France 2013

Monday 9th September.

We have decided it is time to mooch further south but not too far. There is an aire at the small village of Brezolles that sounds appealing and it is only about 60 miles south east.
We awake to grey skies and just as I start walking to the boulangerie the rain starts. First a fine drizzle and just as I get back it pours down. No point in getting wet draining and refilling the tanks before we move on so we will just sit it out until the rain stops, if it continues all day we will just spend another day by the Seine. There are worse places to be and we have supplies for a few more days.
By midday the rain has reduced to a drizzle so we decide to move south. A quick stop for fuel and after a few miles the sky is looking brighter ahead and the drizzle has stopped. We arrive at our aire (GPS 48°41’27.41″N 1°04’08.83″E) at around 3:30 and decide it must be about time we had a late lunch.
The aire is quite pretty with apple trees and picnic benches but is a bit chaotic as there is some daft parking in evidence. However, more vans arrive after us and all seem to squeeze in. Not sure how some will get out in the morning though.
It was a very short drive, just 66 miles @ 24.2 mpg.

Tuesday 10th September.

Everybody seems to extricate their motorhomes from the tightly packed aire without trouble and we make an early..ish start. We are heading south again and are going to the small town of Salbris, south of Orleans on the D2020, where we have stopped before. The roads are excellent and very quiet and the sat-nav gets confused (not difficult) when we join a new stretch of dual carriageway which is superbly engineered. It is almost deserted and the surface is so quiet and smooth it is like driving on carpet. We rejoin the old road and at the next roundabout we get the ‘pay back’ for that nice stretch of road as we are sent on a long diversion, presumably the next section is being upgraded. The diversion goes round in a great loop for miles to rejoin the route a short distance further south. Still, we have all the time in the world so no need to get stressed.
In Orleans we divert to buy supplies at Carrefour but there are height barriers on all the entrances, it seems to be usual at all of their supermarkets now, so Plan B takes us to a E, Leclerc nearby. Suitably stocked up with a little food and copious quantities of wine and beer we continue south.
We arrive at Camping De Solonge ( GPS 47°25’49.o5″N 2°03’16.43″E) shortly after 2pm and get the usual friendly greeting from the lady behind the reception desk who speaks excellent English. The site has loads of space so we chose a pitch overlooking the lake with its ducks and geese. The site always seems to have a nice peaceful atmosphere and although the pitches are very narrow everyone has left an empty pitch between each other, leaving a good gap between the units. The site covers one side of the lake with open parkland the other and just beyond runs the River Sauldre. There are seats and a path to the village between the lake and the river and just opposite the spot where the path joins the road is a very smart boulangerie, just the job for breakfast croissants.
Our mileage for the day was 133 miles @ 27.4mpg. So far we have covered 500 miles.

The view over the lake

The view over the lake

Camping de Solonge

Camping de Solonge

The leader of the pack......vroom, vroom.

The leader of the pack……vroom, vroom.

After a peaceful night we spend Wednesday chilling beside the lake after a stroll over the bridge and into town. The antics of the local wildlife keep us amused, there is a solitary goose who seems to be the leader of the pack as a group of ducks follow it everywhere. There are swallows skimming the lake and grass and a heron fishing in the river.
The weather is a mixture of sunshine and cloud and had it been better we might have stayed for a day or two more. With luck we may have a BBQ supper this evening. In the morning we will continue south to the Dordogne in the search for warmer weather and more sun.

To be continued…………


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