We headed from Somerset on Friday 6th July to catch a ferry to France. Slow trip on the motorway. Managed to purchase a ferry ticket with Norfolk Line leaving 16.00. The P&O ferries were delayed because of weather and berthing problems. Ate on the Ferry, and drove to Lyons where we slept in the car for four hours. We had an uncomfortable night. The Peugeot is small, and with the camping equipment and rear seats folded down, we slept upright.
Saturday 7th July
Headed off at 6.30 after coffee for Meyrueis in the Tarn gorge. We have stayed here before with Selina. We managed to book into the same site called Camping le Champ D’Ayres. Problem that night, no bung for the airbed. Oil of Olay top used to seal the bed.
Sunday 8th July.
Bread and croissants and coffee and then off to see an underground river, the Abîme de Bramabiau. Afterwards as we left, we saw the car sandwiched between two mobile homes. Our car looked like a toy.
Monday 9th July
Today we decided to visit Millau to see the new viaduct. Steve had seen it under construction a few years before when he had come here to paraglide. We drove up a road the other side of Millau where S used to throw himself to the winds. There was a good view of the viaduct. We also visited a tourist centre for the bridge and bought a T shirt. Still going strong 13 years later. Lunch in town, then a 7 Euro trip across the bridge and a stop at a third viewing spot. Definitly getting bridged out.
Tuesday 10th July
Off to Aven Armand to see a huge cave which is larger than the Notre Dame. It is a fabulous place with huge stalactites and stalagmites. Back at the campsite we had lunch, and read books in the pouring rain, sitting in the car in preference to the tent. Ate out at a restaurant, well it was are anniversary.
Wednesday 11th July
Today we left and headed back up North passing Clermont Ferrand, then turning West towards the Loire. We stopped at Chenonceaux, staying at the Camping Le Moulin Fort. We may have stayed here before with French Country Camping. Went shopping, first in Chenonceaux, decided it was rather pricy and headed for a Super Marché. BBQ items bought for the evening. We were camped on the river and had fabulous displays of bats. We walked up to the chateaux in the late evening, the still river showed some lovely reflections. Some lovely glow worms were living in the grass.
Thursday 12th July
Visited two chateaux today. Cheverny and Chambord. Cheverny had a Tintin exhibition with Red Rackhams treasure, and of course the chateaux is Marlinspike. Picnic lunch, and then to Chambord, where we payed to view the chateaux,
Friday 13th July
Today we went to a chateaux in Amboise to look at the Leonardo exhibits again. The exhibition had move to the Clos, where Leonardo lived. The house had been renovated to the period of when Leonardo was alive. The gardens had life sized models of his inventions.
Saturday 14th July
We head of early to go home. Had to wait for the office to open so we could pay. Should have done that the night before. Because we were late, we hurried along the roads. As luck was against us we hit a traffic jam (bouchon) and the motorway to Calais. All we could do was sit and wait, eating our picnic. The French even goy out tables, went for walks. After 90 minutes there were shouts of allez, allez and we were off. We just managed to catch the ferry from Dunkerque with 20 minutes to spare.