Monday 26th June 2017

Our friend Frode has a birthday today.  Happy Birthday Frode. 
Our friends Anne-Lise and Frode live in Norway and we last visited them on our "one year late" honeymoon all those years ago.  We have since seen them when they have been in England but sadly not for many years now.

We spent the day exploring Villeveque, with the aid of geocaching of course.
  

In the evening we had a pleasant evening relaxing outside and chatting with our fellow motorhomers Liz and Charlie from Petersfield, Hampshire.

Tuesday

Today we moved on to Briollay, a very small town with a wonderful location for an aire.
  
We took a stroll around the small inlet from the river before returning for our evening meal.
  

During the evening there was the most wonderful sunset and everyone seemed to be running out to photograph it.
Whilst we were doing the same we got talking to several of our fellow motorhomers, especially Linda and Charlotte (mother and daughter) from Weymouth.  They are new to motorhoming, having just purchased their first motorhome and this was their first trip abroad in it. 

Later we rang Mum and Tony and then James and Frankie.

Wednesday

This morning we opened our blinds and what did we see?  Yes, rain!

After the most glorious sunset yesterday evening we were certain that we were in for a beautiful day today.  Wrong!!!

It stayed wet and cloudy for most of the day and so we did not venture out.

It brightened up later in the day, sufficiently for us to sit outside for a while and we spent the evening chatting with Linda and Charlotte.

Thursday

It was a much nicer day today and we walked up through the town.

We discovered that the confluence of the rivers Loire and  Sarthe is about a couple of miles away and so we decided that, if the weather held, after lunch we would try to walk over to find this.

Luck was with us and after lunch we started out.

So, we walked through the town and out into the countryside to find the end of the river Loir, where it joins the river river Sarthe before the Sarth goes down to Angers and joins the Loire. Sorry if this sounds complicated but although the Loir is a wonderful river and we have visited many places along it, the Loir is not navigable but the Sarthe is.

They both meet here at the confluence, the Loir from the right joins the Sarthe bending round from the left and from then on the river Sarthe runs southwards to join the Loire (the biggest, longest  river in France, with the "e" on the  end of it's name).
We were here!!

      

I like the picture of us with our feet at the confluence.   

This photo taken on our way back, shows how far
from the town we had walked.  The church spire
is just visible in the centre of the photo between
the trees. Sorry, photos have to be kept fairly
small on the blog! 

On arriving back at the motorhome Linda asked
where we had been and got quite excited, soon
setting off herself, with Charlotte, to find the
confluence for themselves. 

We kept looking at the weather hoping they would
not get caught in the rainstorm we saw coming!

They returned just in time, not having realised just how far it was there and back!

Friday

 Today we set off for Longue Jumelles for the weekend because they are having their Fete de Lavoirs.

We arrived in good time and were able to stay in the same place as last year, having used the service aire round the corner on the way in.

We took a walk around the town and visited the Tourist Information office where we made or reservations for the "Restauration sur place" at the fete on Sunday.

In the evening Allan checked the ferry times and found that they were getting heavily booked up and so we bit the bullet and booked our return ferry home.  We then rang Mum and texted James to let them both know we were coming home on the 9th August.

Saturday
Today we decided to pay another visit to the hydroneuf.  There is so much to see there and the water courses and water wheels outside are great fun.  We took things fairly easy today because we knew tomorrow was going to be full on!

Sunday

The day of the Fete de Lavoirs.  We did it last year and had a marvellous time and this year we were not disappointed.
We had a little more idea of what to expect so it made it easier to enjoy.

In the morning they had a small procession of drummers and washerwomen, leading everyone into the square by the hydroneuf where there was a small market taking place.
 

 
 

After a pause for photos, with these washerwomen it was a rather long and noisy pause!, the festivities continued along the river,
in the lavoirs and into the village park.
 
 

There was a bit of a lull when people sat, ate, rested, or walked to the next village where there was a large car boot sale going on.
We walked over to the car boot sale and found there were a lot of English people there.  Some of them said they buy in England and bring the stuff over here to France to sell on the boot sales.  We suspect they do the same when they go to England for more "stuff"!   A vide grenier (attic or loft clear) or Brocante (loosely translated is antiques!) are hugely popular in France.  Hundreds of people turn up to even the smallest of villages if a vide grenier or Brocante is advertised!

Back in Longue Jumelles, the entertainment continued in the afternoon and this year there was a play in the open air.  Many French villages and towns have an outdoor arena like this one but this is the first time that we have seen one used other than by skateboarders.

All manner of sideshows and food stalls abounded, this particularly interesting one was for roasted nuts!

Allan tried his hand at stilt walking..................... oh yes he can!!!

and the band played on.

The afternoon flew by and early evening it was time to gather in the marquee for our meal.  This time we found ourselves on the same table as most of the washerwomen and what a laugh we had with them.  Allan couldn't resist showing them our photos of last year which made one of the ladies blush.  But we think she is the "leader of the gang" and has a great time letting her hair down as her blushes seemed to be over done and all the other ladies teased her.
Dorothy after good food, good wine and with good company.

After the meal the dancing got started.  

Most French dancing is quite something special - Allan calls it the "Ploddy Dance".  It is just a walking step, more like marching and swaying but quicker than a march with a very strong beat.  Even Allan with two left feed can do it!  One two, one two, one two!!

This evening was a bit more upbeat   and once again we had everyone copying us, trying to do the East Sussex Centre of the CMC's version of YMCA!!  Hilarious!

   Tired but happy at the end of an excellent day.  Thank you Committee de Fetes.

 

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