France Part 12 – A new favourite

A rather damp end to our great stay at the lovely Le Cormier, which is one of our favourites so far. Yes, we’ve had a bit of rain here and storms can be heard rumbling around from time to time, but nothing like back home in Blighty thank heavens.

Not sure when you’ll get this. One, I need to finish it, and two, the internet needs to stay on, it’s become a bit intermittent with the weather, understandable given our rural location. Well done to all our sites so far for offering free WiFi and keeping us in touch with the rest of the world. We’ve now gone five weeks without a telly and I haven’t missed it a bit. Clearly someone on site has taken advantage of the satellite hook-up though as the ever so recognisable theme tune to Coronation Street could just be heard the other night.

So, right, where were we? Yes, Sunday. My birthday and I got a couple of  cards too – one from the ever conscientious HRH – A.K.A Trev’s Mum, and one from the site owners Mike and Cath which was a nice touch as well. Thank you.

It was a dull old day, so whilst Trev pottered around I bashed one out. A blog that is. There was little else of note to report. The loo needed emptying first thing because I couldn’t be arsed to do it the night before – and the gas cylinder went whilst doing dinner. That really was about it!

For those interested in such matters, we came over with two of the usual Calor Lite 6kg propane cylinders and have used it mainly just for cooking. One was full, the other had been on since Christmas. Everywhere over here sells gas – not Calor though – and it is much, much cheaper. Only today we saw various different brands of 13kg cylinder refills selling for around 26 Euros – at least half the price per unit of the aforementioned Calor Lites. Having talked to some regulars on site we’re going to get ourselves a cylinder and appropriate connections - even if we don’t use it this time, we’ll be back.

Monday, and back on the road again, first to Chatillon-sur-Indre just a few miles to our east. Not much of obvious note here for the casual tourist, but there is the remains of a castle and brown tourist signs mark a walk around the town which take 45 minutes or so, pointing out a few things on the way. May well be of interest if French History is your thing, but it was a nice day and a very pleasant walk nonetheless. The usual Hotel de Ville was in the centre.

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Next up was Loches, further north. Again we knew next to nothing – other than that all the usual supermarkets were represented, but we got a glimpse of what was to come as we arrived.

Parking, was of course, no problem – and free and already we liked what we saw.

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Down at street level an abundance of shops and restaurants cater for locals and tourists alike and wandering through the narrow streets was very pleasant. Needless to say, it being lunchtime, the restaurants were doing well, and the shops were shut.

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The part that really set the lenses clicking though was the original fortified old town. After meandering through gently – and not so gently – sloping streets we arrived first at a little square with the church  ahead and the old Royal Lodgings to our left. Between the two was a restaurant who seemed quite happy for people to wander in and take photos of the view over the walls below.

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There was a restaurant in a pretty little garden to the other side of the church too, again offering cracking views. Whilst we weren't yet ready for a meal – my belly was still taking care of half a load of bread – a glance at the menu of both places suggested that, far from ripping you off, they were being very fair with their prices. Well, done to them for not cashing in.

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A further walk through a delightful tree lined street brought us to the Keep. Used as a prison right up until 1926, the original tower was built at the beginning of the 11th century and whilst we weren't too bothered with the history – yeah, I know, what philistines – some cracking views were promised.

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There was a dungeon and a torture chamber – although the bumpf advised us you only ended up here if you didn’t  confess at your trial. So that’s alright then!

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The best part though were the views at the top.

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Back on terra firma was the courtyard and garden, a really pleasant place to sit after your labours up the tower. They even provide seating and deckchairs and would be a great spot for a picnic.

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The entrance fee included admission back at the Royal Lodge – something we’d originally discounted, so we went back to have a look.

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Whilst the inside was impressive enough, it’s the outside that really excites. Not only the building itself, but the two lovely terraces either side and the views from them. Again, deckchairs and plenty of places to sit and chill. Or sweat as was the case this today.

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Loches was a terrific place to visit. In fact it’s gone to the top of the list of our favourite places in France. It’s popular with tourists no doubt but very low key and wasn’t busy even in the middle of August. Word is though that market day is VERY busy.

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And that really was our sightseeing over for our stay at Le Cormier. Tuesday and Wednesday brought with them almost dawn to dusk sunshine, so we did very little. A storm rumbled around Wednesday night and lingered into Thursday – our last day. Although we didn’t have to get away early Friday, more of the wet stuff was promised so we packed away in between the showers.

I was sad to leave Le Cormier on Friday, not least because we’d had such a great time. Mike and Cath put in real effort to making sure your stay is a good one, and the pitch was just great. From advising on things to do and places to go and eat, to regular updates on what the weather is doing. It’s is also one of the friendliest sites we’ve been on. Everyone is up for a good old chinwag, some even giving Trev a run for his money! A lot are return visitors so Mike and Cath are obviously getting it right and really good luck to them. They deserve it

After what seemed a slow start – I will admit it took me a while to get ‘in’ to this trip – time is flying by. It seemed only a short while ago that we  had a whole new adventure stretching out before us, but now, in less than a couple of weeks we’ll be back home. Still our new site is great and those on Facebook  - www.facebook.com/getyourlegsdown and Twitter  - www.twitter.com/legsdown will have already seen what a great spot we have, so there is still more to come. Check back soon for a look around our new site.

A video:

And a slideshow:

 

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