Saturday 15 June 2019

Donjeux by the Canal

Saturday 15 June 2019

Nido’s parked up on yet another free aire - they’re coming at us thick and fast!  We’re making our way down to the Comte region, heading for an area near the Jura mountains.  This one is just outside the village of Donjeux, in the south-east of the Champagne region.  Again, it’s free to stay, with free drinking water and unlimited electricity.  It’s by a canal and next to the ‘Halte Nautique’, an area where the boats can moor up and also enjoy the free facilities.  It’s a small aire for only four vans; we’re parked in a corner and blocked in by a Dutch van, but it’s not a problem; Cathy had a chat and let them know we’re not rushing off in the morning.  The canal is teeming with life, with the natterjack toads making a right old racket!  There’s a few fishermen along the bank and I’ve seen plenty of small roach in the shallows and what looks like tench on the surface.

It rained hard in the night and I had to close the skylight above our bed at about 0145 as the odd raindrop was making its way down to me, but we woke to clear blue sky and a warm sun.  We know from experience that many of the shops and supermarkets are closed on Sunday (tomorrow), so we popped into the Carrefour in Epernay (a major Champagne producing town) to top up with food and diesel before starting today’s journey.

We’re keeping our travelling down to about two hours per day to ensure we don’t spend too much time on the road, which can become tiring day after day; we have plenty of time on this trip. So arriving here at 1300 was ideal and, after a spot of lunch, we took a walk along the canal towpath to the next village.  Sitting in the village square opposite the Marie’s office, we enjoyed watching the acrobatics of the swallows and swifts as they dived and turned feeding on the flies, before swooping into their nests under the roof eaves to feed their young.

Cathy cooked a lovely risotto and we’re sat outside the van, overlooking the canal with a cup of tea.  We’re getting back into the van routine, with our allotted jobs (Cathy’s inside and mine outside), remembering to plug in gadgets for charging as we drive along (although with so much free electricity it hasn’t been a problem) and making sure all the skylights are closed and doors and drawers secured before we drive away.   

View from the galley

Donjeux aire

Halte Nautique, also with free water and electricity

I think this garage needs a new PR & marketing team!

They were most disappointed we had no food for them

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