2015-09-11 – 2015-09-26: Provence, France 3309 Km

A trip to Provence in France, hopefully to see some nice weather (prospects not great) but also some great sights.

 Triplog

2015-09-11: Home to Blegny Mine, Belgium – 212 Km

First day, got Ruby ready to go, watered, stocked, provisioned, and left around lunch time thinking to stop, after a relatively short trip, at Blegny Mines in Belgium. Yes, we camped in Belgium again.

Blegny MinesBlegny Mines

One part of Mines car park was blocked off for a Dethleffs Club France gathering but the normal camper places were not used by them and we chose a spot. Soon a gang of large campers turned up, possibly for an event at the mines the following day.
Timber had a walk round the slag heap, including up to the top and a late evening stroll around after dinner of pork chops and vegetables. Not Cobbed as it was a bit chilly.

Timber had another slag heap trip at 05:30 and yet another after we got up (Barbara's treat this time) and we were ready to go quite early (for us) after breakfast.

Belegny Mine StatueBelegny Mine Statue

Without internet available, we had chosen a campsite in Charmes as the next target for the route to Provence.

2015-09-12: Blegny Mine, Belgium to Charmes, France – 343 Km

En route to Charmes, we stopped for our coffee break in a parking place next to the memorial for the Ardenne Hunters (Chasseurs Ardennais) who provided strong resistance during the German invasion in 1940. Their badge incorporates a boar, hence the statue at the memorial not far from Martelange on the Belgian-Luxembourg border.

Ardenne HuntersArdenne Hunters Memorial


The campsite at Charmes advertises that it has everything for a guide price of about EUR10. In fact Electricity is extra at EUR4.5, and it was EUR12, so the total was EUR16.50. One male and one female WC at our end of the field so when it’s busy it must be humming. Literally. Showers are in a different block a long way away. Internet is a paid service. The site wasn't busy and had a mixture of tents, stay and travelling caravans and a few campers. Took Timber along the river to explore and found a way out of the fenced field to a decent walking area, a path along the canals. This was OK, and I saw the Camper park, next to the canal. Very busy, but there were spots still available.

It started raining more or less as we pulled up and continued most of the evening so dinner was cooked inside again, with sausages and various delicious bits and pieces.
It stopped raining at about 10:00 and so Timber got a decent walk. Went across a field round a football field and under the bridge across the valley and found a set of steps that led to a path by the canal. This was an interesting walk; the side of the path is planted with all sorts of interesting trees with notice boards to tell you what the tree is. Timber inspected them all. Since it was dark, I decided to investigate further in the morning.
Spent the  evening using the Ruby Access Point (recycled Wifi Extender used in Network Bridge mode together with my Raspberry Pi acting as a local Access Point) to provide internet for all the devices. Worked well. Stronger signal from the site through the Range Extender/Network Bridge and of course a very strong signal for all the devices from the RPi.

Range Extender (Bridge) and Raspberry PiRange Extender (Device Bridge) and Raspberry Pi providing wifi access

The RPi is also set up so that it can take and store regular pictures so that it can be used as a security device or as a dashcam. Maybe we'll try that too during the trip.

Timber had a quick field trip at 06:00 and then insisted on more attention at about 8:00, when I took him for a walk along the canal, as far as a lock, then crossed the canal and back on the camper park side until the bridge over the valley and as I didn't know if I'd be able to cross again, I managed to get Timber to climb the spiral staircase leading to the bridge and crossed that way. It was easier to get him to go down the equivalent spiral staircase on the other side of the canal.

Trees in CharmesTrees in Charmes

It turned out I needn't have struggled as there was another lock by the camping entrance. Bread collected and a nice breakfast before dumping everything and filling up with water and off in the rain towards a few chosen campsites somewhere south of Besancon.

2015-09-13: Charmes, France to Champagnole,France – 230 Km

The sun came out after a while and we had really nice weather for the trip down to Besancon. Stopped for lunch at an aire along the N57 near Vellefaux. At first it didn't seem so big, but having taken Timber for a look round, it had a big, flat area above the parking area where you could park and use there picnic tables. We moved up there and enjoyed a nice lunch in the warm sunshine and made a note of the place for the way back.

