of the town of Le Crotoy from the motorhome aire and the marshes.

 

Sasha enjoying herself on the marshes of the Bay of the Somme

Sasha enjoying herself on the marshes of the Bay of the Somme

 

 

Enjoying a long walk around the Bay

Enjoying a long walk and a run around the Bay

 

The aire still costs €5, plus €2 for the water and electricity borne if needed.  There are 8 vans here at the moment and it’s hard to imagine now how busy it was in the summer, with hardly any spaces left, even though the parking area is quite big, with room for 200 vehicles!

 

The Bay of the Somme

The Bay of the Somme

 

The Bay of the Somme

The Bay of the Somme and Le Crotoy

 

We thoroughly enjoyed our break at Amboise, as always, and left on 1st January for Montbizot, north of Le Mans, following mainly the D938/338 from the north of Tours.  Montbizot has a little aire with enough room for 6 motorhomes, but the water and electricity supply borne was switched off for the winter, but as we had topped up in Amboise, it didn’t really matter.  Again, the river Sarthe was overflowing and the walking area and path were waterlogged and flooded in parts, so walking was difficult and Wellington boots were a must!

After Montbizot, we carried on north on the D338 past Alenҫon and D438 to Broglie, where once again we had made an appointment with the vet to have Sasha wormed and checked before returning to England.  The guard came early in the evening to collect the €5 fee and we also bought a jeton (token) for water for €2.50 to last us until the end of the journey.  We were glad to see that everything was in working order.

It felt very strange this time round not to have Bramble with us, as we’ve been here so many times with him, especially during the walk along the Charentonne river.  Even the vet asked about him.  Still, Sasha loved the walk too and I hope it will be the first of many happy walks in this lovely village.

The vet was booked for 8.30 am, so we made an early start this morning and got here for 12.30 pm, following the A28, joining it at junction 14 north of Bernay and on past Rouen, but we had to take the A150 for a little while as the bridge was still closed on the Eastern side of the city and the traffic was diverted westwards.  We joined the A28 again at J.11 and followed the usual route past Abbeville to J.1 and D40 to Le Crotoy without any further disturbances to the traffic.

 

Le Crotoy

Le Crotoy

 

Various aquatic birds at the Bay of the Somme

Various aquatic birds at the Bay of the Somme

 

We are off to Auchan at Boulogne-sur-Mer for our final big shop to stock up on wine and beer before our final overnight stop at Wissant and going home.

We’ll be back in February!

Our parking spot at the motorhome aire of Le Crotoy

Our parking spot at the motorhome aire of Le Crotoy

 

 

La Suthe-sur-Sarthe, Monday 17th December 2012

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This is going to be our first Christmas travelling in the motorhome and we hope to make it as far as Arles, Provence, as our final destination before turning back, but, as always, nothing is written in stone and we’re willing to change our plans on the go if necessary.

We left England last Saturday 15th on the Channel Tunnel as usual and were in Calais just before 3 pm.  We did our shopping at Cité Europe and were at Wissant aire for 4.30 pm with only one other motorhome to keep us company: a far cry from last August when we were lucky to get  a space.  It must have been raining quite heavily here too, as the field opposite the aire where we usually go for our dog walk was waterlogged and difficult to walk on.  Still, it was a dry and pleasant evening and the feeling of freedom at being away is always comforting, whatever the weather.

We had another downpour overnight, which kept me awake for a bit, but Adonis managed a long dry walk on the beach with Sasha, our new four-legged travelling companion, before the rains started again.

As usual, we followed the A16 and A28 south to Rouen and we were making good time until we came across the signs north of the city indicating that the bridge over the Seine was shut and we had to find an alternative route.  We followed some signs to Le Mans, which eventually disappeared in true French fashion and ended up on the A150 and A151 heading north again!!!  We got off at Tôtes and headed west towards Yvetot on D929 and then south on D131 to Pont de Brotonne and finally made the decision to stop at St Nicolas de Bliquetuit for the rest of the day, as it was already 2 pm.

 

Although our original intention was to stop at Broglie aire for the night, we quite welcomed the sudden change of plans, as the view from the free aire is just stunning, right on the river Seine, especially with all the Christmas lights and decorations.

 

View of St Nicolas de Bliquetuit from motorhome aire

View of St Nicolas de Bliquetuit from motorhome aire

 

 

Our Festive Motorhome

Our Festive Motorhome

 

Sasha and I enjoyed a long walk along the river bank and I never tire of admiring such beautiful view.  I took a lot of photos, of course, both of the town and our festive decorated motorhome, full of tinsel and baubles.

 

Lovely walk along the river Seine

Lovely walk along the river Seine

 

Motorhome aire at St Nicolas de Bliquetuie

Motorhome aire at St Nicolas de Bliquetuie

 

Gorgeous sunset

Gorgeous sunset

 

 

The view of St Nicolas de Bliquetuit at night.

The view of St Nicolas de Bliquetuit at night.

