Nonancourt aireJanuary 9 in France ⋅ ☁️ 6 °C
Nonancourt feels very familiar to both of us but we've never stayed in its free aire before. It offers 6 places near the Town Hall, looking out onto the tall trees and lawns that make up its grounds. We are alone here to start with and it is quiet, the only cars that pass, crawl slowly to the small Town Hall car park. Sadly the fresh water tap and electric points are turned off but we can survive without them.
Snatches of sunshine light an otherwise overcast day so when the clouds part at around 1:30pm we go exploring. Unfortunately the lunch time closing catches us out and most shops are shut but we enjoy gazing up at Nonancourt's higgldy piggldy houses, leaning this way and that. Timber frames of brown and black preside and lead down to the central square, where a cheese seller is just packing up their van. It looks as if there might have been a market on in the morning. We cross the two channels of the little River Avre that runs an artificially straight course through the lower end of town. High sided houses rise out of the water and many have private bridges, a little larger than gangplanks, that lead from their back doors, over the Avre to the street.
Nonancourt is obviously on a popular route because back at Martha Motorhome, as the daylight faded, we were joined by 3 other vans, all with GB plates. Now, it is customary for those in motorhomes to give each other a friendly wave when passing on the road and to at least acknowledge each other with a nod when pulling up in an aire. Our neighbour, who resembled Mr Smithers from The Simpsons, studiously avoided all eye contact, then proceeded to fill his bucket at the river and use a long handled brush and mop to give the outside of his van a full wash, in direct defiance of the signs forbidding it. At least one other left their waste pipe open to dribble grey water over the tarmac. No, it wasn't the end of the world, but it was disrespectful and made us ashamed to be associated with them by way of our nationality.
After a frosty night Vicky got up, did Pilates then went to fetch freshly baked croissants and a baguette from the boulanger on Grande Rue, whose information board promised they would be open at 6:45am. At 8:15am there was no signs of life but fortunately the lights of the artisan boulanger next to the grey stone Église Saint-Martin were spilling out onto the main square and had croissants aplenty that we enjoyed for breakfast.
Before finally departing Nonancourt, we returned once again to the cobbled alleys and timber framed buildings to pick up a few groceries, then a couple of hyacinths from the florist's to brighten up the van.Read more