Lunch near VellefauxLunch near Vellefaux

We were looking for a camping place in Nozeroy but couldn't find it. (We looked on Google Earth later and it still wasn’t obvious) After driving round the village a couple of times we gave up and headed off to Champagnole were we had seen a camping site. Big camping (Camping de Boyse), but not very full; nice big pitch for us. One sanitary block was closed, presumably because the site will close soon for the winter.

Champagnole CampsiteChampagnole Campsite

Set up Ruby with awning chairs, etc, in the warm sun, but we saw rain clouds coming so I took Timber for an explore to find the nearby river, The Ain. It turns out to be quite a walk away, and meanwhile the rain clouds had arrived so both of us were wet by the time we got back. It was sunny again for a while, and then just as dinner, of salmon with rice and vegetables, was ready, the thunder storms arrived and it rained solidly, and heavily, for the rest of the evening.

Weather coming in!Weather coming in!

Not only for the rest of the evening!. Timber was inside with us because it was raining so hard, but it was not sensible to take him out for his usual last thing at night wander. He had a wander round the outside of the camper instead and It continued to rain until we were woken up by silence at 04:00 in the morning. I took Timber out but we hadn't gone 200 metres before it started again. At 07:30 it was quiet again and I took him out for a walk to the river. I wish I'd taken a picture of the river the previous evening because it was a wide but quiet stream with a pebble beach and pebble shoals in the river that I could easily have walked to.

The Ain at full floodThe Ain at full flood

In the morning the river was a heaving mass of water; full, fast and muddy brown. We walked along the bank for a while and then returned, picked up the morning bread and enjoyed breakfast.

2015-09-14: Champagnole,France to Roybon, France – 282 Km

The rain continued for a while but we set off with the intention of stopping at Roybon, if it was any good, and had a few alternatives in case it wasn't.

Really nice scenery all the way down, with mostly clear weather. We made a small diversion to see some cascades at Les Cascades du Hérisson but it was busy, and not clear if there was paid parking. In fact, after checking later, there is a camper place there so we will note it down as a place for future investigation.

Lac du ValLac du Val

The Lac du Val, close to the cascades is a deep shade of green.

Lots of nice villages along the way. We stopped by a lake for lunch over the water from an ancient monastery (Château de Conflans).

Chateau de ConflansChateau de Conflans

Found Roybon easily enough, and saw a copy of the Statue of Liberty in the town centre. Found the campsite (Camping de Roybon) and the really friendly owner, who also speaks excellent English, said that if we went to the baker for bread to take a camera as there's a surprise outside the baker. It was the Statue of Liberty. It turns out the mayor of the town in the 19th century was a friend of Bartholdi, the maker of the New York statue, and he got a copy. We had a spot overlooking the lake, no rain, clean and complete showers, so all in all an excellent campsite for EUR12.80.

Campsite at RoybonCampsite at Roybon The view from the camperThe view from the camper

We went for a walk into the town and back, along the lake, which appeared to be full of fly-catching fish, which were successfully avoiding the fishermen trying to catch them.

Fisherman at RoybonFisherman at Roybon

Whilst in town, we saw the campsite owner who directed us to the statue. We went by the church, which is magnificent in brick and local stone. There are lots of interesting buildings to see in Roybon.

Building in RoybonBuilding in Roybon The church at RoybonThe church at Roybon A street in RoybonA street in Roybon Part of the church in RoybonPart of the church in Roybon

Timber was well satisfied with his walk to the town, especially after his dinner.

Timber, a satisfied dogTimber, a satisfied dog

Made pizzas on the Cobb, for the first time, and turned out really well. Definitely to be repeated. Good internet available but only close to the reception, and could not be picked up by Ruby RPi, so I had to go and sit with the local cats while I collected my mail and checked other communications, and they busied themselves with catching mice.

