THROUGH THE DORDOGNE INTO THE CHARENTE-MARITIME
01.06.2011 - 01.06.2011 25 °C
We left Montpazier, did some banking (for my sister) in Beaumont and then took mainly C roads across the beautiful Dordogne and Charente regions into the Charente-Maritime. We stopped for a while in Pons, much longer than we had planned; we were only looking for Public Toilets so we followed the "Office de Tourisme" sign which, as in every other French village, town and city led absolutely nowhere. We then found a large square with the amazing Pons Donjon and yes, there was another sign for the tourist office; but it wasn't there. So we parked and walked around town, asked a few locals where the office was and got different directions each time. We gave up and headed back to the Donjon and hidden in the corner of the square were toilets. We had now wasted an hour but I was determined to find out where the tourist office was; the woman in the Donjon simply replied that the office used to be in the square but they moved and nobody had changed the signs. If you think this is a one-off case, try following the "Office de Tourisme" signs next time you're in France
We decided not to head for La Rochelle as it was a public holiday in France and thousands of people were on the move. Much more sensible to head for a beach area just south of La Rochelle. We phoned a the Hotel Majestic in Chatelaillon as they had parking and a garden, and remarkably they had a room (EU78 inc breakfast). The final hurdle to getting there was yet another high bridge, this time across the Loire near Nantes - easy!!
The hotel's parking was the street and their garden was 5 metres square but somehow we found a parking spot just as we arrived and the hotel was pretty good and just a block from the beach where we sat at in a cafe watching the sun go down at 9:45pm (a couple of hours) with a warm wind blowing off the Bay of Biscay