Yes, despite towing a caravan, today we hit a ton – a ton on the barking mad Fahrenheit scale, anyway. We drove up from our over-priced but partly shaded campsite just above Limoges and checked into another supposedly partly shaded campsite in La Sologne, at a town called Salbris to be precise. The temperature had been climbing steadily as we drove north. After installing Guillaume, when we popped out to a local supermarket largely to get some air-conditioned respite, the temperature was recording 38°C/100°F. Regrettably, very little of the partial shade actually fell on our pitch; our part of the partly shaded was limited to that thrown by a relatively young, skinny tree. Nonetheless, we were thankful for what we could get and augmented it with Guillaume’s travelling sunshade. Guillaume, as you can see, was in full sun. Being inside Guillaume was distinctly unpleasant [I’ve never, ever said that before, he’s lovely]. Guillaume had become not a caravan but a caroven. 😉
There were a few Odos flitting about the lake that you can see in the picture – La Sologne is peppered with little lakes – and we did have a brief saunter around to check them out later in the afternoon but the temperature remained uncomfortably high, movement was too much of an effort and carrying any heavy camera/lens combos was utterly out of the question.
This is an example of where campsite descriptions fall down a little, for fussy travellers like us, that is. Since one man’s meat is another man’s poison, the book entries for sites are kept objective rather than subjective, which I entirely understand. Thus, this site’s description would include such information as “lakeside pitches”, “partly shaded”, “friendly welcome” (which came eventually, though our arriving at 12:10 PM shortly after madame’s lunch had commenced didn’t smooth the waters), and so on. The truth is, though, that whilst this was an adequate site for a one night stop, it was not a place we’d want to linger. It would, of course, have been a bit more comfortable an adequate site at a lower temperature.
The local church clock in Salbris provided us with some much needed amusement. We kept hearing a single “bong” for the half hour but hadn’t actually noticed any hour striking to know what it was half past of. Sure enough, the hourly chiming mechanism seemed to be broken. BONG! “It’s half past something again, dear”.
With no letting up of the French canicular oven, I tried tipping water all over my head and shirt in an effort to cool down, to the great amusement of our Dutch neighbours who were blond, as brown as berries [that expression has always amused me since I don’t ever recall seeing a brown berry] and equipped with a shop-blind awning for their own shade. Their caravan was still in the blazing sun and would still have been transformed into a caroven, though.
How we slept I will never know. Still, at least there wasn’t a Spanish fiesta in full swing, just Guillaume’s desk fan at take-off speed.