Timber woke at about 07:30 and we went for a walk to check out the route to town on the bike to get the bread. We met a friendly Samoyed and its owner. It was 12 years old, same as Timber so they had an interesting conversation between them as I was talking to the owner in strangled French. We also met a strange looking person sitting on a bench at the entrance to the campsite.

One of the localsOne of the locals

2015-09-15: Roybon, France to Cavaillon, France – 225 Km

Having returned, I then set off to put my new knowledge to the test and cycled the hilly route to town for the bread. I photographed the statue, as instructed, and checked out the dates and names.

The Statue of Liberty, RoybonThe Statue of Liberty, Roybon

Coming back I missed my turning and climbed far too high up the mountain before I realised and turned round again. It was all good exercise.

Having showered (excellent facilities) and consumed breakfast, we dumped everything, collected water and used the internet to update the mail and then set off for Avignon.

We passed some magnificent scenery across the valley as we travelled, so we stopped to look at it.

Scenery clost to RoybonScenery close to Roybon

The cows see it every day so they were much more interested in us than watching what we were looking at.

More localsMore locals

Avignon was very busy, and the campsite by the Pont d'Avignon was packed, and had a queue of campers waiting to go in.

AvignonAvignon Tower in AvignonTower in Avignon

The city looked impressive, but was so busy that we chose another campsite in Cavaillon (Camping la Durance), south east of Avignon.

Very friendly reception and a good pitch. Windy and warm, but not sunny. Took a walk around the extensive sports facilities with Timber and had a dinner of lamb chops and took another walk around the site, which was pretty empty but there were a few touring caravans and tents and campers.

It rained in the night, and Barbara took Timber for a 6:00 stroll round the site. I took him for another walk at 8:00 including along the Durance River where they are building a new bridge.

The target for the day was Arles and possibly further in the direction of the Camargue.

2015-09-16: Cavaillon, France to Aigues Mortes, France – 111 Km

We aimed for Arles, first stopping at a Lidl to stock up a bit. We planned breakfast for on the road so we came across a castle built onto the rock (Les Baux-de-Provence), which was impressive, and busy when we got close, and the stopped for breakfast a little later in sight of Arles.

We drove through the town centre, and found nowhere reasonable to park. Moving on to Aigues Mortes, where we had chosen a couple of possible sites, we went to Campsite Fleury, and passed a tower on a causeway which we decided we'd like to visit again. The campsite reception was shut for lunch but notices said it would be about EUR20. While we waited we went back to the tower and found a wooden walkway leading to it from a convenient carpark.

The Carbonniere TowerThe Carbonniere Tower The Carbonniere TowerThe Carbonniere Tower The Carbonniere TowerThe Carbonniere Tower

The walk way crossed a marshy wetland full of all sorts of beasts, including egrets, swans, lizards, white horses; everything Carmargue. The climb up the tower (The Carbonniere Tower) and the view from the top was fantastic and on the way back we saw lizards, various coloured dragonfly types and a kingfisher. Great introduction to the area.

A DragonflyA Dragonfly A Dragonfly - a Scarlet Darter maleA Dragonfly - a Scarlet Darter male

We then went into Aigues Mortes and saw signs to a Camping a la Ferme (Camping on a farm) which sounded more like our sort of camping so we followed the signs all the way out of town and eventually came to a farm, with just a few inhabitants, and found an excellent spot, with a view of horses, a nice sunset after delicious chicken on the Cobb. Very quiet, apart from the wind, and good facilities available.

Camping a la FermeCamping a la Ferme

Timber's walks have been restricted to the campsite which is reasonably large, and empty, so not a problem. Maybe I can find a longer walk in the morning.

Camargue HorsesCamargue Horses

Tomorrow more of the Camargue, with an intention to revisit the boardwalk to the tower.

We tried an experiment with Timber by leaving him outside Ruby for the night as it as very hot inside the camper after the warm winds. This didn't work out well. After a while I was worried he'd bite through his lead and then run free. So I got up and put him on the steel lead to give me some peace of mind. At about 5:00 it started to rain so I tried to bring him in but he was very unhappy. I took him for a small walk round and he remained unhappy and as the rain stopped we put him out again. Barbara took him again at about 7:30 and it turned out he had the runs and after that it started to rain hard, and stayed that way for an hour or so. He was in during this time and seemed to have settled down. He had his breakfast normally so we hoped he'd be alright for the day.

