Tag Archives: Vallée du Loir

Camping Lac des Varennes, Vallée du Loir, Monday 15th April 2013


Lac des Varennes 13 002

We have found the sun again at the always reliable Lac des Varennes near Marçon, one of our favourite spots in France, and not just for carp fishing.  This is just a very relaxing and beautiful campsite, especially this time of year when not too many people come on holidays.  We are surrounded by the lake, the trees and the sound of cuckoos: what can be more soul-lifting than that?

crocheting in the sun

crocheting in the sun

We’ve been here for 4 days already and are sad to have to leave tomorrow to start our slow journey northwards to the Channel Tunnel.  It was a very hot day yesterday, which required a hat and sunblock, and I definitely made the best of it after having been deprived of proper sun for so long.  It was just a wonderful feeling being outdoors all day, fishing, crocheting and reading by the lake in the heat of the first proper summer day of this so cold a year.

Carp Fishing in the sun

Carp Fishing in the sun

Our journey here from Lac de Léon can be summarised in 3 words: Rain and Roadworks!  They’re turning the free N10 motorway south of Bordeaux into Spain into a toll road and, therefore, they’re improving its surface and placing toll booths, so I fear next time we come this way we’ll have to pay.  Because of the massive roadworks, the road was reduced to one lane only and there were loads of lorries from just about everywhere in Europe, so the journey was slow and wet.

The very congested N10 south of Bordeaux

The very congested N10 south of Bordeaux

A very flooded Vallee du Loir

A very flooded Vallee du Loir

Our first stop on Tuesday was Verteuil-sur-Charente again, but it was still raining heavily, so we didn’t go to visit the château gardens as I would have liked to do.  Maybe 3rd time lucky next time!

Our usual pitch was under water at Lac des Varennes

Our usual pitch was under water at Lac des Varennes

Unusually high water's edge at Lac des Varennes

Unusually high water’s edge at Lac des Varennes

The next day we stopped at Ste Maure de Touraine, just south of Tours, where we found a lovely private aire with room for 6 motorhomes which provided toilets, showers and electricity.  We paid just €2.50 for the night as we didn’t need electricity, but a fee of €4.50 would have covered the electric hook-up and water.  Unfortunately, it was a very very wet day and we didn’t venture out of the motorhome, but there was a wood nearby for walks, handy for people with dogs.  When we left in the morning, the manager gave us a free baguette!  How nice is that?

We finally arrived here on Thursday morning, but the campsite itself didn’t open till Friday, so we spent the day and night at the Espace de Loisirs (Leisure outdoor centre), on the opposite side of the lake, where at least Adonis could do his fishing and, of course, we had a wonderful room with a view!

The beach at Lac des Varennes

The beach at Lac des Varennes

So, we’d been enjoying the relaxing atmosphere of this superb spot until Saturday afternoon, when Adonis woke me from my short siesta to tell me he’d shot himself in the eye with one of his fishing pellets as he was using his sling to propel the bait in the lake.  Somehow, very mysteriously, this boilie ‘turned back’ and landed on Adonis’s right eye and, as a consequence it was all blood-shot and he couldn’t see through it at all.  Without any delay, we marched into Reception and they very kindly called a taxi for us, who arrived very promptly.

The taxi driver himself went out of his way to help us and came into the hospital at Château-du-Loir with us and waited until we registered.  After a short ½ hour wait, Adonis was seen by one of the doctors on duty, who decided it was an urgent case and referred him immediately to the Ophthalmology department at Le Mans hospital, as he was worried that if Adonis didn’t get immediate treatment he might lose the sight in his eye.  They called another taxi for us and, amazingly, the same taxi driver appeared and so set off very downcast to Le Mans hospital,

45 km north.

Once again, we were seen straight away and the very kind taxi driver, David, waited through the whole examination to take us back to the campsite.  Unfortunately, there was too much blood at the back of the eye for the ophthalmologist to see properly or to even do a scan, so she gave us 3 different kinds of drops to use to help the eye settle and told us to go back on Monday.

