Every Twentyfour hours 8

Spent the morning getting in a run in the park and then having the brakes and tyres checked.

Bourges has a lovely avenue of trees close to the campsite which extend each side of a pedestrian bridge. Ideal for a run and there is a well equipped children’s playground for stretching and pushups when you can’t do them off the ground like me.

I love the French word for tyres – pneu. So unfrench really. The other word I love is Gratuit – free- which is what the mechanic charged for checking the tyres and brakes. They had to be pumped and new covers put on two of the valves. I figure it’s a good thing to do every couple of days.

The campsite Robinson would not tempt you to stay another night. The ground is gravel and I realise that I prefer grass pitches. It is extremely clean however but its not somewhere you would sit out of an afternoon.

I chose a place called San Galimer for my next stop. It is south west of Lyon as I did not want to stay in a city again.  I left at lunchtime and the autoroutes were extremely busy. Therefore Mrs Google maps took me to minor roads. I had quite a dialogue with her as I looked at the parallel A71 and A89 that would be so much faster. Lessons learned – do not leave at midday and tell Mrs Google maps that you are towing a caravan.

I did have two enjoyable Aire stops. The first one was in the geographical centre of France – Farge Allichamps. The view all round of the mountains from the upstairs terrace is worth the climb. The building is superbly designed with a living roof.IMG_5760


The second Aire I enjoyed was the Aire Verities. It is close to the aerodrome Chambeon off the A89. It was nothing less than luxurious, with an open air feel and a beautiful terrace at the back looking on to a pond. There are wild white rabbits hopping round – I kid you not.

I opted for the Charcuterie platter – ham, pate, salami, pickles and rolls for €6.

I had forgiven Mrs Google when I saw the incredible scenery along the roads. At one stage I found myself in between two fields of huge sunflowers, all turning their heads towards the sun. I had to stop to take photo. No cars for miles around, luckily enough.IMG_5762

On then to San Galimer. Mrs Google got well hot and bothered and led me down a cul de sac as the French would say. Now in the interests of full disclosure I will share with you what happened next. I managed to find a large farmyard to turn round in the first time. The next time however, I realised that the yard, next to a restaurant, got narrower towards the back. My room for manoeuvre was limited. I attempted the turn but soon realised I was in a spot of bother. I could not reverse the thing out and I decided to unhitch. I then pulled it forward a bit, having first checked that there was clearance behind in front of the fence. What I failed to do was to put chocks behind the wheels so the thing lurched back and came to rest against the fence.

Wearing a short denim skirt, I did not feel properly attired to go seek assistance. So I stayed calm, and delicately went into the caravan so as not to make it lurch further backwards, and pulled on a pair of jeans.

I expected to hear an irate French restauranteur yelling at me at any second. Instead – no one anywhere. I rang the number for the takeaway pizza – the wrong number. Some French man eating his dinner must have gone back to the table and said –you won’t believe the conversation I have just had. Some woman somewhere has crashed her caravan into a fence.

I missed a jogger who just went straight past the scene. Then I saw a young couple out for a romantic walk. I explained my predicament. Thankfully they were extremely helpful and the first thing the guy did was to put chocks behind the wheel. We eased it off the fence and reconnected it to the car. The fence was fine and they gave me proper directions to San Galimer.

What I hadn’t realised is that this town is the home of Badoit water. This comes from the source already sparkling. It has a casino and it is incredibly beautiful and wealthy. The campsite is along the edge of a river, has swimming pool and is shaded by trees – poplars, oaks, ash and pines to name a few. It is hotter here again and I am beginning to notice lizards.

It augurs well for a lovely couple of nights.

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