As we have slowed our pace of travel and the weather has become a bit more consistent, consistently good that is, we have finally managed to find our groove and establish some sort of routine. This week that groove has been established at a beautiful campsite on the grounds of a château in rural eastern France near Gigny-sur-Saône, a quiet spot on the banks of the Saône river.
Usually we wake early, more often than not it is the dawns backing singers that bring us to first consciousness. The birds are often in full voice from before daybreak, but it is lovely to lie in bed and listen to their joy. Although I love the sound of the rain on the roof when we are warm and cosy inside, I’ll take sunshine and bird song any day. Usually we are up by 7:30am and hubby will go for his morning walk and will swing by the bakery on his way back to buy freshly baked bread, often still warm just from the oven. While he showers I will prepare the rest of the breakfast bits. Then we sit on the patio and have a leisurely start to the day.
Camp sites are like small neighbourhoods when the weather is fine and everyone is out on their open plan lawns. Strangely enough, although there are very few French campers here people call ‘bon jour’ as they pass or if they see our German number plate, ‘guten morgen’. The only difference is, in camp site neighbourhoods, our neighbours can often change on a daily basis.
The campsite is mostly awake by 9am and as avid people watchers we enjoy the unique fashion show of campers in an array of day and nighttime wear, as they make their way to the shower/toilet block, walk their dogs, take their children to the playground or run errands. It isn’t everywhere you see grown men and women in their bathrobes and slippers walking or cycling about in public in broad daylight. Other pitches will be a hive of activity as the occupants begin the process of packing up and moving their tiny home on to their next adventure.
After breakfast, we straighten up the van, it is amazing how quickly chaos that can rain down when living in a small space. Beds are straightened and everything is put away or set into daytime mode, we then grab our washing up bucket of dirty dishes, washing up liquid, pot scrub and ‘Bridgee’…did anyone else’s family have a name for their dish brush? Then we make the same procession to the toilet block to the washing up area to wash our dishes and another opportunity to meet fellow campers.
Once order has been restored we will start to plan our day’s activities. Sometimes we will have an hour or two of business or chores to attend to, after which we will usually grab a quick snack and get the bikes ready for an outing. If we are near a town or city we will usually spend an afternoon or two exploring the sights but I like nothing better than to find a rural bike path, designated bike paths are everywhere here, and head out into the countryside for a few hours. With an abundance of fresh air and exercise we will have worked up an appetite and so it is home to shower and prepare dinner. I love having our own kitchen and being able to prepare a nice home cooked meal to enjoy al fresco.
After dinner we read, work on our computers, play games or through the miracle of modern technology catch up on our favourite television series. Then it is hopefully one last trip to the bathrooms for evening ablutions and set the camper into night time mode and then fingers crossed off to dreamland.