7th May 2010 Mortagne-sur-Gironde to La Suze-sur-Sarthe

7 05 2010

We didn’t leave Mortagne-sur-Gironde until around 11.30am local time but when we did we knew we had a long drive ahead of us to get to our next stop of La Fleche, somewhere we had been a few years ago and liked.

The route to La Fleche was one of D roads and no toll motorways as when we looked at the map and sat nav it seemed that that was the most straightforward route to get there. Many of the D roads are actually quite quick as they are normally dead straight so we thought that we should be able to maintain a reasonable pace as well as being able to see some of the towns we passed through on our journey, much better than being stuck on a motorway. En-route we stopped off at a massive Super U supermarket just outside of Parthenay to get some food for our dinner, before we carried on to La Fleche.

As we approached La Fleche we noticed that there were signs for McDonalds and another Super U, this confused us somewhat as we remembered the town being a small sleepy place with just a couple of bars and small shops. We arrived in the town and only recognised certain parts, the river, the campsite and the bridge, apart from that we were slightly stunned at how big and busy it was, nothing like we remembered it at all. The parking place for motorhomes was right on the banks of the river next to a busy main road, we parked up and decided to investigate a little further taking Jack for a walk at the same time. We finished the walk feeling bemused, we couldn’t quite work out where we camped all those years ago and certainly couldn’t fathom how the town was so different to how we remembered it, most strange.

I didn’t fancy stopping the night there as I really needed a good nights sleep without the disruption of a busy main road, plus the fact that we couldn’t get the motorhome very level and that turns out to be quite important with the way our pull down bed works. Lorna was way ahead of me and had already put in the co-ordinates for La Suze-sur-Sarthe which was an aire I had considered going to earlier in the day. It was only half an hour away so we left and headed to there hoping it would be quieter.

We arrived at La Suze-sur-Sarthe and pulled into the designated parking place (N47•53’22 E000•01’52), 314km covered since we left earlier that day. The aire is right on the river banks and really is a lovely spot. We soon got chatting to Dennis and Sylvia who were parked opposite us and in the conversation they mentioned that they had got internet access as they had some kind of wi-fi aerial that can pick up weaker unsecured signals that a normal PC wouldn’t see. I was straight in there asking if I could use it to book our ferry back, I had phoned the Caravan Club to book it but they took so long to answer the phone I gave up having spent a fortune on the international call, terrible service. We arranged to do it in the morning. Whilst chatting we also met John and Sharon who we had parked next to.

We had our dinner of pan fried duck breast with potato and tomato salad and were just clearing up when John and Sharon walked past our door. We had another chat and invited them in for drinks and then had a very pleasant night drinking and hearing tales of their travels and their old and highly unreliable Hymer.

We eventually got to bed at around midnight, totally shattered but very happy with life.

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