Myrtle The Motorhome

Copyright Myrtle The Motorhome 2013

Copyright Myrtle The Motorhome 2013

Our Nieghbours La Rochelle

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The Pitch La Rochelle

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The Pitch At Beauvoir

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Mont Saint Myrtle At Night

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How Very Dare They!

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Inside Mont Saint Myrtle

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Mont Saint Myrtle

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Mont Saint Myrtle

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Day 4:
Tuesday 2nd October
Beauvoir to Aytre, La Rochelle
Miles: 226
Site: Campsite Les Sables ****
Cost: €16.00/night plus tourism tax.

We’d only planned to stop the one night at Mont Saint Michel but I think the drive from home to Dover and then the drive from Dover to Beauvoir, a total of 558 miles in two days had eased the decision to stop an extra night and we’d fully enjoyed the full day and an evening in Mont Saint Michel.
 
The weather had been no different to that at home, wet and horrible, and we wanted to get south and warmer as quick as possible but we also had to remind ourselves that this was a holiday and not a driving endurance test.

We studied the map and the ACSI book and picked a site just south of La Rochelle and set off about mid morning.

We hadn’t got far though when we came across a shopping centre built around a large Carrefour Supermarket and we decided to stop and shop.

I’m a little ashamed to admit this but this wasn’t for essential shopping but more for the experience. Over 500 miles travelled and what do we choose to do, go around a supermarket, maybe we should have been searching more touristy things like Chateau’s and Castles but ay, we get a buzz from going around French Supermarkets.

While there I decide to purchase from a Mobile Phone shop a French Dongle and SIM card for internet access while away for the 3 weeks but at €60.00 it wasn’t possibly my wised purchase, more an expensive toy. I’ve got to say the French lady in the shop couldn’t have been more helpful though and made all the necessary phone calls for me to register the SIM and made sure the dongle was fully operational by the time we left the shop. I really was impressed.
After a re-fuel we continued onto La Rochelle.

We reached La Rochelle by late afternoon and after a bit of a Tom Tom trauma we eventually found the site. To be fair to Tom Tom however it wasn’t all his fault as the site was a bit off the beaten track and not just badly signposted but it simply wasn’t signposted.

At one point we’d been within a few hundred yards of the site but hadn’t realised and after driving down what we thought was a cycle path and arriving at a tee junction opposite the local tip we turned left back toward La Rochelle instead of right and ended up circling the area again before eventually finding the site.

And when we did find the site, underwhelmed doesn’t do it justice.

The two young ladies that worked on reception were, to be fair, very friendly and polite but the site was the pits.

We circled the site a few times trying to find a pitch large enough to accommodate Myrtle and eventually plumped for one that was adjacent to a main railway line. The railway line however wasn’t the worst of it as we were later to discover.

The site was barely occupied but once pitched we spotted some fellow Brits abroad emptying their waste. We got talking and they’d been there a couple of nights but were leaving later that evening or possibly in the morning as they were nearing the homeward leg of their holiday.

They added that the site was very quiet at night, apart from the trains that is, and that it was very dark. What did concern us a bit was when they then said that if they were going to stay until morning that they might come and park up nearer to us, safety in numbers and all that???? (followed by a nervous laugh).

They did tell us how to cycle into La Rochelle however which was about 8km so we decided to get Lizzie and Ada out and go straight away so we could be back before dark and once having seen La Rochelle, avoid having to stay a second night.

Well we didn’t quite reach La Rochelle but did get as far as the marina at Lazaret which is right on the edge of La Rochelle but once we got there the heavens opened so we sheltered until it stopped. By the time it had stopped raining we decided it was time to head back towards the campsite to make sure we got back before dark.

I imagine it could have been quite a pleasant bike ride on a hot sunny day, which this was not, for most of the ride back. I say most of the ride back because as we approached the site again we did so this time from a different angle having followed the coast for further before turning inland and what we saw was quite an eye opener.

Basically on the opposite side of the railway line to where Myrtle was pitched were several derelict campsites, Les Chalets De Plage, La Lizotiere and Camping De La Plage. However among the derelict chalets and static caravan carcases were make shift shelters made up of old transit type vans with tarpaulin strung between them, all of which appeared to be occupied by either travellers or illegal immigrants or both.

All of a sudden we were happy that the railway line separated the two camps but worryingly you could see where the fence had been bent down and climbed over at some point.