SunsetSunset More Camargue HorsesMore Camargue Horses And anotherAnd another

2015-09-17: Aigues Mortes, France to Beaurecueil, France– 238 Km

We were running late so we had an uitsmijter for breakfast and then set off for more Camargue. We went towards St Maries stopping frequently to photograph birds (flamingos and egrets), fish and lizards and scenery. St Marie was busy.

A FlamingoA Flamingo A CarpA Carp A LizardA Lizard Another DragonflyAnother Dragonfly An AvocetAn Avocet MosquitoesA few of the more destructive specimens of wildlife

We went along the coast and saw more flamingos and avocets and swans and the end of the road packed with campers.

This was not attractive so we headed off for the chosen campsite, crossing the Rhone by ferry and passing through Marseilles. The campsite was full. We then looked for another campsite in the direction of Aix and arrived at Camping Saint Victoire about 17:30, found a good pitch, ordered pizza, arranged to stay for two nights, with a cone to keep the pitch for us if we left it, and settled down with a beer in the warm sunshine and under nice blue skies. Pizza was good, and the site has an internet point so we managed to catch up on mail and news. A walk along the road revealed a park with lots of walking in the hills, so the prospects for a good walk are promising.

Provence RocksProvence Rocks Happy TeapotEven the teapot is happy to see some warm weather

Timber will be in with us tonight, although because of the clear skies it is colder so he should be OK inside. Let's see.

2015-09-18:Beaurecueil, France – 10 Km

Well, he wanted out at about 6:00 for a quickie along the road in the dark. He was ready again at about 8:00 when Barbara took him again along the road. Since we are staying at the same campsite for today, we had a relaxed schedule so we had breakfast then unhitched everything and went to a local village to get money and then came back and emptied everything and filled with water and then enjoyed a relaxed afternoon until walk time when Timber and I went to the local park and climbed hills and wandered paths.

Timber in the parkTimber in the park More Provence RockMore Provence Rock

On the way back, we came across a large group of school kids walking back from a visit to the park. Teenage girls and Timber are like magnets and they engulfed him, despite the advice of their teachers, but he didn't mind. Too much of the “magnificent” and it all goes to his head. Chilli for supper with baguette and beer and wine and we were all set. Ruby had a really good clean out during the walk, and the clothes and bedding had been cleaned and aired, so we are all set for the next phase.

Sunset on the rocksSunset on the rocks Sunset on the rocksHole in the rocks

The sun cast some nice rays on the mountain above is, but the evening is still chilly after the sun is removed.

2015-09-19:Beaurecueil, France to Annot, France – 208 Km

We wanted to see the Gorges de Verdon, and had a number of potential endpoints. We visited the supermarket and we were set. The Gorge de Verdon is spectacular and we stopped regularly to look and photograph. The drive through the pass, with lots of traffic, was tricky but not really a problem.

Gorges de VerdonGorges de Verdon Into the Gorge de VerdonInto the Gorge de Verdon

We were really pleased to see the vultures out in force above the gorge.

Vulture over the GorgesVulture over the Gorges Another VultureAnother Vulture

After the pass we headed towards the chosen destination of Annot. The first camping was closed and the second was very nicely laid out, but probably not suitable for Timber, so we went to another site on the other side of Annot which was very friendly and had a nice spot by the River Vaire (Camping La Ribiere). It was not easy to walk along the river with Timber as it was all stones, which had clearly been part of a flood recently (probably the night we had continuous rain) and there was not too much river frontage available to walk along. Parts of the river bank were filled in a rather dubious manner (see below)

Camping La RibiereCamping La Ribiere FaceStrange face in the rocks River bankThis riverbank has a tale to tell

As usual in Provence, there as no barbecue allowed so we had to cook inside. Internet was available at the reception in a nice communal area, but it was the usual French type where you have to sign away your life in order to get the connection. I use a dead email as I know I get nothing but French language spam as a result of visits to France.

