It is raining when we get up on Saturday, the forecast did not look good for the weekend over much of France, so we decided to move on even though we would have loved one more day at La Romieu. By the time we were ready to leave the rain had almost stopped and before we had driven very far the sun started to show itself again.
With a quick pitstop for supplies and fuel we had a pleasant drive north, through the Lot and Dordogne valleys, and on to our planned overnight stop at the village of Nieul, just to the north west of Limoges. The free aire (GPS 45°55’33.10″N 1°10’19.45″E) is opposite a chateau and public park, complete with lake and resident ducks. We took a pleasant pre supper stroll around the grounds where a new bride and groom had just finished having their wedding photos taken.
Supper was eaten to the background of a spectacular thunder storm while we watched a DVD of our Vulcan, appropriately the God of fire and thunder.
After a quiet and comfortable night we hit the road once more and after going a few km south towards Limoges we turned onto the A20 motorway heading north, almost three weeks since we had come in the opposite direction. We retraced our previous route back through Salbris but this time turned west to meet the River Loire at the town of Beaugency. The last few miles had been in pouring rain, much as the forecast had predicted, which kept up until the end of the afternoon.
Another free aire (GPS 47°46’46.63″N 1°38’10.95″N) but this time right on the bank of the river with views of a fine and ancient stone bridge. There was space right at the front of the aire so we had an uninterrupted view of river and bridge.
The aire is located under huge plane trees and after all the rain, followed by a misty night in the river valley, we were subjected to constant drips onto the roof all night and into the following morning. Steady rain on the roof can have a relaxing, even soporific effect but constant and erratic dripping becomes wearing after a few hours.
After breakfast on Monday, with the mist rapidly clearing, we went for a walk around the old town. Narrow, winding streets, a huge Norman keep, fortified gateways to a chateau and ancient church towers made this a most interesting and pleasant place to wander around.
Although it was pleasantly warm there was still dampness in the air and another night under the drippy trees did not excite us so the decision was made to move on.
An easy drive north and one step closer to the channel was Le Mailleraye. Yet again we found ourselves heading there and our favourite aire on the banks of the Seine. We arrived late in the afternoon to find eight or ten other motorhomes there which left plenty of choice for us. Once again we had fine river views but this time no dripping trees. We sat outside in the last of the sun and once again the BBQ was pressed into service to cook steak and salmon for supper.
We will stay by the Seine on Tuesday and then on Wednesday head for a small campsite overlooking the channel before our crossing on Thursday afternoon and back to the world of reality once again.