Monday 16th November 2015

Our last day spent in Rugles. But, we WILL be back!!!
Also some time spent on our Blog before an early night, as tomorrow we have a fairly long distance to travel for the repairs to our motorhome.

Tuesday

We travelled in the rain down to La Bazoge, which is a little village to the north of Le Mans. On the way there we were stopped in our tracks by several large loads on the road.

Here we are stopped by the outriders - almost down the grassy bank!

We were going to La Bazoge because we had found that a motorhome repairer "SLC" and "Narbonne Accessories" are there. We will have them fix a small gas leak and sort out the waste water pipe for us. We have had the occasional slight smell of gas, sometimes on opening the gas locker for filling. Allan had dismissed it previously as it had always cleared quickly but could it be we had a problem with the gas? To be certain, the people in La Bazoge will sort it out for us. Luckily for us, on arriving at "SLC" we found that they supply and fit the Gaslow system. They understood our problems and were able to fit us in later in the morning. We spent an hour looking around the accessory shop, buying a new seal for our toilet cassette, until our service time. They sorted out the gas problem, which was caused by three washers that seal around the pressure gauge. They had been squashed in several places so it looks as if they were not replaced with new ones when we had the gas cylinders removed from our previous motorhome and transferred to this one. That work was carried out by a dealer in Hampshire and we won't be going back there again. The man at "SLC" then reattached the waste water pipe, so everything is now OK.

We decided not to travel on too far this afternoon and so, went to Ruillé-en-Champagne where there is an Aire that we have found on Park4night.com. We couldn't find it in our two Aires Books? On arrival it was still raining but were greeted by a really lovely lady who introduced herself as the Mayor. She enquired how we had found out about this Aire as it had only just been opened and was not in any guide books yet. We explained that we use an internet website called Park4night.com and that we found it there. We had quite a long conversation with the Mayor and she was very interested in finding out where we had come from and our travels around France. She told us of all the things that were in the village, including the Church, the cyber cafe and restaurant. The boulangerie is just along the road about 1.5 miles in the next village. The Mayor is one of the most helpful and jolly people that you could ever wish to meet.
According to Wikipedia the population is only c318. This is one of the smallest villages that I think that we have been to this year.

Because the adhesive on the waste water pipe still needs to set we cannot pour water down the sink for 24 hours and so it is time for the corkscrew. This is a real hardship but has to be done.

Wednesday

Unfortunately we woke to more rain but we did venture out in between the downpours to have a look around the village. Just a short walk to the western edge of the village, then down towards the south, down a short road to the cemetery on the southern edge. Up the main road, to the eastern and then the northern edges of the village. It is a village that does not take too long to explore just being a small crossroads.



And of course we had to find the Lavoir!

The River Vègre seems to circle the village on three sides.

In the evening we saw the friendly Mayor again whilst she was with her maintenance man. At home they are the council workers with specific jobs but in France they do everything.
They were making plans for tree planting next week by the local school children, in commemoration of the recent atrocities in Paris. She asked us how everything was and if we needed anything. Dorothy explained that we tried to visit the Church and found it locked. The Mayor then immediately made arrangements with her maintenance man for the door to be opened up for us tomorrow at 11 a.m.

Thursday

At 11 a.m. the maintenance man whom, we now know is Laurent opened the Church for us. It was beautiful. Every window was of stained glass and was some of the best that we have seen in France.



We were able to spend as much time as we wanted looking around this beautiful Church with the help of Laurent, the friendly maintenance man.


This may be a small village but it is quite perfect.

Friday

As it was such a lovely morning, Allan serviced and thoroughly cleaned out the toilet tank. Calcium deposits had built up and needed to be removed and the new seal that we purchased in La Bazoge had to be fitted, with plenty of oil to lubricate it. Not something that you need to do very often. Dorothy did some laundry and to our dismay we find that the waste water outlet, fixed on Tuesday in La Bazoge is still leaking. (groan again!)

Allan didn't like the thought of working on something as important to safety as gas, so that is why we had the repairs done professionally along with the wastewater pipe. We paid a lot of money for these repairs and so we will stay in Ruillé-en-Champagne until the motorhome repairer's opens again on Tuesday and will have them sort out the professional waste water pipe repair.

Later in the day we went to the garden of the Salle de Fetes
and came across this statue and Autumn display...............

Saturday

We woke up to another glorious morning, only to find our friends, Liz H from Framfield and Doug H from Woodingdean, exclaiming on Facebook that there is SNOW in East Sussex!
No snow here guys!!!!!

On our various excursions around the village, everyone we have met is so friendly. We are very impressed. This village, like many others in France, has so much to give its people. There is a large community hall, gardens, children's playground, boules court, football goals, basket ball hoops, table tennis and table football and a trampoline in the hall. There have been computer literacy classes here. There is a public phone box and a public toilet. There are classrooms here and a bus takes older children off to school elsewhere. This is a lovely little village. They even welcome visitors like us with free water, free parking and even free electricity. Many thanks to the Mayor and citizens of Ruillé-en-Champagne.

Sunday

In the morning we had a walk to Bernay-en-Champagne and Allan commented on the superior quality of the roads here. Note the drainage, hence no potholes like we get in England!


On approaching the village we saw this lovely tree in a garden and were then welcomed by these inquisitive "locals"...


Bernay-en-Champagne is a little larger village with 494 people living there.

As we crossed the river we obviously found ........................................The Lavoir!

Heading on up into the village we found the Boulangerie, where we purchased some bread and explained that we were staying at Ruillé-en-Champagne where we have been made to feel most welcome by all the villagers and we can only make this purchase because of their hospitality.


We also found the Church, Post Office, a bar tabac, schools, a driving school and a butcher shop which had unfortunately closed down.

After a lovely morning in Bernay-en-Champagne, we made our way back to Ruillé-en-Champagne

Returning to the motorhome to make some delicious soup to go with our fresh bread.

In the summertime motorhomes can park on the grass but because of the recent rain we had decided to stay on the concrete!

In the afternoon we strolled up to the northern edge of the village where we saw the new houses that have been built. Very different from the older houses.



We are having such a lovely time in this beautiful village and the surrounding countryside but alas it will be time for us to leave on Tuesday morning.


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