Today was about making up some lost ground caused by Vanya wanting to get as close to our daughter in Portsmouth as possible without our actually leaving France (see previous blog) and so; we headed back down the Cherbourg Peninsula through St Mere Eglise and Carentan (both scenes of bloody fighting during WWII and of absolutely no interest to Vanya) to first Chahaignes in the Pays de la Loire region of north-west France and second Ternay in the Vienne.
Our reason for travelling to Chahaignes was to take advantage of something we joined before leaving the UK – France Passion. This is a service scheme whereby some 2,000+ farmers, winegrowers and craftsmen/women across France have agreed to provide free 24 hour stopovers on their properties to motor-homers. It is wonderful. For the 30 Euros a year it costs to join France Passion, the motor-homer gets a free spot to park for the night (sometimes well off the beaten track) with an opportunity to meet the locals and try their produce. There’s no obligation to buy but why not use some of the money that might otherwise have spent on camp site fees on really fresh produce that you like?
Perhaps not surprisingly, the place we chose to visit first was a winery and so it was that we arrived at the “Domaine de la Raderie” in Chahaignes…
Although the parking was fine, we elected not to stay the night at the Domaine de la Raderie (too many wasps) but it was not a wasted journey. We left with 6 bottles of a rather nice Chenin Blanc, 3 bottles of Bulles de Raderie (not bad at at all) and a 5 litre box of something else that Vanya liked.
An hour or so later and just before it got dark we arrived in the small town of Ternay and parked up for the night in a free Aire which had seen much better days. No matter, we were the only ones there and it was peaceful. Moreover, we were well poised to try more wine tasting down in the Centre-Val de Loire. Montrichard here we come.