Arrived back in the UK at the end of May, since then we have attended a few Motorhome fun rallies. Thetford, Stratford, Hartlepool and Malvern. We tried our music out on some of the funsters, went to the races at Stratford, visited the maritime museum at Hartlepool, and many other things. Spent some time with the families down in Wales, Manchester and Nottingham. Now we are preparing for our Antipodean trip so watch this space ....
Getting close to Dunkerque now our last stop is at a riverside aire in Montherme just above Charleville Mezieres. The afternoon was spent relaxing watching the boats moor up and taking a stroll into town to buy bread. The end of a fantastic 10 months discovering so many new places.
We find a delightful route up going through the Vallee dee Ouche, a place we must visit again.
Onto Montbard to camp up and take the scooter to Abbaye de Fontenay, a cistercian abbey with beautiful cloisters and even its own forge so that the monk could make tools.
Heading forever northwards we stop off at Perouges, this is a medieval hilltop village which has been lovingly restored. The car park, which is a little tight for campervans, is down in the valley and you walk up through the walled entrance onto cobbled streets and back in time.
We head north towards La Grave only to be turned back because the passes are still closed and there are roadworks on the main road. We end up back tracking and end up going through Italy and the Frejeus tunnel. We arrive in Hauterives Les Ecrin.
This small town has an unusual tourist attraction. The Palais Ideal is a folly. Built by a postman called Cheval it is a bizarre building made of stone and shells.
On our journey north we stop off at Embrun, with the mountains of the National Park des Ecrins in the distance. We walk into the town from our campsite in the valley. The town is set on the top of a cliff and the views from the cliff edge are very fine. The weather however caught up with us in the town and we were a bit soggy by the time we reached the campsite.
The next few days we spend walking some of the footpaths around the area. The first walk takes us up to one of the highest points overlooking the gorge, Cadieres de Brandis. The top is craggy limestone outcrops and from here you get some glorious views.
The next walk is on the other side of the Cadieres de Brandis walk. A gentle stroll through the woods brings you to a rounded rock face which is full of fossil Sirens, the ancestor to the manatee. The fossils are now protected behind perspex.
The third walk is up to a small chapel built into a cliff face. Quite a tough walk up is made worthwhile as the views and the charming little chapel are delightful.
This is the second time we have visited Castellane. Last visit was 10 years ago when we had a small hymer and no scooter. This time we can venture further and the first day we head a little northward to the reservoir near St Andre les Alpes and get to see the snow capped mountains.
The second day we walk into Castellane from our campsite at La Ferme Castellane, to climb the rock to the chapel at the top. Along the way we see a sweet red squirrel busy collecting nuts.