Sunday, 25 September 2016

La Clayette, contd.... then, eventually Gien

Saturday, 24th September 2016

Possibly the best weather we have had since arriving here (not that it has been bad up until now!), clear blue sky and 27C.

Much to my surprise, Kathleen suggests jaunt on the scooter, she really is getting into this!

We first ride along to Varenes-sous-Dun, and double check church times for this evening, since, we plan to leave tomorrow morning.

Next, we ride around to a few villages with "interesting" names (ie Saints you have never heard of), which Kathleen has picked out from the tourist map, given to us by the chap who runs the campsite. 

All of the places we go to are rather beautiful, very old, and quaint, every one of them has a functioning church, with doors open. 

But, they all have another thing in common, they do not even have a cafe or bar.

We end our scooter ride with a visit to Chateau de Dree, about 4 kilometers outside La Clayette.

The correct spelling has an accent over the first "e", but, my English keyboard does not do accents.

The Chateau and grounds are very impressive, apparently, bought by some
(very) rich person and restored to their former glory.  

It certainly is beautiful and magnificent, although, I am not sure it would have been worth a visit to Madame Guillotene in 1765 or when ever it was the French had a cull of their Aristocracy.

In the evening, Kathleen cycles to church, in Varennes-sous-Duns.

On our return, we chat to Rodger and Fiona for a short while. Today, they have cycled 40Km.

This, plus a few glasses of Rose, inspires Kathleen to begin talking positively about a cycling holiday, taking the Newcastle -> Amsterdam Ferry. 

I quickly check the distance, Amsterdam to Saverne, just over 400 miles, a trifle ambitious, I will have to think
of somewhere a little nearer. Arnhem, is dismissed, it is only about 80 miles, from Amsterdam.

Google tells me, there is a Canal, Amsterdam to the Rhine, passing through Utrecht, Kathleen is enthusiastic about this (after the second glass). 

I shall have to handle this carefully, it might actually be a "goer"!

Sunday, 25th September 2016

Final (?) farewells to Rodger and Fiona, it looks as if they are about to have another beautiful day, weatherwise, in La Clayette.

They plan to move on to La Charite-sur-Loire, shortly, we do not know it at this point, but, they are soon to be disappointed!

Today, is about to turn into one of our less successful days of this trip. Not a lot goes right, but, all ends well.

We first head to St Satur, Les Portes de Sancerre N47 20'32" E2 51'58", but, neither of us are entirely happy with this site.

First not so good thing to happen, Kathleen suggests a stop for "a sandwich", we find pleasant Aire de Repose (stopping place). There is a Kiosk selling "frites", Kathleen decides we will have some, and, she will pay, 4.50Euro EACH, for chips! A bit steep! 

When we arrive (about 12:30), reception is closed for lunch, until 15:00. There is a code controlled barrier, and no where adequate to park a Campervan (or car/caravan). We manage to squeeze into the "visitors" car park, and have a walk around the site. The facilties leave a lot to be desired. Then we encounter an English couple who arrived just as reception was closing for "lunch". They were admitted, but, not checked-in, now, they cannot get their Electricity to work.

They are thinking of leaving, and going instead to a site they have used before at Charite-sur-Loire. It is, they tell us, a beautiful site, with an interesting town.

This just happens to be the site which Rodger and Fiona are planning to go to next.

Although it means going back, approximately 10 miles, we decide to go there.

It begins to rain, this day is just getting better and better!

We have no co-ordinates or detailed address for the place, and naively assume it will be signposted. 

Big mistake. It is signposted, on very small signs, and, only if you are arriving from the South, we are arriving from the North.

Eventually, courtesy of Google maps, we arrive at Camping de La Saulaie, La Charite-sur-Loire, Quai de La Saulaie, 58400. It is CLOSED. I subsequently checked the website, which says it is open April to September, well, it is September, but, it is closed.

We have no contact details for Rodger and Fiona, so, no way to tell them that their next destination is closed.

So, what to do?

As we sit pondering, the English couple from St Satur arrive, they too are disappointed.

We decide to head for Gien, they are going south, Spain eventually, so, they head for Nevers.

We arrive at Gien, Camping Touristique de Gien N47 40'56" E2 37'23", the sun comes out, the site seems pleasant, things are looking up.

The trip so far.

This portion of the trip in video.


  1. We have used the bikes quite a bit for shortish trips into towns etc and they have been very useful. Today we rode to Trier for the Moselle cruise to Saarburg.
    I'm arguing for another day here after tomorrow (Monday) as we'll do the town then possibly have an extra day perhaps to explore the cycle tracks or not? We go to relatives in Frankfurt next and then the the school exchange girls in Remscheid (they are now in their 40's) before our ferry, in about a week.

    1. I am sure you will enjoy cycling along the Moselle, easy cycling. Enjoy the rest of your trip.