Lac D’Orient – France 2012 Part 2

aerial lacdorientWe arrived on the sparkling shores of Lac D’Orient refreshed and ready to kick back and chill out.  I had been to site we were heading for before, in my other life, with my ex-husband and 2 small boys in a motorhome.  As we approached I remembered how we’d rented a pedalo with a slide and the fun we’d all had sliding off the back and also the pesky mosquitos’.   It took me back and it always breaks my heart to think of 2 boys that had Mum and Dad together then, through no fault of their own, their world turned upside down.  They are beautiful young men now and suprisingly grounded, their Dad and I have always been amiable but it still makes me sad – as lovely as they are now I miss the days when they were small and I could hold their little hands and a plaster and a cuddle solved most things.  Back to reality, no children little or otherwise and some time to ourselves in the sunshine, life’s not all bad.

I reviewed the campsite, L’Epines Aux Moins,  in Kylas Coolest Camping Part 2 post on this blog, hopefully you will find it here: https://kyla40.wordpress.com/2011/07/page/2/.  The site is on the shores of the Petit Lac and less commercialized than the sites maplacdorientacross the water.  There is now a small shop and snack bar on site and free wi-fi on the terrace.  The pitch sizes are good and we decided to pitch the Outwell instead of just the small 2 man.  For two of us this was luxury once pitched with a bedroom and living area and the option to stand fully upright and pull on your knickers without the 2 man tent tussle. It also meant we could sit inside with just the fly nets up in the evening thus avoiding the mozzies.  To be honest they weren’t as bad as I had remembered probably because although the day had been hot the evening cooled down a lot.  Even so there were a few about and by the end of the 2 nights  we could amuse ourselves comparing bites of varying sizes. Worth it though, the area and lake were as lovely as I remember them and we had the chance to relax and explore a little.

To be honest we did very little exploring for 2 days, choosing to laze about in the sunshine interspersed with the occasional dip in the lake.  On one day we circumnavigated the entire lake, this is excellent cycling country but as we had no bikes (oh what a shame) we took Fugly car instead.  For those who like water-sports there is a marina and water-sports centre near the larger campsites.  We opted for the less active option of a meal and glass of wine in a small bar in one of the towns, Geroudet I believe,  dotted around the lake.  We went to bed early and got up late with nothing to do and no demands – after 2 days we  learned that the weather was turning so decided to break camp and head south early the next morning.  If the sun had continued to shine we would have happily stayed there, sampling champagne and possibly venturing back into Troyes of an evening but we are fickle campers and we hadn’t quite had our full dose of warm, sunny weather.  So on a damp, cool, dismal morning we bundled the tent into the car and headed south for The Ardeche.lacdorient

Kyla’s Coolest Camping France Part 2

We often travel to the south of France using the following route (ish) Reims, Troyes, Annecy, Route Napoleon, Mediterranean Sea and have found a number of campsites that most definitely fit my kind of ‘cool’ criteria, here’s a couple to start you off:

Lake Annecy

One of my favourite sites is on Lake Annecy near the village of St Jorioz.  It is called Camping Univers and, just to set the scene, it has a solar system logo on an old and tatty sign.  From the start we christened this Camping Paradiso, for those of you who have ever watched Bottom you will understand why.  The campsite is a field with a part dilapidated brick shed type building in the middle, these are the toilets.  The toilets are clean but come complete with cobwebs and spiders, they reminded me of my great-grans outside loo which was only to be used when absolutely desperate in case the monster spider in the corner decided he was hungry and you looked edible.  Fortunately, having read Charlottes’ Web, I am now completely free of any spider phobia but I do have a phobia of dead birds, if anyone knows of a good book which may cure my phobia please let me know.  Electric hook-up is available and can be shackle up from the owners on site cabin, therefore you have to camp near the cabin if you want to charge the laptop.  Despite it’s obvious short comings regarding health and safety I absolutely adore this site, it is unpretentious in the extreme yet almost a stones throw from the shores of the beautiful Lake Annecy.  The cycle track is within spitting distance and the village is a ten minute walk away with its totally tempting patisserie for the odd million calorie cake or tart (promise yourself you will cycle around the lake and you can eat your treat guilt free and then, like me, you can forget all about your promise and go back to camp for a snooze))  Considering it’s so convenient for all Lake Annecy has to offer, it feels a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the more touristy sites and places of interest. If you want the next best thing to wild camping on the shores of the Lake, then Camping Univers is for you, if you don’t like spiders in your shower it might be a good idea to stay else where.

Camping Univers

180, Impasse de la Tuilerie, 74410 Saint-Jorioz

04 50 68 98 25

The picture of the campsite (right) says it all, a very special place.

 

Troyes Lac D’Orient

As you may have realized by now, I have a thing for being near water, whether it be a lake, river or the sea, I love the water especially if it has good skinny dipping opportunities. This love of water probably stems from the fact that I live in the middle of the country, quite possibly the furthest point in the country from the sea (actually I think that’s Nuneaton but don’t quote me) 

 In France you don’t have to drive far from the channel ports (4 – 5 hours) to find a huge lake and it’s smaller companions in  the Parc Natural de la Foret Orient.  I’m not mad keen of forests, they’re just a bit too foresty for me, but the dense fir forest is interspersed with wide open spaces and of course the lakes.  Most people head for the 4 star Camping Lac D’Orient (www.camping-lacdorient.com) on the shores of the biggest lake Orient.  But for those who don’t need the all singing and dancing type site then you might like to follow in our footsteps and try Camping L’Epines Aux Moines (http://www.pnr-foret-orient.fr/fr/pdf/oti/camping/lepine_aux_moines.pdf) on the shores of Anse Du Petit Orient.  The campsite has shaded pitches and clean toilets (no man-eating spiders here), it also has a play area and from memory a small shop.  The location is excellent, just a few metres from a lake beach which also hires out pedalos with slides off the back.  We had an excellent time on the lake diving and sliding in off the pedalos.  There are sailing schools nearby, Troyes is just up the road and it is excellent cycling country.  We were originally using it as an overnight stop but ended up staying 2 nights so we could mess about on the lake.  On our first night an elderly couple emerged from their caravan in long trousers and tops, sat in their deck chairs and faced our pitch, as if they were waiting for the entertainment.  It was very hot and I just thought them a bit odd, little did I know what was to come. About 10 minutes later we realised why the elderly couple were dressed from head to toe: mosquitos!  Before we had a chance to find the swatter and light our anti-mosquito candle the little blood sucking buggers were having a lovely evening meal -us!  The couple looked on amused as we retreated to the motorhome, shutting the fly-nets and muttering obscenities.  It didn’t put us off staying another night, we just did as the elderly couple did and covered ourselves from head to toe.  You have been warned but this is still a pretty cool campsite in a beautiful area.

Part 3 – The Med………to be continued.