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Chickens, Snails and Berries.

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Louhans

This place took my interest as when I looked at the map and POI’s it had about 6 aires and a campsite, there must be something of interest to see? The place we chose to stay was next the river and for 6euros we had the use of the port shower, wifi and all of the normal motorhome facilities. We arrived at lunchtime and set up our tables and chairs on the bank on the river watching as the canal and river boats passed by.

Chicken at the edge of town to mark the festival.

Chicken at the edge of town to mark the festival.

Interesting building in the main street.

Interesting building in the main street.

We walked into town to discover that a chicken festival was happening that night, unfortunately all the tickets were sold. In the main street they were setting up tables and chairs for the chicken dinner and behind the church they were building fires where chickens were being roasted. Groups of people in costumes were parading and dancing in the street. Our afternoon was spent relaxing and at 8.30 in the evening we returned to the town to see what a chicken festival is all about. Not much from what we could see, people sitting on the benches eating on trestle tables listening to the band on the stage. It was nearly 9 and some people were just getting there meal. The band sounded awful and there was a lack of atmosphere, maybe the partying happened later in the night? Back to our quiet spot near the river for the rest of the evening.

When feeding lots of people this is how you prepare chickens.

When feeding lots of people this is how you prepare chickens.

All hands on deck to get them on the rotisserie.

All hands on deck to get them on the rotisserie.

The main street filled with tables and chairs. Everyone eating chicken.

The main street filled with tables and chairs. Everyone eating chicken.

Snail Farm
Saturday 1st August 2015

A proper shower, what luxury, included in our 6euros to stay on the aire was the use of the shower in the port office. The last time we had been to a campsite was 17 days ago and although the shower in the van is good a proper shower with pressure and plenty of water is great. In the office we could also use their wifi so we spent a couple of hours catching up on the blog and other things.

Our destination was in a place near Servas 70 kilometres away and halfway on our travels we stopped for lunch and did some planning as to which direction to travel through France and into Spain. We worked out a rough plan and headed to the snail farm. Plans for us are always rough as most days we have no idea where we will be sleeping. France is the easiest country to find a place and it is just a matter of opening up the computer and looking at the POI’s for the aires and other places to stay. The France Passion also has plenty of interesting places to stay as you will read in this blog and the few following.

A snail goes to a caryard to buy a car. He picks out the car he wants and asks the salesman if he could put a superturbo in it and paint a bit S on both the doors. “Why” said the salesman. I what people to see me go past and say wow look at that S car go [escargot].
A bit lame I know but you can blame my brother in law Chris for that one.

This was another France Passion site and they farm snail. On arrival the owner was very friendly and despite the fact they he couldn’t speak English showed us where to park and gave us a tour of the farm and explained the process of snail farming. They are penned and have electric fences to stop escapees leaving. Food is put on wooden boards and in the evening water is sprayed in the pens. Harvest occurs once a year when the pens are cleaned and the process starts again. After the tour we went the shop and bought some snails for our evening meal.

Dutch friends Derek and Jet. Enjoying a snail meal.

Dutch friends Derek and Jet. Enjoying a snail meal.

Derek and Jet

Derek and Jet

Our snails are cooked and ready to eat. Yummy.

Our snails are cooked and ready to eat. Yummy.

A Dutch couple were also parked there, Derek and Jet, they invited us to join them and we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening enjoying their company. They also bought snails and the farm had a stove for us to use to heat them up, so we had a shared meal accompanied by some wine. The night was quiet as snail don’t make very much noise when they slide around and eat. [ha ha]

The snail farm.

The snail farm.

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Here we are parked next to the snails. We are having some interesting experiences staying on the France Passion sites.

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In the morning we said our farewells to our Dutch friends and the owner of the farm at set off in the direction of Annecy.

Sunday 2nd of August

Things don’t always go to plan and the route we took had a deviation due to a bridge being repaired on the river. This took us many kilometres out of our way but we were rewarded with the sight of a large stone bridge which was used by the trains as well as cars. It was a very narrow bridge and when we crossed over a bike rider had to get off his bike and stand next to the railing.

The detour led us to this bridge.

The detour led us to this bridge.

Just enough room for one car at a time.

Just enough room for one car at a time.

