How to Maintain a Successful Relationship when you Drive Each Other Round the Bend.
10th August – we drove about 3.5 hours from Avanton to Argenton on minor roads. It was really enjoyable and it obviously made my day to drive through St Julien l’Ars! I drove all the way, coping admirably with overhanging rocks, a narrow railway bridge – only meeting my match when the caravan sat nav took us to a proper hairpin.
The sat nav is supposed to take into account our height and length. Until now, it has been worth its weight in gold. While Mark might claim that I drive him around the bend, it was not to be on this occasion. I am pleased to say, however, that even when I got in the right side of the van for a girl (the passenger seat!) Mark didn’t manage to drive me around the bend either!
I think we entertained the lady in the house opposite, however. I got the impression that she lay in wait for unsuspecting long vehicles on their way to the campsite, because her face just seemed to be there, hovering at the window.
As we got to the bend. She watched each of us in turn;
- Try to get around by taking it wide (not enough room);
- Try to get around as a 3 point turn with a mid-point reverse (not enough room);
- Try to reverse up a hill on a narrow track opposite (the caravan almost grounded and – there was not enough room!)
Once we had exhausted all the entertaining options, the face at the window called me over and told me that if we just went straight on, there was a car park up the road that we could use to turn round. “C’est plus facile!” – “It’s much easier!” she said. She didn’t even crack a smile.
“Why, thank you for your timely sharing of advice. Madam!” I felt like saying.
Her face, impassive, was back floating in her window on our second pass, so we gave her a friendly wave. The irony was that the campsite was NOT up the hairpin ANYWAY, but back somewhere along the road on which we had come, but we both agreed that the sat nav had omitted to call that particular left turn!
And therein we discovered the secret to a successful relationship. Sometimes you DO need to drive each other round the bend – just check it’s the right bend first!
The campsite is lovely, right next to the River Creuse, 15 minutes’ walk along the river to Argenton “The Venice of the Berry”. Idyllic! Well, after telling reception that we would “stay perhaps ‘til Monday” we walked into Argenton and can only say that we were underwhelmed! Starting life as the Roman ‘Argentomagus’, there are medieval streets, but the gorgeous river walk lasted for about 100 yards before entering the industrial rear end! We ignored the litter and enjoyed the evening reflections on the surface of the river, which were beautiful. We will sleep soundly to the soothing lullaby of water rushing over a small weir on the river, right next to the caravan.
So after remaining stationary on our travels for 6 weeks, we are suddenly starting to hare across France, but we really need to improve our score on river walks!
Moving on meant that we had to forgo the pleasure of a visit to the Musée Chemiserie – the Shirt Museum in Argenton.
Left – how you might feel about a shirt museum, but you never know, it could be interesting!
Having once planned a whole holiday to Italy around an Umbrella Museum near Stresa that we read about in our “Italian for Idiots” book, it was disappointing not to be able to add this little gem to our demented depository of Mad Museums!
Nevertheless, it is occasions such as this that are the reason to have a mobile home. If you don’t like your location or your neighbours, you move on!
And what a move it was!
Next time, join us in Digoin for Major Caravan Envy, a National Identity Crisis, Lollipop Ladies and Ships in the Sky – and see whether we nail that river walk!
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10s Site Review…
We stayed in Campsite les Chambons just outside Argenton sur Creuse. The pitch was lovely, right by the water but the river walk into town was strewn with the sort of rubbish that looked like it might contain drug paraphernalia! The toilets were not working; there was only one disabled cubicle available to serve the entire site during our time there. We had planned to stay 2-3 nights but moved on after only one.
Even with a shirt museum on the doorstep, I honestly can’t spin it out into 30s Review!