Monday 18 July 2016
After the fireworks of last night we are parked in a carpark of a School and the Marie. As we don't want to take any chance of upsetting the locals today we are moving on to a place called Durtal.
The sat-nav seemed to get it wrong even before we actually got to Durtal as it wanted to take us to a very small village on the outskirts and when we did eventually arrive at Durtal itself the Aire was just a small section of the car-park along the side of a very busy road and not very picturesque at all. After checking the phone app that we often use called Park4night, we found another recommended parking place and although not a proper aire-de-campingcar, it was much better than the official one and we could drive back there for the water etc. any time that we need it.
So, here we are now beside the river
Loir, right on the banks, with a slipway for launching small boats and although
it is a little dusty as most of France is during the dry summer, the setting
is quite pretty.
We settled in here and as it was so very hot we just walked up over the bridge and back.
What a lovely place to wake up in.
Today we went over the bridge again.
This is the view from the bridge.
We turned the corner and called in to the tourist information office. The young lady there was very proficient in English and was very helpful in advising places to see and things to do. We would need to be here for several months to be able to do them all. There is stock car racing and a caravan destruction derby, castles, churches and many various festivals in the region.
Then we took a walk around the village
of Durtal, first taking the path up from the allotments near the old stream
and picking up a geocache on the way (of course!) then returning back down into the town.
On the way back we decided to walk up past the chateau and looked out over the town.
Today we awoke to the sounds of rain
and a thunderstorm! That doesn't bode well we thought. However, after breakfast
it turned into another lovely warm day and so we decided to do a Geocache walk
along the river.
This walk then took us over the river and back along the other side.
We located a special cache alongside the round tower across the Loir from the waterwheel. This cache needed some expertise and an empty container, just one of the many special places and puzzles that geocaching has lead us to.
Usually we leave a note on the Geocaching log "Thank you for leaving this here and leading us to this lovely location" However, typing that just now took longer than actually doing it on the phone as the phone has it kept in its memory.
We then followed the path back into
the town via some banana trees and a different view of the Chateau, ending up
in a pretty little square..
When we came across this little
stream that passes along beside some houses, Dorothy said that we should take
some pictures of it as some friends of ours back home are having trouble with
a stream that passes a house that they own and could cost them a lot of money
to correct. Here in France there are many houses like this one with a stream
undercutting the foundations and it doesn't seem to bother them at all. We are
also looking at the pointing on the wall as we have just spent a lot of money
on the pointing on our house in Newhaven. Many French buildings are just left
to crumble away. People are actually living in this building (Martin H!)
During the afternoon Allan had a walk up to the DIY store to purchase some longer screws and some wood glue to fix the cupboard door hinges that loosened when a motorhome at Lac Monnerie had a fire. Allan had ripped out the fire extinguisher too quickly and one of our cupboard doors nearly fell off in the rush.
There are many people that come here
during the day. Each group seem to come each day at about the same time. There
is the couple with the two young sons who go for a cooling dip in the river
and then there are many dog-walkers, canoeists and joggers. There is a father
and son who always came here for an hours fishing in the early evening and tonight
with a lot of excitement the dad caught quite a good sized fish. The son was
proudly holding it and we just had to have a photo of them.
Fils et le père, Bravo.
Today was our 26th Wedding Anniversary. Thank you to everyone who sent us their good wishes.
It was another very hot day and we
did not do a lot. Just busied ourselves with Dorothy's rug making, people watching,
reading and of course, the Blog and enjoying this lovely setting.
We took a look at the maps and decided it was time to move on........but where to????
We left Durtal and headed back to La Fleche to pick up water, visit the Noz store and then out to Lac Monnerie to visit the E Leclerc for some groceries. Then, we were on our way again.
Last year we visited Vouvray near to the city of Tours on the other Loire (the one with the 'e' on the end). There is a restaurant there called La Scala but last year we didn't have the time to go there and after visiting another La Scala restaurant in the same chain in Bourges last year, this one was on our list of things to do.
It was quite a distance to Vouvray but, as we have just celebrated our 26th Wedding Anniversary, well sometimes you need to do something special and push the boat out as they say. So we travelled to Vouvray and made our way to the little Aire. Luckily we were able to take one of the last places in the rear of the Aire.
After settling in and having some lunch we walked into the town and had a wander around. We made a booking at La Scala on the way back to the Aire.
Dinner at La Scala restaurant tonight
and what a superb meal it was. We were glad that we had booked and they had
reserved a nice table out in the garden for us. We chose some wine and our food
and they brought us breadsticks with a dipping cream whilst they prepared our
Dorothy had smoked trout on a pizza base with a lovely sauce and a salad garnish to start with. Allan had Crumble de Legumes,
Both were so delicious that we forgot to take a photo!
For our main course we both decided
to go for the duck lasagne. We were not disappointed as it was absolutely superb,
especially with another bottle of wine!
Dorothy could not attempt a dessert
so Allan made up for it by having the triple dessert!!!
Dorothy paid with her Halifax Clarity Card and Allan asked not to know how much it cost. But even after 2 carafes of wine, starters, mains and a triple dessert it wasn't too expensive.
La Scala is highly recommended for food and great service if you ever go there.
Today an English couple left the proper part of the Aire and they made sure that we could take their place. This is the spot that we had on our previous visit and we were happy just to sit and relax in the sunshine and sometimes shade as it was another really hot day.
There is another restaurant here that says that they do "slow cooked food" and that sounds quite interesting. As we have another celebration coming up, Allan thought that perhaps we could go there for something special but with the weather being so gorgeous, perhaps that will have to wait until next time we are in the area.
Happy Birthday Allan
Another glorious day and we just relaxed in the sunshine and enjoyed being very lazy. Reading, rug-making and chatting.
In the evening Dorothy cooked a steak dinner which was very nice. All our meals are had outside when the weather is good and most are prepared and cooked outside too.
Phone calls with James and Mum and Tony were also made today.
An eventful week. What will happen next?.......................