Here there be Dragons!
6th August 2018
Foret de Sille, Sille de Guillaume, France
On ancient charts, long before google's beaky nose got everywhere, the world's uncharted regions were sometimes denoted 'Here there be Dragons' - meaning, I have always supposed, 'orrible things awaiting those foolish enough to travel into such territory. I think the post google equivalent should be 'Here there be Eurocampers'. For, yes, we have now finally left the tranquil Foret D'Ecouves and once south of Alencon spotted our first Eurocamper since Friday morning. We have ended up for today in the Foret de Sille, slightly northwest of Le Mans and was initially drawn to a large body of water known as Etang du Defais until we saw where all the Eurocampers in this area have accumulated. In the lake's large carpark, from we which we couldn't get out fast enough!
We finally got to see Alencon as we headed south this morning and can now report that it's a nice enough town, particularly its old centre and was gratifyingly quiet. I am sure many local folk must be elsewhere on holiday as it seems generally all too quiet for such a sizeable place.
The countryside to the south was nicely French pastoral and using the roads less travelled we passed through a clutch of pretty villages and small towns. I had been expecting more forest but my Michelin Atlas Routier at 1cm = 2km scale is too general in the information it imparts and google maps I find very wearisome having to alternatively zoom out for route planning and in for more detailed information. I'm sure its me but my relationship with google maps is a fraught one, so much depending on the quality of the cellular signal which is frequently rubbish to poor in many rural areas. Anyway, the net, net of that little rant is that from the 'information' provided by my Atlas Routier and a big nebulous splodge of green on google I was expecting forest but got cultivated land. Not unpleasant but not forest - until we reached Sille de Guillaume where pockets of forest start to appear again.
It's predominantly mature pine forest and being yet another 'warm' day the smell of pine resin is strong on the air. A real restorative and my idea of what aromatherapy should be.
It was a very hot night last night and still 18 degrees at daybreak. It's hot again today at 30 degrees but, like yesterday, feeling hotter as there is not much breeze. I have to say if this very warm weather is going to continue unabated for several more days I shall be seriously tempted to shelve all other plans and make a beeline for Royan and thence the short ferry ride into Aquitaine. Just a few km along the coast is Montalivet les Bains a nice little resort and to it's south is forest and foreshore with the possibility of sea breezes and no crowds per se, though at this time of year I doubt I'd find the splendid isolation I have previously known there, both earlier and later in the year.
I can't check the weather forecast where I am currently parked up as the cellular signal is too flakey. Am about to move anyway as it's not as quiet here now as it was when we first arrived but that often seems to be the way of it. I somehow inexorably draw noise and idiots into my domain wherever I stop. Yesterday afternoon, in an otherwise deserted rest area a French Family with ill bred kids and two large dogs parked right next to us, released the kids and dogs without even a vestige of supervision for either and then proceeded to simply stand and gawp whilst Amy had to defend herself from the bigger of the two dogs, a liver spot Dalmatian. Poor girl did good but got a couple of teeth marks for her trouble.
Mother, father and snot nosed kids all seemed to think this was quite normal and without batting an eyelid or uttering a word about it simply set off along a well worn track that is popular with people who only want a very short circular forest walk.
Idiots they may be but they all have large, shiny, expensive new cars - god alone knows where all the money comes from?!
GPS precision : 4 m
Sunday as it should be Heavy weather