Not long after we’d got back to Myrtle and it had got dark we were pleased to see our fellow Brits, the ones we’d spoken to earlier, driving towards us and we were hopeful they were moving to pitch near to us as they’d said earlier, ‘safety in numbers and all that’. Unfortunately we soon realised that wasn’t the case though has they waved us a joyful goodbye obviously having decided to leave that evening instead of waiting until the morning. We were all alone, well not quite there were couple of other foreign touring caravans and about three tents, but we were all alone sounds a lot more dramatic.

As it happens we had an uneventful evening but I think we’d have slept a little easier if we’d had our neighbours for the night.

As well as feeling unsafe other criticisms of this site would be that it was badly located and wasn’t really in that much better condition than the derelict sites that surrounded it. The toilet blocks were disgusting as well with 50% sit down loos, but with no seats or toilet paper provided, and 50% the squat and drop variety. Unbelievably this site charged the highest tariff of €16.00 plus tourism tax to boot!

We’d originally thought we might have spent a couple of days at La Rochelle but as this was the only site close to it that was still open and as the weather forecast for the south of France was a lot better we were up and on our way the next morning.



Day 5:
Wednesday 3rd October
Aytre/La Rochelle to Beauville nr Agen in the Lot Region
Miles: 225
Site: Les 2 Lacs
Cost: €12.00 per night.

From La Rochelle we set the Tom Tom for Marseillan Plage but at 390 miles we didn’t plan on getting their in one giant leap. We thought we might get as far as Toulouse but after 200 miles we’d driven enough and pulled off the motorway at Agen and consulted the ACSI book. We picked a site call Les 2 Lacs which if you haven’t translated it yourself is The 2 Lakes. We rang the site on the telephone number provided in the ACSI book to advice we would be there at about 6pm and got through to a very friendly Dutch lady who along with her French husband owned and ran the site. We were given excellent directions and told to select a pitch and then to visit the Bistro by the lake to book in when we were ready.

The site was below Beauville itself down quite a steep road at the bottom of a valley and we picked a pitch adjacent to the first lake.

The first lake was the smaller of the two and was partially cordoned off for swimmers.
By now we were quite a fair way south and the difference in the weather was considerable, so much so that when we arrived someone was swimming in the lake.

Once pitched we took a stroll over to the Bistro and booked in and although food wasn’t available due to it being low season the bar was open and we decided to enjoy a couple of reasonably priced cold beers on the nice outdoor seating area in front of the Bistro over looking one of the lakes.

While enjoying our beer we met a very nice Dutch couple call Jacobien and Hugo who were on the home leg of their own 3 week break.
 
Because we were down in the bottom of a valley my €60 dongle couldn't get a signal but there was free Wi-Fi outside the Bistro but we hadn’t taken our laptop with us but could have gone and got it if we’d needed to get onto the web, but we didn’t.

This site was in total contrast to the one the evening before and as much as that one felt unsafe this one felt peaceful and tranquil.

Jacobien and Hugo were also using ACSI sites which wasn’t surprising given that ACSI is a Dutch company, and we told them about the Les Sables site at Aytre that we’d stopped at the evening before.

Now up and till this point we’d only used the ACSI book and CD to select sites and although it seems so obvious now we hadn’t used the ACSI website. Jacobien promptly searched the Les Sables site on her lap top and started to laugh as she read out the first review she came to which described it as ‘possibly the worst campsite in France’, you live and learn.

Jacobien and Hugo told us of a couple of French sites that they’d stayed on that were also below par but also strongly recommended a Spanish one near L’Escala which sounded excellent.
We left the bar at twilight at about 8.30pm just as a mist was forming on the surface of the lakes and the temperature started to drop a little and the air became damp. We’d had a good night and in good company.

The lady that owned the site had told us that there were wild Beavers in the area and they were frequently spotted on the island in the bigger of the two lakes and early morning was the best time to see them.

The next morning I was up at 6.30am just as it was getting light and armed with my camera I went Beaver hunting. Alas no Beavers where spotted but it was a beautiful morning and watching the large carp jumping in the fishing lake was amazing.

This really was a relaxing place with excellent facilities, a lovely bistro bar and friendly owners and we seriously considered whether or not to stay a second night but in the end the thought of reaching the Mediterranean coast was too great. After a bit of brekkie we said cheerio to Jacobien and Hugo and hit the road again.
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Days 4 to 5
Mont Saint Michele,
La Rochelle,
Beauville.

Click On Any Picture Below To View The Photo Gallery

The View From Myrtle, La Rochelle

The Pitch Beauville.

Copyright Myrtle The Motorhome 2012

Copyright Myrtle The Motorhome 2013

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