Vichy and the Loire en route to Paris

The last 10 days have been a blur of cafes, bars and roads interspersed with random chateaus, picturesque towns and the chaos of Paris. All normal for a hound about France.

Vichy was a surprisingly nice stop off and the cheapest, yet quietest, campsite at €10. On the river and close to dog friendly pizza and bar (always a bonus). Vichy itself is quintessentially French with it’s architecture and outside terraces but the water spa is especially fabulous. Free to enter with maybe 20 flowing taps from different sources, all named and varying temperatures (tasted foul and sulphurous though according to Elaine. Not that it stopped her splashing her face too)

Then north to Beaugency (in the top photos) a small and sweet town on the Loire river. We didn’t bother with the obvious Loire sight seeing like Amboise as the area was busy being school holidays. Instead we mooched around the slightly more off beat towns with the Dutch. Good cycling and again good pizza (can you tell there’s a veggie amongst us?)

Then Vendome in northern Loire….

Paris was bonkers but, of course, fun. Leaving the van for a couple of days we ventured into the city and stayed at an airbnb. Two nights and days of cafes, bars and walking around in crowds. I was excited but found it all quite tiring. Because it was so frenetic Elaine didn’t take many photos, choosing to hold onto me instead, and rightly so!

We’re now back in the countryside watching the evening debacles of tent and caravan assembly. With a wine and beer naturally….

Dogs in Paris – Several all smaller than a cavalier and me.

Dogs on site – a chocolate lab she’s desperate to say hello too….

The Spanish Pyrenees, more vets and Le Tour

So after a fabulous three weeks in Cadaques we moved to Cala Llevado on the Costa Brava. It was perfectly lovely but possibly the noisiest campsite in the world and stifling hot. Over 30 degrees was forecast so out came the crinkly, never correctly folded map and off we headed. Figuring higher ground was the key to wearing jumpers again we headed for the mountains. Bielsa in the Pyrenees to be precise. A few days there and a few days further on in Escarillo were perfect. Two beautiful, and cool, spots to pitch up.

By now my insect bites should have cleared but they hadn’t and my neck was increasingly swollen. Rather than head to France, as planned, Elaine decided we needed to be in a larger Spanish town to see a vet. This way marginally less arm waving and blank confusion at foreign language would occur. 

3 vet visits, a biopsy (clear) and many more drugs kept us close to Irun for a week. The vets were fantastic and politely tolerated my lupine howling whilst recovering the anesthetic. I am now fine albeit with a manky neck.

Having the all clear from the vet meant we could finally dash (trundle in the van) 250km back to France and some of the Tour de France. Obviously not for everyone but it was fab fun to see a start and a hill stage. And, of course, for my two chumps to ride part of a stage it was thrilling.

Dogs at the Tour – loads, beagles, yorkies, huskies, you name it.
Instruments in caravans so far – Guitars, goes without saying. Electric guitars with amps, turned up to 11. Ukele. Accordian. Harmonica. Drums – yep a full kit in a van!