I had sort of planned our the next bit of our route south by using our aires book and looking for attractive or interesting places to stop for a day or two. The temperatures were just too high though and walking around towns and parking on tarmac with the heat reflecting off the surface was not appealing. What we needed was a nice grassy bank by a river, lake or canal with some cool water to look at and perhaps a bit of shade.
Once again we were driving south west across France to a well used old favourite aire of ours at Sancoins (GPS 46.83402° 2.91576°). Lots of spacious parking places alongside the Canal du Berry, room to put out the awning, table and chairs, peaceful and quiet with the town a couple of minutes walk away. What’s not to like? Oh, an added bonus……… it’s free.
We stayed for three nights before moving the vast distance of 37km to our next stop.
A proper campsite, now that is an event!
I subscribe to a couple of motorhome forums and on one of them, Motorhome Facts, a chap with the user name of CampsiteWriter has been telling the amusing tales of buying a campsite in France.
As his site was close to where we were, we thought the very least we could do is go and take a look and perhaps stay for a night or two.
Camping Champ de La Chapelle (GPS 46.64265º 2.65566º) is tucked away in the Forêt de Troncais, apparently the largest oak forest in Western Europe and is close to the small village of Braize. It is some distance from main roads, down narrow lanes through the forest but is well signed from the D2
Simon Swinn, the English owner, is as amusing as his writing and a good story teller. The site has been run down over the years under the previous Dutch owners but Simon has made many improvements and has plans for many more. His anecdotes about his struggles to bring the site into the 21st century plus deal with French officialdom are many and very funny.
We don’t usually like wooded sites but this one has a very open and non regimented feel about it. Most of the formal pitches are among trees but there are none of the marker pegs, so beloved by the Caravan Club (other clubs are available but may be subject to the same strict rules).
There is a pool, bar and snack bar with tables under a large awning (Simon cooks a mean burger and frites) and in the chilly evenings a fire pit for toasting marshmallows over the embers.
On our first night we went to bed with the background sound of stags roaring somewhere in the woods, the rutting season must have started.
At night it is as black as pitch with no light pollution and, apart from stags, not a sound.
2017 and Camping de la Chapelle has a new website:- http://champdelachapelle.com