Port de Nuisement, Lac du Der-ChantecoqSeptember 27, 2019 in France ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C
The sound of halyards clanking against yacht masts reaches our ears from over the line of shrubby autumnal trees dividing us from the boatyard, adjacent to tonight's 6 place aire.
Progress towards Switzerland has been reasonable today. We spent many hours on the road, but were slowed by a trip to a boulangerie (we needed bread and could no longer resist the call of the patisserie counter), a stop off at Carrefour (to stock up on wine and food while still in an affordable country) and about a thousand roundabouts (because we avoid toll roads wherever possible and France makes you pay one way or the other).
We were therefore relieved to pull up next to the other motorhomes at Port de Nuisement, on the northern shore of Lac du Der-Chantecoq; the largest artificial lake in Western Europe. Created in 1974 to prevent the River Seine flooding Paris, it is now somewhat of a recreational hub, with a perimeter hugging walking and cycle track, not to mention the opportunities for fishing and other water sports.
Will wasn't feeling his usual energetic self, so just went for a quick explore, taking in the array of impressive sailing craft, almost all of them on trailers in the yard, having been hauled out of the water with a tractor. Paths criss crossed neat greens, leading to a petanque pitch and small volleyball court. A kitesurfing clubhouse was the closest building to the stony lake shore, with a few dedicated enthusiasts riding the small waves, some on hydrofoils.
After tea Will really began to feel the effects of a cold he'd been fighting, so went to bed early. Thankfully the rest seemed to do the trick.
Come morning, Vicky made it out for a walk, choosing to cross the low dam wall joining one side of the bay with a headland on the other. Slick grey silt gave a claggy smell to the air. The water level within the bay was several metres higher than in the main body of the lake and it looked like it had recently spilled over the top of the dam, leaving sediment as it receded. The site is brilliant for birds, with Cranes and White Tailed Eagles known to visit. Despite not spotting any of these Vicky was happy to see Swans, Egrets (Great White and Little), Grey Herons, gulls, Lapwings, Swifts and several flocks of small birds she thinks were probably Water Pipits. The individuals hopped from rock to rock before flying they all flew off as one body. It's a wonderful feeling to be able to immerse yourself in the outdoors!
Before leaving we tried to fill with fresh water, but the person selling tokens for the service machine was busy hauling the last few boats out of the marina, so we left them to their work and programmed a stopover with a tap into the sat nav.Read more