In South West France we were tootling along in search of somewhere to stop for the night when we found the sign for Farm Camping at Corniou. A swift turn and we took the little road up to an ancient farmhouse.
We were welcomed by a couple of sheepdogs and Therese, (the farmer’s wife,) who showed us to a perfect spot.
As we relaxed a field that stretched down to the lake seemed to become a stage. The first act was a flock of black sheep who wandered on complete with bleating lambs. When they moved on about ten beautiful horses came through the long grass. Some were white others honey coloured or brown and all gracefully tossing their manes. It was like a scene from Fantasia.
The show ended with a duet from a goose and a gander. The gander wandering on our side of the fence while the goose calling anxiously for his return to the lake.
The facilities included modern showers with hot water, and, hold it, not everywhere can offer this. a WC with a visiting frog!
The following day, Therese invited us to join her as she went into the woods to feed her Llamas. We eventually met up with the shy white coated creatures . The male one had a very snooty expression and his girls had wonderful eyes with lustrous lashes.
As we followed the path back, Therese pointed out tracks made by wild boar. Sometimes they took food left for the Llamas, before they themselves were hunted for the dinner table.
We were in the Haut-Languedoc Regional park close to the Tarn border and our stay on the farm, while certainly the cheapest
(at just over £ 6 a night, ) was the highspot of our trip.
As to the rest, here are some of the things we learned.
It is nice to have showers but you don’t always have to stay in a campsite every night. If you have a campervan you will find that many French villages and towns actually welcome your presence by providing free places with water and toilet facilities. These “Aires” attract some business to their shops.
In the little town of St Matory we parked in an ‘Aire’ close to the town hall. Our camper-van had ‘a room with a view,’ There was a chateau peeping out between lush green trees and blue birds that darted over the river catching insects. We had the kettle on within minutes and settled back to enjoy croissants from the Boulanger across the road.
Generally tourist offices will let you have free access to WiFi and most campsites now are computer friendly, but their charges vary.
A beachside one called Les Roussillonnais at Argeles-sur-Mer, (where we parked amid the pine trees) attracts off season visitors by offering it free until the beginning of June.
If you allow enough time to drive on the small roads you save on motorway tolls and enjoy the real France. On these little roads a small campervan is easier to handle than a large motorhome. You can also fit in parking spaces in town streets.
Don’t plan everything, alow room for serendipidy.
The Camping Card ACSI log onto http://www.campingcard.com
Available in UK from https://www.vicarious-shop.com/ACSI-UK-CampingCard-DVD/
We had only aquired the second-hand VW campervan a few weeks earlier and had christened her “The Blue Lady.”
In addition to lavishing love, care and polish on her, and generally adding a bit of bling with wheel trim etc., we spent a little extra to ensure she was safe and mechanically sound.
So we were on a bit of a budget and keen to know about the economics of touring.
You can save money if you get the ACSI Camping Card which comes with a guide that has an atlas pinpointing over 1300 inspected campsites in Europe.
These charge fixed rates of between £10. and £15*, during low season. In France that is from September to the end of June. .
*Payable in Euros at the campsite
THE BLUE LADY GOES FARM CAMPING IN FRANCE.