Route des Cretes, Vosges- The Ardennes
The morning started wet with little sign of improvement. We decided to abandon the cycle-ride, as it takes quite a while to take the bikes off the rack now, especially since we’ve made ourselves belt-and braces legal with a new light- board, clearly showing lights and reg . Having decided it wasn’t worth it, we motored up to the Col de Bonhomme (943m) and along the northern stretch of the Route des Cretes. This runs North-South for approx 50miles, through Alsace. Tommy, our van, handles fantastically well up and down mountain passes. It was raining harder and we decided to keep going, in fact, we both were concerned about not going back until the Sunday, as this meant we would miss Kate, who was returning to Uni that day. Let’s go back sooner, cos we’ve done what we wanted to do!
From the Route des Cretes, Sally Satnav took us into Luxembourg for about 20 mins (would like to research and go back there), and then into Belgium for about one hour, and then back into the Ardennes region of France, famous for it’s wildboar. We followed the Semoy and the Meuse rivers and ended up finding the only campsite still open, at Charleville Mezieres. Cheap enough, but what miserable weather to arrive in. I asked the cute, little receptionist if the weather was set to improve, cos she’d asked me if we intended staying more than one night, and she pulled a miserable face! So that’d be a Non. After helping her with a jammed stapler, we nestled into our “emplacement”. It’s lovely to shut the weather out, re-heat the last of the pre-prepared frozen meals, and open up a bottle of wine! All that time spent cooking and freezing meals at home has really paid off. Choose your meal in the morning, take it out of the freezer and let it thaw out during the day, then drive for several hours/ cycle or walk for several hours, return, stick it in a pan with some rice/couscous/potatoes. Ready in less than half an hour, about the time it takes you to drink your aperitif!!!