Marques Avenue in Cholet
We planned our first couple of days around the weather. Monday didn't look great and so we decided to visit an outlet shopping complex, Marques Avenue, in Cholet about 45 minutes drive.

We've not had many problems driving here. In fact it's a breeze. I had to chuckle though, as Tony waited at a junction for a van with lights flashing to pass before pulling out behind him. Even with my non-existent French I could work out that it's sign said abnormal load and that he was escorting the mobile home now separated from him by Cleopatra.

We had our first language problem in the Super Dry store where we thought a sign was proclaiming 50 percent off the lowest ticket price. Wanting to be one hundred percent sure I used the Google translation app on my phone, pointing it at the sign and deciding we were right. It must have looked as though we were taking photos as a shop assistant came over and spoke to us. I responded with my best version of 'parlez vouz anglais?' which did the trick as she signed 'one moment's returned with someone who could. We were wrong about the sign, so we left empty handed.

Ardelay Castle
We visited Château d'Ardelay, a well maintained castle complete with filled moat. I'd seen it from home on Google earth and its existence as a named place on Google Maps is thanks to my user submission.
Before returning back to base we visited Pouzauges' Super U supermarket. It was huge and seemed very reasonably priced. We settled on a huge tray of beef steak priced at €11 but stickered 30% off because it only had two days more shelf life. We didn't think it would be a problem eating half as a very luxurious chilli con carne for dinner and steak sandwiches for breakfast!

For a late lunch we settled on two types of cheese and a huge freshly-baked baguette. We both had slices of delicious looking (and tasting) rum and raisin custard tart.

Fine wine or cheap plonk?
Finally we both bought bottles of wine. Tony bought white and I bought red. I was interested to see how I liked mine because it was available in 10 litre boxes with the price per bottle equating to just £1.23, and Cleopatra will hold many, many boxes!

Back at Camping du Lac and with no time pressure or anyone watching we decided we'd give it a go using the levelling blocks. I hadn't been aware that Cleopatra had been pointing slightly downwards the previous two days but the spirit level said differently. So now was the opportunity to make use of another Christmas present without fear of looking foolish. It didn't look straightforward, but Tony managed to get Cleopatra up onto the blocks with both front wheels in a few seconds.

We'd parked a little further from the toilet block and extended the awning. This proved to have been a blessing when it started raining and continued doing so for several hours, giving us dry access in and out of the van for the remainder of the day.

FRANCE 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8


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