We had a quiet night despite the river and Timber had a 6:45 wander and then we all got up again at 8:30 or so. I had collected some bread from the local supermarket on the bike so we had a breakfast and then set off for the target for the day, which was the Mercatour Park followed by the Lac de Serre-Poncon, and in particular Saint-Vincent-les-Forts.

2015-09-20: Annot, France to San Vincent les Forts – 190 Km

We passed through Annot and, being Sunday there was a large market for antiques. Very busy with many stalls, and many visitors.

Some interesting villages with medieval sections separate from the main village, and built into the hills. Also Entrevaux, another busy town with a steam railway running.

We passed down the Var valley and then the Tinee valley through Isola and eventually over the highest road in Europe (It’s actually the highest through road in Europe) over the Col de Bonette. We parked and I climbed to the lookout post at the top, which is 2862 Metres above sea level. Stunning views of France and Italy, with Mont Viso plainly visible in the clear air.

Mont VisoMont Viso View from Col de BonetteView from Col de Bonette View from Col de BonetteView from Col de Bonette

Motorcyclists made up most of the fellow travellers, many on a day trip from Italy. Most of them are mad, but some are suicidal.

TrafficTraffic

We found the campsite we'd chosen, Camping Campéole du Lac in St Vincent-les-Forts but they said they closed today; but if we were leaving in the morning we could stay for the night.

A couple of other campers were also staying for a night but otherwise the campsite was empty, although there are enough facilities still working. We are right next to the lake and walked Timber a few times along it. It was very hot in the sun so we settled down with tea, and eventually a beer to watch the para-gliders circling the mountain over the lake, and landing on the lake shore, eventually.

Dancing ParaglidersDancing Para-gliders
ParagliderDropping in

One para-glider even managed the classic ET shot!

ETET! Come Home!

Needless to say, with so few campers it is very quiet. Plans have been made to travel to another lake tomorrow, Lac du Bourget, and to try to stay around Aix-les-Bains. Meanwhile, there was a lovely sunset to see.

SunsetSunset SunsetSunset on the rocks, again

Timber stayed asleep until about 7:30 so we celebrated by going for a good walk into the hills above the lake, following tiny paths that snaked upwards, sometimes with wooden steps built in. After all the climbing he was happy to descend again, but his enthusiasm nearly pulled me over a couple of times and we were teetering on the edge of some big drops. We made it though. The light of the sun rising on the hillsides was nice to see, with mist on the lake and belts of cloud in front of the hills.

Panorama of LakePanorama of Lake SunriseAnd, Sunrise

Showered, in the hottest water we've found for some while, and breakfasted, we packed up, dumped everything but didn't take on water, and we set off for Aix-les-Bains.

2015-09-21: San Vincent les Forts to Aix-les-Bains, France – 238 Km

We stopped for cakes from a boulangerie along the way since we hadn't stocked up in the pain chocolat as usual.

More spectacular scenery through the Plateau du Vercors.

Plateau de VercorsPlateau de Vercors

Through Grenoble, where the air was noticeably smoggier than further south, and shopped at Chambery, and found the campsite at Aix-Les-Bains (Camping Sierroz).

It's a big site and we have reasonable pitch in a secluded bay. We are close to the entrance and across the road is a big grassy area and a walk along the lakeside.

Camping Aix les BainsCamping Aix les Bains Aix les BainsAix les Bains

When we went to have a look, the town seemed to be out promenading along by the lake, many with yappy little dogs which were either curious about Timber or extremely aggressive, as only little dogs can be. The crowds thinned out after a while and it was very nice to sit by the lake in the warm sun.

Aix les BainsAix les Bains

Timber enjoyed a bit of fuss from a few people and generally ignored the yappers. Every now and again a military plane flew very low over the lake, but didn't come back when I was ready to photograph it. Later on there was a demonstration of model radio control aircraft, including a number of jets. Very impressive, and loud.

