3. May, 2017

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TUESDAY 2-5-17

It rained and it rained during the night, and that wasn't even forecast. What was forecast for today was a wet afternoon and evening. It made no difference we had decided to waste no more time here near 'sunny' Bordeaux. We were making for home. Never before on our trips has the advantage of having a car and caravan over a motorhome been so glaring as on this campsite. With a car we could have taken ourselves off to Bordeaux, or a railway station near it, as well as touring the area, including St Emilion and the surrounding vineyards. 

I had planned to take a look at St Emilion, Cognac and La Rochelle on the way past, but after the couple at the bus stop yesterday told us that St Emilion was full of shops selling expensive local wine, I decided not to bother with any of it. Maybe another time, but who knows.

I was a bit concerned about getting off the very wet grass pitch and decided to put the wooden boards under the two front wheels. It's just as well I did because all four wheels had sunk in to the grass, and it would have been difficult to have got us out of that. So we left them four nice dents in their grass and two small skid marks.

We used toll roads for much of the today. Yes they're more expensive but they are safer and quicker, and I was in a bit of a hurry. The Chef had said at the beginning of the trip that she wanted to look at 'Fontevraud L'Abbaye Royal' - the Abbey at Fontevraud, which is close to the Loire river, an area we know fairly well.

I had covered about 250 miles today, sometimes in quite wet weather, and was very pleased to discover a free Aire in the village when we arrived here at about 16:00. This is the advantage we motorhomers have over caravanners when touring in France. The French really do embrace the motorhome lifestyle and provide Aires all over the place exclusively for us. Most of the time they are free, provided by welcoming local councils to encourage tourism in to their communities. Whenever we stop at one we try and spend  money before leaving. The Aire here is pretty typical. It is an allocated tarmac parking area close to the centre of the village. It provides a dump station for grey waste water and the loo, and fresh drinking water, all for nothing.

At first we had the Aire all to ourselves, allowing us to bag the parking space with a gap in the hedge so that we could put our back end through it. We were joined later by two other motorhomes.

Fontevrault is a small peaceful village typical of what we tourists would expect to find.

It was too late to visit the Abbey today and so we plan to get up in reasonable time in the morning and do it then.