Sunday, 16 August 2009

Camping in the Loire Valley

We are back (myself, husband Steve, and boys Michael and Spencer) from a week of fair weather camping, the only type I can handle! We made a last minute decision to change our original travel plan to camp on the Brittany coast after the shocking reports on the BBC News. Toxic seaweed had been washed up on the Brittany beaches. I'm not usually that fussed about a little bit of seaweed, its all part of the beach experience. However when faced with gruesome reports on the day of our departure, of toxic seaweed 3ft deep on the Brittany coast, we decided to do some research online. Things didn't look any brighter, further investigation uncovered that the rotting seaweed was giving off lethal cyanide gas, that could render people unconscious and kill. Already a horse and several dogs had become unfortunate victims of this hazard, a child was also recovering in a French hospital. Our campsite was 200m from a beach....

The next hour we madly searched the Internet to see if we could find a different campsite inland. We already had a ferry crossing booked, so this made the search more complicated. Eventually we found a campsite in the Loire Valley situated on a vineyard, a point not overlooked by my hubby and I.

Arrived very tired after an over night ferry crossing with two young children, with the challenge to put up the tent, without turning the air blue. We managed this task amazingly fast. Once the children were tucked up in bed we sit down with a glass of wine to admire our handy work, realised we had put the outside (top sheet) on completely back to front. Now have to re put up tent without turning the air blue and without waking the kids.

I still would like to visit Brittany but can definitely recommend the Loire Valley, we were in the Anjou region staying just outside Brissac, which is South of Angers.

This is the border castle in Angers, the boys loved walking on top of walls, I loved the contrast of the heavily walls built for defence and the beautiful gardens on top of these walls with brightly coloured trumpet vines and numerous other flowers that I can't name.

I also made a discovery a most haunting art display. The artist is Pascal Di Peri, its called The Confessions of the Rocks. It is situated in the former jail of the castle, and it represents the 60 prisoners that were often crammed into this tiny cell.
We also found a amazing zoo in Doue-la-Fontaine nr Saumur. Caves in the tufa have been excavated, whole underground villages have been discovered. These caves have been put to use. Many as wine cellars for the Loire wines. However some have been created into a most memorable zoo. The caves have become an amazing habitat for the animals. I have taken some great shots, which I plan to paint or draw, so watch this space....

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