The site had good wifi, and the Ruby Access Point worked well to give access to all devices from a single login. I'll probably pay for it in increased spam but, for future use, I've set up gmail address that only receives French spam.

2015-09-22: Aix-les-Bains, France to Louhans, France – 180 Km

Timber was licking my toes at 07:15 so it was time to be out in the morning air. Actually, he had been licking my toes earlier but then it wasn't time so he had to go back to sleep, or quietly grunting to himself.

We walked along the promenade next to the lake, and back again. Nice sunrise light above the hills, but the weather had turned colder and cloudier.

SunriseAix les Bains Sunrise

We were ready reasonably early and collected water and hit the road to find dog food and petrol. That done, we started off for our destination of Louhans and arrived, after some pleasant but not spectacular scenery, at about 14:00. The campsite reception was shut so we went into town and walked round the town centre.

LouhansLouhans Theatre LouhansLouhans College

The arcades are varied and very interesting with all sorts of shops set under ancient arcades.

LouhansLouhans Church LouhansLouhans Butchers LouhansLouhans Arcades

After the walk we went to the campsite and booked, with a pitch right next to the river.

Camping LouhansCamping Louhans

I took Timber for a walk along the street, over the bridge and through a park on the other side of the river to the campsite (Camping Municipal Les Trois Rivières). Along the way we found a Beagle that attached itself to Timber, at first as a challenge and then as a friend, and then the person who seemed to be the owner of the Beagle and was walking in the same direction asked if he was mine. It turns out that it wasn't his and we had a spare dog. He wouldn't come to us so we could read the tag, so I set off back with Timber and beagle in tow but eventually the beagle stayed by some fishermen along the river so I hope he belonged to one of them.

After I got back, it started to rain, so we packed up the chairs and moved inside. It stayed raining all evening, on and off, sometimes very heavily. Luckily we had good internet so we could catch up on events.

Timber was very thirsty before bedtime, probably caused by his new food (having run out yesterday we had to buy fresh, and it's unfamiliar to him. Also to us, as the quantity he needs is always a guess). I expected that he'd be up in the night but he went through to 7:30, so we went for a trip round the local area. I forgot to pick up bread so I went back on the bike to the boulangerie for the necessities.

2015-09-23: Louhans, France to Andelot, France – 209 Km

Passed around Dijon and through Langres to get to Andelot. Langres is an impressive looking place and is on the list to spend some time there. Huge ramparts and towers dominate the place.

Barbara had wanted photograph some of the sunflowers we saw along the way. Not in the same state as the sunflowers grown by grandsons Merlijn and Casper, but also not with the same purpose.

SunflowerSunflower - France Sunflower FieldSunflower Field SunflowerSunflower - Holland

The Campsite in Andelot (Camping le Moulin) is a friendly, Dutch-run place. Found a good pitch next to the river and took Timber for a walk to see what there was. Didn't find any footpaths so it was all along the roads, and seemed to upset much of the local dog and cat population. Weather a bit nippy, with occasional sun. Should be better tomorrow everybody says.

We decided for pizzas at the restaurant on site for the evening so that'll make a change. The pizza was good, and Barbara had duck instead, which was also good.

Andelot CampsiteAndelot Campsite

From leaflets at the campsite, we've made plans to visit Grand tomorrow. It's a Roman town with archaeological finds including an amphitheatre and a huge hall with mosaic flooring.

2015-09-24: Andelot, France to Villey-Le-Sec, France – 89 K

A relatively short day, but an interesting one. We first went to Grand, a village which has a fantastic Roman mosaic floor and a somewhat mysterious system of Roman underground water pipes which are centred around the current church. They could have been centred around a Roman religious edifice at some time earlier.

GrandGrand Floor GrandGrand Floor - detail GrandGrand Roman God's Head GrandGrand Roman God GrandGrand Floor Detail

And a special Roman dog for Timber.

GrandGrand Roman Dog

There is also a really impressive Roman amphitheatre, half improved to show how it would have looked, and half left as found.

GrandGrand Amphitheatre GrandGrand Amphitheatre GrandGrand Arena GrandReady to go and entertain GrandGrand - What was I thinking?

