Lac de TailluretFebruary 9 in France ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C
We made good headway west today along flat, straight forest roads. After nervously bouncing over the hard earth surface of the Chemin du Lac track, we've parked up on the grassy shore of Lac de Tailluret. A handful of small farm buildings sit on the crest of the small rise 300m behind us, but other than this, there is hardly a house in sight. The rest is grassland, fresh green fields of spring crops, bare woodland and the expanse of water, which reflects the sunshine when seen from a distance, but is in fact a little muddy close up.
The area is a nature reserve and it's not just us who are appreciating the warmth of the day. We are the only people here, but individual yellow butterflies flit past and a black pair are courting. Bumble bees buzz while silken threads from spiders or caterpillars stream off the twigs of a fallen branch, glinting in the sunlight. We can't quite believe it is 15°C, but Will leaps at the chance to take the canoe out for its maiden voyage of 2019! Birds of prey call out overhead as he explores the lake. Vicky isn't up to a paddle, but enjoys sitting outside on the camp chair with the sound of running water in the background. The only thing that mars this idyll is the crack of gunshots that ring out in the mid afternoon, followed by the noise of baying hounds and blown horns. However, we don't see anything and the tell tale noises of the hunt fall away after a while.
The night sky is clear and with the canoe off the roof, we push open the large skylight over the bed, sticking our heads and shoulders out to lazily admire the stunnimg starscape from within the comfort and warmth of the van; Orion, The Plough, the North Star, Cygnus, Cassiopeia and the Seven Sisters all clearly visible!
The weather didn't treat us quite so well on the second day; cold showers blew in with a biting wind, so no more canoeing, but Will wrapped up and found a sheltered spot to fish, his persistence being payed off with a Bream, big enough for his tea. It was bony, but really tasty. The inclement conditions didn't put the hunters off either. They were back and had surrounded an area of scrubland in a dell on the side of a hill. Watching through binoculars, we saw them flush two wild boar out of thickets, the petrified creatures hefting their solid bulk as quickly as they could over the grassland, gunshots following them.
Vicky is becoming increasingly anxious about Brexit and the restrictions this may mean on our travels. We spent many years planning this trip and rented out our UK house, taking the ferry to France less than a week after the referendum back in 2016. While we've chosen to visit several times to see family and friends, we've also been required to return for health appointments and are now faced with the potential prospect of our journeys within the 26 countries of the Schengen zone being curtailed to 3 months in every 6. It would be a real loss of freedom and the uncertainty is leading to a real feeling of insecurity for Vicky.
She spent the day looking for UK campsites that are open throughout the year. They all seem to cost so much for so little in return, compared to the amazing aires we have found on the continent, many of them free. For £39 she signed up to the Camping and Caravanning Club. Membership gives discounts on camping and ferry crossings as well as access to Certified Sites; basic locations with up to five pitches for caravans or motorhomes that are often cheaper than the larger, all singing, all dancing places. She came accross Cuckoo's Corner in Romsley in the West Midlands which offers a field and electric hookup for £12 a night. Having somewhere we can potentially use as a UK base without having to rely on the wonderful hospitality and generosity of family and friends made her feel a lot better.Read more