So, the holiday is over.
The tent has been got out, spread out and dried out. (Yes, it rained… and hailed, and thundered and lightning-ed – scarily! – but thankfully not until the final couple of days).
(Not the tent above, by the way – that’s my friend’s tent – it’s a bit more photogenic than our nylon nightmare).
The washing has been washed. (Several loads of it. What can I say? Even with the best hot showers of any campsite I’ve ever been on, camping makes you dirty).
We spent a lot of time at the campsite, messing about in the river with kids and friends. Often it was just too hot to do anything else.
And we enjoyed our afternoon siestas. (Though I’m not sure some of the kids were quite so keen).
Lad and I ate a lot of cheese – and brought a fair bit home with us (which made the car somewhat aromatique en route). I drank some very nice local wines with mine. A few of which I also brought home.
We went up a mountain – Puy de Dôme – on a train, which was fab. This is on the way up:
And this is the view from the top:
We explored medieval villages and played hide-and-seek in a ruined castle…
…and we visited an eccentric exhibition of old public clocks in Charroux…
The chiming on the hour was amazing!
We visited the source of Volvic water. (Not very exciting actually. It’s just water, after all).
We marvelled at historic architecture and the stunning beauty of the French countryside (including acres of sunflowers!) and at the sheer sense of space in France in comparison with England.
I envied the French and Dutch their comfy caravans. They seem to be cuter than English ones.
And there were some seriously smug campers – I mean, people had armchairs! And who packs a tablecloth, and a proper vase, and buys flowers for their camping table?! Not us – we’d need a car twice the size for luxury at that level!
We struggled avec la langue français. (I think I might have to take a class. An “E” grade at ‘A’ level, followed by thirty years of neglect, does not make for bonnes communications). It was a little embarrassing, but we managed.
In amongst it all, lad turned ten. At his request, we spent the day swimming in a volcano, with a picnic, a pedalo ride and an amazing cake from the local patisserie to follow.
But all good things come to an end.
It was a long drive home. We put off the inevitable with a day in Dorset and a nice meal in Lyme Regis on the way back.
So here we are. We’ve had a lovely time. Even though I didn’t get to browse any brocante.
But I have to say… whilst living close to nature is great, the discomfort and mild squalor of camping sort of gets to me after a while. Especially when it rains.
It’s nice to be home.
Au revoir La France… à bientôt. ♥