Very well presented and offered, for EUR10 for two people together with entry to see the nearby Jeanne d'Arc birthplace at Domremy-en-Pucelle. This latter has the house where she was born and a museum which shows that the French royal family in the medieval times were not a good looking bunch, but also showed her life history from Domremy to Rouen.

DomremyDomremy Jeanne d'Arc's house DomremyDomremy Jeanne d'Arc DomremyDomremy - Jeanne d'Arc Family Tree

We were very close to the lunchtime shut down and so we left with more questions than answers, but it left an impression that needed to be uplifted by a visit to wikipedia. The cities she visited in her travels seem to match cities we've visited, without knowingly following her life, although, so far as we know, we haven't visited Gien, were she had many tribulations.

We arrived at the campsite at Villey-le-Sec early, and found a suitable pitch, which will be a problem if it rains as it's not got much grass. The campsite filled up during the rest of the afternoon with Dutch campers using it as a last stopping off point for the journey home. Some are regular visitors here. Took Timber for a walk round the site, in particular the riverbank of the Moselle, which he recognised instantly. The camping guide mentions occasional fighter jet flights overhead, and this was one of those occasions. They went past regularly, and noisily, all afternoon and evening.

SwansCamping Villey le Sec Camping Villey le SecCamping Villey le Sec

We ate at the site restaurant, which provided excellent steak and salmon. Timber had another wander along the Moselle.

Tomorrow we head for Belgium with a couple of options for stops from which we can get home in time on Saturday to attend Merlijn's birthday celebration (Merlijn = oldest grandson; 9 years old). We could also, as a last resort just drive all the way home. It will be interesting to see whether the Holland bound travellers leave early, so making the showers available for the more reasonable travellers, or whether they are the more reasonable travellers and it would have been better to leave early instead. Sanitation Poker is the name of the game.

2015-09-25: Villey-Le-Sec, France to Soumagne, Belgium – 305 Km

Timber needed a walk at 7:00 and at that time a few people were preparing to get away, and a bit later the showers were in full use. We waited, collected the bread, had breakfast and watch the general scramble to depart, and by then the showers were empty, hot and delightful. We then packed up and set for the drive to Soumagne in Belgium, where we had chosen a site. We arrived in mid afternoon and were a bit put off by the stately house appearance of the place but it was indeed the campsite. EUR12, reasonable pitch, needing levelling correction, with hard standing for the wheels and grass otherwise, very good facilities, quiet and great walks through the grounds of the ex-stately home which had been endowed to the community for social use.

Chateau WegimontChateau Wegimont Lake Chateau WegimontChateau Wegimont Chateau WegimontChateau Wegimont Chateau WegimontChateau Wegimont Chateau WegimontChateau Wegimont Chateau WegimontChateau Wegimont Grounds Chateau WegimontChateau Wegimont Trees Chateau WegimontChateau Wegimont Detail Chateau WegimontChateau Wegimont Detail

Timber actually got two walks in the afternoon on the basis of the interesting scenery.

Chateau Wegimont CampingChateau Wegimont Camping

Curry for dinner, and then we prepared to travel home on the Saturday.

2015-09-26: Soumagne, Belgium to Home – 239 Km

Another stroll round the grounds with Timber, who was keen to chase rabbits as they were everywhere, including taunting him in the nearby pitches, just out of his cable range. These rabbits have seen this before.

We dumped the clean water into the foul water so we could empty the clean water tank for cleaning at home. We dumped the foul water at the Roevenpeel motorway services near Nederweert at the dump provided by NKC. It’s a pity there isn’t one in the more logical spot on the way north, in the motorway services across the road.

Arrived home in time to get to the birthday party of Merlijn, our oldest Grandson, who was 9 years old.

Conclusions

Another trip during which we learned a lot and had a relaxed and enjoyable time. We were hoping to find better weather which, in the end, we did.

The next trip is not yet planned but we expect to be going to Friesland at some stage for a couple of days. In any case we've seen and noted some places which we'd like to revisit and spend more time exploring.