Week 3 Monday 7 August – Sunday 13 August
Monday – Vineyard – Le Maine Giraud – Champagne Vigny 16250 (GPS : N45.49654 E0.02905)
After leaving the campsite at Confolens we had to drive around the town as the main road through it had just closed due to the music festival taking place.
Just had to include these before moving on today. On the left are some mushroomy things that popped up overnight. On the right is a couple that arrived and over two hours managed to erect this, was very entertaining.
It was a lovely drive south on the D16 through rolling countryside strangely similar to home. Montemboeuf – Montibron – Marthon – Villebois-Lavalette *(worth revisiting) – Blanzac Porcheresse to Champagne Vigny.
Immediately after we arrived I went off to walk The Boys as they had not had much of a break during the day. Both of them enjoyed chasing the rabbits around the vineyard but the ground was rather clayey and we returned with our boots and paws clinging with the white stuff. Leaving them and Kaz behind I went off to check out the wine at the shop which was in the corner of the courtyard. A free wine tasting is always to be appreciated. Wine chosen, which was to picked up before we left the next day, it was a meal outside whilst enjoying the view. That night we had some French neighbours who had a black dog which did not like being left alone when the owners went off to taste the wine! That night there was really bad storm. We had seen the lightning for some time which did not seem to bother The Boys much but then the thunder arrived! The ‘coup de tournierre’ that hit us between 12.30 and 1.30 were overhead for most of the time and frightened The Boys a lot with Brandy shaking and barking the most. There was nothing we could do but keep them company as best we could. Before we left the next we picked our wine and visited the museum in the tower.
Tuesday – Vinyard – Segonzac – Cognac Michel Forgeron 16130 (GPS : N45.62484 W0.17454)
A sunny day and a lovely drive south. On the approach to Angouleme we thought we would drive through it instead of going on the ring road. What we did not know was the older part of the town had vehicle height restrictions. So after three attempts to find our way into the centre we had to give up!
Wednesday – Vinyard – Cherac – Vignoble Grateaud 17610 (GPS : N45.71536 W0.43950 )
This morning before leaving Segonzac we all walked up the hill that we could see from Zygie. On our return we had a lovely breakfast of fruit, yogurt, honey and coffee to keep us going.
Had a few attempts this morning to get going in the right direction as our co-ords seemed to disagree with Tom Tom – most unusual for him! Anyway we went through Segonzac again and used the aire in a parking area. Zygie was filled up with water and emptied of the other stuff. The local men happily playing boule in the showery rain while the women watched sheltering under the trees.
We travelled along the D24 up to and around Cognac, across lovely bridges with river views of distilleries. We drove passed a large expansive airforce base at Chateaubernard, which apparently is the pilot training school for the French Air Force. It did look rather sinister.
Eventually we arrived at our evening stopover having driven down some narrow roads and through some farm yards! However we did have a lovely wine tasting with the owner and her grand children in a little room next to the big house.
Thursday – Farm – Gemozac – Le Clos de Pied Sec – 17260 (GPS : N45.57812 W0.67784 )
Easy sunny drive west towards the coast. Through Pons , which had very narrow streets and then we got stuck behind a white lining truck for ages! We parked up in front of the farm buildings but could not anyone about. Off we went to walk the Boys and our return were met by Madame who said it was fine where we were and what time would we like the wine tasting. There was also a French van parked up behind us, a family from Saumur. The Pineau tasting was brilliant and we bought several bottles plus some jelly which Madame was well-known for making. Their card machine proved difficult to work a their internet connection was so poor. Although parked opposite Super U and a main road we hardly heard a thing.
Friday – Vinyard Carpark – Isle D’Oleron link: La Bree les Bains
We called into the Super U garage this morning but strangely could not get the gas fitting to work, strange but as there was a big queue (cheap) I did not want to hang around to see what the problem was.
We wanted to visit the island basically because it was there! Actually I had holidayed once at Royan with best friends Bobby and Sue and their son Andy. We had had a day visit to the island so really I wanted to see what it was like now, some 40 years later. Honestly it seemed a mess and was very very busy. We could not get into the aires because they were full and we were worried about how the dogs would handle it all too. The whole place seemed very very touristy with french holiday makers. We drove around a strange one-way system in Royan, then past the Zoo and onto the roads through the pine trees. We stopped to have a snack in a little lay by and found some large pine cones which we have brought back with us. There were lot of low barriers stopping motorhome gaining access onto the beach car parks so we had to keep moving. We eventually found a car park next to a wine shop which was pretty empty and thought this would be the spot. During the early evening and well into the night it filled up with all types of vans and all parked up close to each other and us with just a door opening between us. This was a time when we were grateful to have the door opening on the UK offside so we could park in the same direction and doors opening not onto each other.
Actually we were pleased to leave the island especially as it took us over 2 1/2 hours to do so due to the amount of the holiday traffic.
Saturday and Sunday – Free River Park – Le Mung 45°52’38.9″N 0°41’09.3″W
We found tonight’s stop over by accident. We knew we had been following the River Charente to our right but did not have the TomTom on. Just after crossing over the river I pulled in to set it and right in front of us there were loads of vans parked up along side the river. I got out and walked down the road which was a dead end. All the owners seemed to be fishing in the river. It was a perfect stop over for the weekend.
We spent the whole w/e chilling in the sun watching the boats go by. It was a lovely experience just lying in bed on a morning watching the river. We walked the Boys along both river banks and had a bite to eat in the little cafe at the entrance. We would have stayed longer but we needed to empty our tanks. We must find and use this spot again in the future.