Our first French aire

Walking in Gizeux
We woke up on our penultimate morning in France to a miserable rainy day. I came up with the idea of leaving our campsite and heading for the Loire Valley where we would try to find an aire de camping cars for the night. We'd be an hour closer to Calais for the next day, plus we'd get to explore a different part of the country.

I found an aire in the village of Gizeux on Tony's phone with a patchy signal. From the two photos on the website it looked like a quiet and safe place to stay the night.

When we arrived we were pleasantly surprised to see it lived up to all expectations. Gizeux is a lovely quiet village and the aire consists of gravelled hardstandings for ten vehicles. Privacy hedges separate the plots. There are trees on three sides and the quiet village road on the other. There are public toilets next door. There's no charge to stay overnight, but you need tokens if you want drinking water. We enjoyed a lunch of fresh bread with goats cheese and a tarte citron each.

Gizeaux aire de camping cars
It was still raining but we braved it, putting on waterproof trousers and coats and had a walk around the woods. There are three signposted routes in red, yellow and blue but we didn't do a good job of staying on any. I think the routes are for cyclists because we only ended up further and further from Cleopatra, sitting on her own in the aire.

Back at camp we did our best to remove our wet clothes without getting the van's interior damp. We put the heating on low and, as with previous days, Tony had a snooze while I typed this blog.

Later we played some boardgames and then at 6pm decided it was wine o'clock. I changed into my pyjamas, forgetting that now the loo was on the main road through the village. A music lesson was taking place in a hall as I walked by dressed for bed.

We slept downstairs so we'd be able to climb out of bed and start driving first thing in the morning. It didn't help the feeling of being confined that we had 60 litres of wine on board - the boxes from Super U worked out a little over £1 per bottle and so we'd bought enough to last us until our next European adventure.

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