Monday 23rd November 2015

We need to return to the motorhome repair garage at La Bazoge which is only about 15 miles away to have the water leak repaired again but as they are not open until tomorrow and as the weather here was so lovely, we decide to stay here at Ruillé-en-Champagne for another day. After all, we are on an electric hook-up and it seems pointless not to use it.

During the day we take another walk around the village.


It is a very small village but so very friendly.

During the afternoon we again meet Laurent, the man who cuts the grass and does all the maintenance work around the village.
We are still trying to find a word for this (a council labourer, litter picker, binman, grass verge mower, white line painter, gardener, road sweeper).
We gave him a note (using Google translate) to say that we are leaving tomorrow and asked him to pass it to The Mayor. Our note said...........
The Marie
Thank you to the Mayor and people of Ruillé-en-Champagne for the Aire de Camping-Car and if you or your Mayor go to our internet blog website, then you can see our photos of our visit.

Tuesday

This morning we travelled to La Bazoge for repairs but along the way we stopped at the SuperU supermarket at Conlie to get some groceries. We had been at Ruillé-en-Champagne for a week and the store cupboard is beginning to empty. The wine cellar is also looking a bit grim. Allan wonders how can Dorothy spend €178 without batting an eyelid but I guess this is only our third major food shopping trip this time in France and there were €40 of Christmas prezzies and a new electric toothbrush for Allan's few remaining teeth. Now it all looks quite marvellous in the store cupboard and cellar. Pity about Allan's teeth though.

We arrived at the repair garage and just before we went in at 2 pm, poured some water down the sink just to prove that we do really have a leaking tank. Then we start to become worried as the water is not leaking out now, not even a drop! Have we waited all this time and come back to La Bazoge for nothing? Oh dear. Then it starts dripping out so with a sigh of relief, we are not here for nothing, however we would rather not have had to be here at all. But then, just to really upset us the man explains that they can't do the re-repair today and will we be in the area for very long? Christmas time looks very hopeful that they will be able to fit us in!!!!! With a bit of explaining that we are heading south (lies) and definitely home to England for Christmas, he somehow manages to fit us in for tomorrow at 2 pm.

We then purchased some new door locks, as the Fiamma ones are broken and the paint is peeling off after only two years. These Fiamma door locks were fitted by the same people in Hampshire who fitted the gas pressure gauge (see last weeks blog). If anyone wants the name of some cowboys just let us know.

As the SLC repairers couldn't do the work until tomorrow we returned to Ruillé-en-Champagne. We wonder what they thought of us when we came back because yesterday we said that we were leaving and here we are again.

Wednesday

Back along the 15 miles to SLC in the village of La Bazoge, this journey is becoming to be a habit :( and as we arrive there just before lunch time we try to get the job done early. Sadly nothing doing this morning but we will be in the garage at 2 pm so we just have to sit it out, outside the gates in the layby.

At 2 pm we are in the garage and the motorhome is being worked on. As the previous job was such a bodge with glue everywhere, the only solution was to cut it out completely and put a whole new section in. They did charge us for the labour but came good with the parts, which they claimed to be the larger part of the bill. Whether this is true or not we were just glad to be on our way again.

We decide to go the short distance to Coulans-sur-Gée which is a small town to the west of Le Mans. We spent just one night here to ensure that the waste water leak is finally sorted.
The Aire is at the entrance to the town and is beside a busy and noisy road. Not one of the best places but we felt it was necessary to stay close by until we were certain the leak is repaired!

Thursday

Onward again, stopping at the pretty small village of Saint-Jean-Sur-Erve for lunch and to do some Geocaching but unfortunately we found that there was only one.
We parked near the lake and so this was where we headed first.

We then headed into the village, having to cross over the river....

and finding...... yes, another lavoir!!!!

Passing the church we made our way past lovely old cottages before making our way back to the motorhome.

(Anyone know what these orange coloured fruits are? If so, please let us know via our message board as we see them everywhere and they never seem to get picked)

Then we are on our way again to La Baconnière, another small village which is just north of Laval. We arrive here in the early evening and after a look around we find that although the free electricity is most welcome, there is nothing special here that will keep us and so this will only be a night halt.

Friday

Big change of plan today. We were heading north in a big circle but now decide that a small detour wouldn't hurt and so we head off to La Fougères.
Now, this is a place that is really worth visiting. It is a much larger town and on a hillside.
On arrival at the Aire at the bottom of the hill, we find a nice spot to stay.

After a rest we head out for a short look around and take in the Tourist Office at the top of the hill. We picked up some leaflets and found out that there are a lot of Geocaches around here,

having our first view of the Chateau from the ramparts on our way back to the motorhome.

Saturday

We head up the hill to the Saturday morning market. The guide book says it is in the town and we wonder where it may be as the square yesterday seemed quite small. When we arrive the market is everywhere. In the main square, the main street, the side street and even in a little area that looked as if it was the actual market. There, we were interested in a bread seller that had a queue of people so long it stretched around the rest of this part of the market! This trader greeted every customer as if he knew them all as special friends, each customer was special and the baker was in no hurry. (No wonder the queue was so long!!). As it happens, when we returned to this part of the market later in the morning the stall had about a dozen loaves left and he still had a huge queue. Obviously the price was right, the product was right and they sold like hot cakes (except it was bread and a few cold cakes).

In the afternoon we took our first real stroll around the town, firstly passing the Chateau, then visiting the Church

with more lovely stained glass windows (which Dorothy tries to photograph for her Mum)

and a beautiful Altar space.

The Altar in closer detail and the wooden carvings

In this Church we find a memorial to St. Viviane, Martyr of the Catacombes, who is the Patron Saint of Epileptics.

On further research we find that she is also the Patron Saint of Hangovers!!!

Sunday

In the lower town at the bottom of the hill is the most beautiful castle surrounded by a medieval town.
Although the guide books call it medieval, most of the houses have doors, window frames and shutters all of plastic and many of the other finishes were not accurate, so although the buildings are actually medieval, and the street plan is quaint the area is a little disappointing.


Views from our walk around the medieval part of the town

leading us back to the Chateau, where we found the restored water wheels



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