Thursday, 24 April 2014

Nefiach, La Garenne, La Couvetoirade, Faverolles, Dry, Camping St Claire

Sunday 20th April 2014 - Thursday 24th April 2014

It is Easter Sunday, the plan is, Kathleen will attend church at 10:30 in Nefiach, I will wait for her, and we will leave at about 12:00.

The Priest is late in arriving (an hour late!), slept in again?

So, the plan almost works, we just leave a bit late!

Sunday, La Couvertoirade, Mid-Pyrenees (N43 54.766 E3 18.970). 

The Aire is part of a Car park for a 12th Century Knights Templar Village. 

3Euro per each time you leave (there is a barrier on exit, which costs 3Euro to open it), no facilities except toilet. 

The village in an amazing state of preservation!, and is open to wander around freely. 

Rather high (approximately 800 metres), so rather chilly at only 12C. 

The aire is convenient as a stop over as it is only about 3 miles off the A75. 

Tip, if you use this Aire:

when you leave, if you are heading North, do not follow the signs to A75, for some reason known only to the French it takes you on a cross country route for about five or six miles, to rejoin A75 South of where you left it, with a massive hill to climb! Just go back the way you came, to the A75 services at the top of the hill!

Monday. Faverolles, Auvergne (N44 56.339’ E3 8.858’)

We first checked out Ruynes en Margeride (N45 0.075’ E3 13.437’), which was just fine, village perhaps had more going for it than Faverolles. 

Decided to check out Faverolles (which is less than 5 miles from Ruynes en Margeride, both of them are just a couple of miles off the A75), on the basis, it has a toilet. When we got there, toilet was locked. Not sure if that is because it is Easter Monday, and the person whose job it is to unlock it, is on holiday? Decided to stay at Faverolles anyway, perfectly pleasant, with stunning views. Nothing open, not even the bar, presumably because it is Easter Monday.

Tuesday Washing up disaster. 

As we are preparing to leave, and Kathleen is washing the breakfast dishes, suddenly, (hot) water starts gushing from under the sink unit. 

Quickly we turn off the water pump and water heater, to kill the water pressure, but, not before the contents of the food cupboard are soaked, and the kitchen floor is awash. It turns out, the “push fit” water hose for the taps hot water supply has come adrift. This gives us a problem, we cannot turn the water pump on, that means no water from any of the taps, no shower, no toilet flush.

An hour of mopping up and we are on our way at last.

Neris Les Bains, Auvergne (N46 17.207’ E2 39.137’)

An excellent aire. 

Located alongside a campsite, for 7Euro / night, you get toilet, shower, usual aire services included, 10amp electricity. Maximum stay is 3 nights. 

Neris Les Bains is a spa town, a sort of French version of Harrogate.

The Aire is located next to what used to be the Neris Les Bains, railway station. 
What a magnificent building it is. But sadly, it had a very short life as a railway station. It was build 1929-1931, then enjoyed a short period of use, before the outbreak of WW2. Services were suspended until the end of WW2, and, when they restarted in 1946, they never achieved profitabilty, with the result, the French version of Dr Beeching closed the line for passenger traffic in 1957. The station is now a exhibition centre etc (I suspect that means an under used liability for the local council).

Once we are “settled in”, I manage to fix the water leak, so we have a functioning water system again. Kathleen assures me, she had every faith in my ability to fix it, why do I not believe her?

Before leaving on Wednesday, we have a walk around the very pretty lake, just alongside the aire.

Wednesday. An Aire, just south west of Orleans, in a village called Dry (N47 47.896’ E1 42.857’). The aire has the usual services. 

The village is a sleepy little place, but, it is most certainly not “dry”. It has a single cafe (Cafe du la Paix), which doubles up as the bar, restaurant, newsagent, tobacconist.

Thursday. It is back to one of our old favourites, Camping St Claire, Neufchatel-en-Bray.

Every time we come here, I suspect, I say the same things!, but, this is an excellent First or last stop after / before Calais, the site is superbly well kept by the owner, it is only 120 miles south of Calais, so, an easy drive.

 There is good cycling and a town with plenty of shops to stock up on wine etc.

There is also a sort of French version of Quick-Fit, which is useful when I discover we have a puncture in a trailer tyre. Fortunately, I did buy the optional spare wheel!. The bad news is, tyre is not repairable, so, an unexpected 23 Euro to spend.

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