What’s that noise? A 6.45 alarm! But there was no lounging and pressing the sleep button countless times this morning. We sprang out of bed, raring to go. Quick ablutions and then it was up with the steadies and we were off. The latest check-in for our crossing was 7.50 and we were there in plenty of time – despite missing the turning and having to do a quick three-pointer – no mean feat with a caravan behind! The morning was already heating up as we arrived and this was to set the tone for the weather for the whole holiday, although we did not know it then.
As it was term-time, there was the usual procession of excited school kids running up down the train but all of a sudden – there we were in France! We had a journey of around 320 miles (5-6 hours) ahead but very soon stopped for breakfast at the first Aire we could find. Coffee and pains au chocolate (or PACs as we came to know them). Delicious. It was hot!
Our route (see here – avoiding Paris at all costs!) took us through Abbeville, Rouen, Alencon, Le Mans, Saumur and finally to Camping de Chantepie, where we had 2 nights booked. We had made plenty of stops on the way and finally arrived at around 5.30. We were delighted with our pitch, which we felt was probably the most stunning ever, with an amazing view over the Loire.
We swung into our setting up routine and were soon sitting overlooking that view with a reviving cuppa. Lovely.
The fan which we had brought with us was very quickly plugged in and was to be our saviour over the ensuing days as it was so hot – particularly at night. We packed the duvet away and spent most nights to come under just a sheet and occasionally a throw on top in the chilly hours of the morning.
After a brief relax, it was time to go off on a victualling expedition. Luckily, there was a brand new E. Leclerc in Saumur and we not only shopped there but ate there – much better food than UK supermarkets in our opinion. We then had a quick flip round Saumur to get our bearings.
It was a beautiful evening and the crowning glory was watching a couple of air balloons drifting by. I was very envious. This is a common sight along the Loire and we have some pictures in a later post.
We got back to the ‘van and unpacked our purchases and then fell very happily into bed with the Cribathon standing at 2-0 to Mr S.