It was Sunday and it was sunny so we thought that going into Annecy could wait until Monday and we picked out and aire along the way and parked up for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Sitting in the aire something felt familiar and when we looked at our map of previous trip we realized that we had stayed there in 2009 on our first trip. Back then it was free and now it cost 5 euros but the location is nice next to a park with a garden displaying plants from places in the nearby regions and the facilities are free.

Scenery we saw along the way.

Scenery we saw along the way.

The gardens next to aire we stayed at. It had displays from the nearby regions.

The gardens next to aire we stayed at. It had displays from the nearby regions.

Annecy our non-visit.
Monday

We had a slow start to the day and after showering, washing a few clothes and doing a bit of cleaning we headed off to Annecy. It was only 15 kilometres away and getting there was no problem but once there the traffic was horrendous, slow and endless. We crawled along holding out little hope of getting a spot on the aire and any other car park for that matter, cars were having difficulty finding parks. I had three different places marked out that would be possible places to park but did not count on the beautiful day and it being right in the middle of the season. Some thing’s are not meant to be. We drove on first stopping at a Lidl to do some shopping, the busiest Lidl we have ever been to.

The rest of the day was spent driving through the mountains with picturesque scenery and quaint French rural villages. We stopped at a larger supermarket where we bought a map just of France as opposed to a map book which we have and I also spoilt Jenny with a new cutting board for the kitchen. Oh how lucky she is to have such a generous husband!!

The night was spent on another France Passion site on a beef cattle farm. Here they spoke no English and they showed us where we could park and left us alone for a quiet night.

Postman builds a castle! Tuesday

We tried to have an early start to the day but we didn’t leave until about 10, after having breakfast, washes, a bit of tidying up and saying farewell to our hosts on the farm. Our destination is a small castle in the town of Hauerites, at this place a postman spent his evenings working on a castle for thirty three years starting in 1879 stopping when he was 76 years old. He gained his inspiration from magazines and postcards that he delivered while working during the day as a postman.

There were places that you could walk inside and also to the top level.

There were places that you could walk inside and also to the top level.

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We arrived at 11.30 and already the car parks were nearly full and the place was busy. Luckily for us there is a designated motorhome aire which we could park close to the site. It also serves as an overnight aire which for 5 euros allows you to stay overnight.
The entry fee paid we entered the gardens where the small castle was ,along with many other tourist’s many of them Dutch as we could hear them as walked around the castle. The building is not very big but was very interesting as you can see in the photos and after a while we left and headed for the market in the streets of the village. Here we bought some meat and a pumpkin, which we haven’t see for sale in many places. We are gradually heading south towards Spain and doing a bit of zig zagging as we visit a few places of interest.

Berries, Liqueur and Jam.

We were heading in the direction of Le Pu en Velay and just a little detour from where we were heading was an interesting sounding France Passion and we had driven enough for the day. It was near to the village of Fay-sur-Lignon in rural France in the Rhone Alps region and still over 1200 meters above sea level.

We arrived at the farm and given a warm welcome and the choice of two places to park up for the night. The daughter of the owners spoke very good English and along with her mother they gave us a tour of the garden explaining what the different berry’s, plants and trees were. After the tour we went to their shop where we sampled jams, liquor’s and aperitifs, coming away with a bottle of liquor and 2 x pots of jam.

The shop at the farm where we bought some liquor and jam.

The shop at the farm where we bought some liquor and jam.

The farmers wife and daughter. The place is called the place of the Marmot.

The farmers wife and daughter. The place is called the Place of the Marmot.

These are the berries that Jenny Picked.

These are the berries that Jenny Picked.

When we were back in the “Bunyip” the farmer arrived back and came to greet us also letting us know that we could pick some berries if we wanted some. He didn’t have to ask twice and Jenny was in the garden filling a small container, these would last for the next 3 breakfasts. That night we were the only motorhome on the farm and it was a quiet evening in a great setting in rural France. A total contrast to the next night’s stay, more about that in the next blog.

What a great place to stay for the night.

What a great place to stay for the night.

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One Response so far.

  1. Gloria says:

    What an amazing journey you are having. It is so interesting to see and read about the places you have been. Thank you for including us. Deb & Greg are probably with you by now and you will have a great time together, catching up on all the news. Love to you all, Glo & Ro xxoo

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