By the time we got back to the campsite, it was already 8.15 pm, so we went to bed feeling exhausted and with just a banana for tea, as neither of us felt very hungry after all that trauma.

So we tried to enjoy the beautiful hot and sunny Sunday as much as we could, fishing included, as first thing on Monday morning we had to make an appointment to go back to Le Mans.  And so it was that this morning, at 8.30 am prompt, I started my first attempt to make an appointment with the eye department for later on in the day as I was told to do, but a whole hour passed before I got through to talk to someone, who told me an appointment wasn’t necessary and that we should just turn up.  So we called the taxi again and the same David came back, this time with his son in the back!

After dropping David’s son to his mother’s he kindly took us back to Le Mans hospital and directed us to the Ophthalmology department.  There, he spoke to the same eye specialist who’d examined Adonis on Saturday and she took us straight away for the scan.

I am very happy to report that Adonis passed his eye test with flying colours, being able to read even the smallest writing on the projection.  The specialist was very happy with the results too and said Adonis had an inflammation of the retina, but that it would go down with the medication and time, but she still wanted to see him again the following Monday.  We said we were due back in England at the weekend and she said to visit an optician there next week, for which she gave us a letter explaining all about the examination, etc.

So here we are again, €300 lighter on taxi fares, but we’re hopeful to get a refund from the travel insurance, and very relieved knowing that Adonis won’t lose his sight on his right eye.  David brought us back after waiting with us at the hospital and suggested we should meet up for a drink next time we are down here, which might be in August or October.  So we have made a new friend!  Funny how these things happen.

Now Adonis is back fishing and I’m continuing with my crocheting and reading.  We might stay here tomorrow night as well if Adonis is not feeling up to driving as, much as I love travelling in a motorhome, I don’t enjoy driving it!  Qué será, será?

Another stunning sunset at Lac des Varennes

Another stunning sunset at Lac des Varennes

Lac des Varennes, Thursday 12th April 2012


Lac des Varennes

Here we are again at one of our favourite spots to relax and fish in the Vallée du Loir near Château-du-Loir.  It’s warm and sunny and we have booked for four days in what is now going to be our first proper rest on this holiday, as so far we haven’t stopped anywhere else for more than two days.






It poured down with rain in Cransac, accompanied by thunder and lightning, so I never had a chance to go and explore what looked like a very pretty thermal town and the woods surrounding it.  On the plus side, nobody came to collect the €5.30 fee for the facilities at this lovely and secluded aire.


So yesterday morning, we followed the D840 from Viviez northwest past Figeac, Thémines and Gramat and stopped at Rocamadour for mid-morning coffee to make the most of the fact that being mid-week, there wasn’t a problem with parking and it wasn’t packed with visitors, as it tends to happen in the high season.  It certainly is a very impressive little town, perched high up on a cliff and pretty as a picture, of which I took a few.  It’s all very dramatic and wonderful and I’m glad we’ve seen it, but not being the religious type, we didn’t bother to visit the inside of the shrine where the miracle performing black Madonna is held, for we are not after miracles or healing of any sort.



From Rocamadour we went on to join the A20 motorway just south of Brive-La-Gaillarde at J54, past Limoges and La Souterraine to J20 to Cuzion, where we had enjoyed it so much last July.  I went for a long walk with Bramble along the river Creuse, downstream from the water dam, and really loved the tranquillity and beauty of the place.  I took some photos of wild orchids and other flowers before the skies opened again and had to make a run for the van, where Adon very thoughtfully had the heating on.

The River Creuse at Cuzion


I baked two fresh salmon fillets covered in chopped garlic and herbs de Provence and served it with new potatoes: a luxury meal in a place of outstanding natural beauty: life just can’t get any better sometimes.

Rain again first thing this morning, so we continued north on the A20 to Châteauroux at J13, to go northwest on D943, past Loches to Tours, the A28 to J27 and D938 to Château-du-Loir and D305 to Marҫon.

I love this place: the sun is really hot now and there’s no wind.  I can’t remember it ever being windy here.

Adonis is already fishing 10 metres away from me and he’s used our new inflatable boat to cast some bait into the middle of the lake. I hope he catches something this time.  I’ve got the password for wifi, so I hope to check on my messages later on.