 

 

Our festive motorhome

Our festive motorhome

 

 

Relaxing before dinner

Relaxing before dinner

 

We were on our way by 9.30 this morning still headed south on D913/313 to junction 25 of A13 and south on A28, all the way to north of Le Mans, where we joined the A11 southwest to J9 for la Suthe-sur-Sarthe.

 

A very full river Sarthe by the motorhome aire at La Suthe-sur-Sarthe

A very full river Sarthe by the motorhome aire at La Suthe-sur-Sarthe

 

 

A very swollen river Sarthe

A very swollen river Sarthe

 

We were on our way by 9.30 this morning still headed south on D913/313 to junction 25 of A13 and south on A28, all the way to north of Le Mans, where we joined the A11 southwest to J9 for la Suthe-sur-Sarthe.

We love this wonderful aire and we’ve been here in all kinds of weather, but this is the first time that we have found it flooded in some parts, as the river is all the way up to the landing bays and the swim where Adonis was fishing last summer is completely under water, so no fishing today!

We have decided to move away from the river bank and we are actually parked in the ‘proper’ motorhome aire, right by the campsite, which is shut this time of year.  The fee is still €3 a day, which usually includes electricity and water, except that due to the ‘ freezing’ weather the water supply has been cut off even though it is not cold at all, just wet.  Still, we are not complaining as we have plenty of water and we can always fill up somewhere else when needed.

We’ve just been for a coffee and a beer in the village, followed by another dog walk along the river Sarthe and it feels just as charming and magical as the first time we came.

We are off to somewhere in the Loire tomorrow….

Beaumont-sur-Sarthe, Sunday 26th August 2012

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This charming little village is part of the Association des Petites Cités de Caractère de la Sarthe and we’ve been meaning to stop here ever since we’ve been driving up and down this road from Alanҫon to Le Mans.  We are glad we’ve finally made time for it on this long journey, which is slowly coming to an end, as we haven’t been disappointed.

 

Municipal campsite at Beaumont-sur-Sarthe

 

The campsite is immaculately kept, with generous size pitches, access for disabled people to the washing facilities and shower block.  It’s very quiet and peaceful, even though it has plenty of space and a large playground area for children.  The site is right on the river Sarthe, with easy access for fishing and just a few minutes’ walk from the shops and town centre.  The receptionist, Maria Dolores, is very friendly and chatty and speaks several languages, including Spanish, Italian and English, so we had a nice chat in Spanish for a change.  I later discovered she’s half Spanish, from Jaén, and half Italian, so I really enjoyed meeting someone from my own country and having a laugh together.

Our generous pitch at Beaumont-sur-Sarthe campsite

We arrived yesterday morning after a short drive on the A11 from La Suze-sur-Sarthe at junction 9 to J.7, which continued north on the A28, so we avoided the congested ring-road at Le Mans and came off at J.21 for Beaumont-sur-Sarthe.

 

Access for the disabled to shower and washing facilities block

 

We didn’t do much yesterday apart from walking around this lovely campsite and a gentle stroll into town to buy bread and cakes.  I think the thought of going back to work is weighing on us now and we’re trying to make the most of the good weather and tranquillity of this area.

 

Pont Roman at Beaumont-sur-Sarthe

 

This morning, while Adonis was fishing, I went on a tour of the village and followed the guide given to me by Maria Dolores.  I slowly made my way around La Motte and Rue des Promenades to La Place de la Liberation in order to complete the recommended route and not miss anything of importance.  I enjoyed La Porte Romane of L’Eglise Notre-Dame as well as the Pont Roman, of which I took photos.  The views from the Romanic Bridge are very pretty and I spent some time admiring them.  The town itself dates back to the 10th century and it was built within a vast elliptical wall, with some openings being made during the course of history.

 

Porte Romane of Eglise Notre-Dame

 

This is certainly a quaint little town to stop in your travels and it’s well worth a visit, just for its simplicity and tranquillity.

 

I love this house at Beaumont-sur-Sarthe

 

 

House decorated with broken pottery and china

 

Tomorrow  we’ll carry on north towards Alanҫon, where we are planning to do our big shop before we return home and thus stock up on beer, wine, cheeses, salamis and any other local speciality that takes our fancy.

 

Beaumont-sur-Sarthe

 

It’s Bank Holiday weekend in England and several British cars and caravans left the site today, but I’m glad we still have a few days left and don’t have to rush for the crossing.

The weather has mercifully cooled down and we’ve only reached 28°C, which is easier to sleep in.  This is just the ideal temperature for me: very pleasant on the skin without making me feel so lethargic.  I shall miss this in the dark and cold winter months.

 

Beaumont-sur-Sarthe campsite

 

 

Making the most of the sun before leaving Beaumont-sur-Sarthe

 

 

Motorhome facilities at Beaumont-sur-Sarthe campsite

 

Large children playing area at Beaumont-sur-Sarthe campsite

 

Beaumont-sur-Sarthe