Monday, 17 October 2016

French Holiday 2016. Homeward Bound. Part 3.

Every holiday has a final phase. Time to wend our way homewards! A few days were still left to enjoy France on the back roads but we had to meander northwards. We had been looking for a site somewhere in the Poitiers region and thought we would try and find a new one. We had stayed at Montmorillon the previous year and we were tempted to return. However, with a renewed spirit of adventure we opted instead for a new place, Chauvigny   Camp Municipal La Fontaine.

We arrived in good time to set up on a large corner pitch. The campsite was in a valley below the medieval town of Chauvigny. A slightly tricky place to find but there were much larger campers than ours that had made the drive down the slightly narrow approach road. We were really lucky as we got to the site just as Monsieur Le Camping was closing up for lunch. He directed us to our pitch. The campsite is dated but well laid out with good facilities and big pitches.

 Beautifully placed for a trip into town either the modern town of Chauvigny with it's shops and restaurants or the medieval town at the top of the hill. There was a free bus service up to the town but we opted for the steps and set out to explore.

Climbing up the steep stairs to the medieval village made us glad we had a spent a few hours in the gym getting fitter. We made it!
The village was filled with tourists, there were loads of ruins and museums to explore. We felt slightly lazy so settled for a beer in the village square and a bit of people watching.

Some of the people were a little strange, others were American tourists, who were obviously a little confused and thought France was a desert destination.

 Of course they could have been in fancy dress! We pondered the world and drank our cold beer before strolling back down to the camp site. The views were fabulous.

Adjacent to the camp site was a lovely little park and a short walk to the main town. We had a great night in the local hotel with a posh meal for our 44th wedding anniversary. A trip through the park on the way home was interesting, especially after the wine, we had forgotten to bring a torch. Den used his second sight to guide us home and we managed to successfully negotiate the two little bridges, I followed blindly, the swans didn't eat or attack us.Strange really, my sense of direction is usually really good but I had no idea which direction to go. All in all a lovely few nights camping and a site we will return to.

Our penultimate destination was Argentan Campsite Municipal de La Noe about an hours drive from the ferry. A small site but perfectly formed and beautifully looked after. Next door was a community garden, lake and a lace museum. The gardens were beautifully kept. Surrounding the gardens was a large complex of apartments for over 60's and there were loads of families with elderly relatives relaxing in the sunshine. We managed a couple of walks around the area which had been set up to show off the aspects of the surrounding countryside.

Monsieur Le Camping was quite rightly very proud of his site and ran a tight ship. No arrivals before 11 am and departures strictly on time. Bread was available to order in the morning and on a Sunday morning was a small market in the town. The site was in a small orchard which was impeccably orderly. Even stray leaves from the trees and odd windfall apples were promptly removed and the gravel was watered and raked to within an inch of it's life.

There happened to be a meeting of the boat club going on so we spent a happy hour watching the model boats sailing around the lake. What a great community feel, from young kids with their homemade offerings to the "big boats" which hammered over the water at speed.
The town of Argentan was well worth a visit. We spent some time ambling around the back streets and looking at some of the tourist attraction. Note the clock!

We really enjoyed our stay here and as it's only an hour from Ouistreham and the ferry, we will certainly return.

Our final stop was at Pommiers now called Camping Normandie Riva Bella . At 26 Euros not cheap and the facilities are not fabulous. However, since being taken over the site is being revamped with a new toilet block and swimming pool. We parked up on the grass at the top of the site though there were hard standings available. We wandered into Ouistreham for a farewell meal which was lovely. That's it France, until next year then!