Well, it’s Monday  16th April today, our last day here, and Adonis’s caught 3 carp, a 19lb, a 39.1 lb and 34 lb, so it

Adonis and his 39 lb carp

has been a very successful fishing break.

Adonis and his 39 lb carp











The weather has been changeable and we’ved had a mix-bag of everything, but that doesn’t detract from the charm and calm of this wonderful campsite.

Lac des Varennes campsite

Lac des Varennes, Tuesday, 26th October 2010


relaxing fishing

We spent a very lazy day yesterday, just lounging around in campsite, Adonis fishing, me crochetting and reading Florence Nightingale book in French and Bramble chasing his ball and getting tangled up with fishing rods and line.

We were very pleased to discover that, despite campsite being nearly empty, the showers are very hot and clean and the bread from Reception is delicious and cheap.

Eating in the sunshine

We both had a siesta yesterday and today, which I hadn’t done in months!  It’s just so tranquil here and idyllic.  I’ve taken lots of pictures of site, especially the trees in their stunning autumn colours: I don’t tire of looking at them.

It was a beautiful sunny and warm day yesterday, but today started really frosty and had to put heating on for a little while, although I thought van was rather warm inside, considering the frost outside.

We had breakfast and drove to Le-Clerc for diesel, but were only allowed 28E worth due to the fuel blockade.  Still, we have 3/4 of a tank full and 10 more litres in canisters for emergencies.

After that we cycled into Marçon (only about 5 minutes) and had coffee in what appeared to be the only bar in town.  I took picture of typical church and war memorial monument and cycled back for more fishing and reading.  Adonis bought yesterday’s Telegraph and it was nice to catch up with the news.

I’ve spoken to Pepo twice so far: he seems well and happy in Robert’s company and appear to be coping well with cooking fresh pasta with pesto and putting pizza in oven.

We left travelling documents behind, so it was handy that he was at home to give us details of train back from Calais.

We may stay 2 more days here and then head back north to visit D Day Landinig Beaches, but I really want to visit one of the many chateaus in the area and buy some more of that lovely wine!

I’m cooking Milanesas tonight, which is Adonis’s territory normally: I hope not to disappoint.

A happy husband with carp!

Adonis’s just caught a 16-pound 3 oz carp!  At least he’ll be happy while he has his dinner!


Ball chasing time!

Lac des Varennes, Tuesday 25th October 2011


Lac des Varennes in the sun

It’s raining!  It started yesterday evening, stopped after a couple of hours and it started again this morning at abut 11 until abut 15 minutes ago.

It’s 11.40 am and I’ve had a busy morning.  I cleaned the van after breakfast and hoovered dog’s hair, as Bramble is still moulting.  I put the hoover to charge while I walked into Marςon to buy some food for tonight.  I was going to cycle there, but I had a flat tyre, which turned out to be a tear by valve, which cannot be fixed, so I need new tyre.  

The walk to Marςon only takes about 10 minutes and it’s fairly pleasant along the canal.  I bought a fruit tartelette at the Boulangerie and then walked to the other side of the village for the boucherie.  I only wanted a couple of chicken breasts, but lady told me it was only a small chicken and it’d be better to take it whole, so I agreed and she cleaned if for me.  I also decided to buy 1/2 dozen eggs and, everything being free range, cost me a whooping 16.95 euros!!!  I would have never paid that in England, but was too embarrassed to say it was far too expensive, so I paid for this daylight robbery and promised myself not to buy anything else in there again.  I hate being ripped off.

I walked back to campsite looking forward to coffee and cake only to find out that hoover charging has tripped a fuse and now we have no electricity, so we’re running the fridge on gas for  now while Adonis is trying his best to fix it.  This has happened before in Germany and it eventually fixed itself, but it’s annoying and a worry.

I’ll be making a chicken casserole tonight, chicken curry tomorrow and bacon and eggs the next day to make the most of my expensive purchase.

It’s still raining at 11.55 am! NOT A GOOD DAY!!!