Something we’ve had to adapt to on this more wintery trip is the limited daylight hours. With the sun setting at 5:30ish, we’re having to give some serious thought mid-afternoon as to where we might end up that evening if we want to suss out a likely spot when it’s daylight – not really our normal approach.
Combined with this, we’re also conscious that in order to make the most of the reduced hours of daylight we need to get up earlier – again, not something we’d ordinarily do. It’s still darkish at 7:30am here, which makes it even harder, but we’re working on it.
Anyway, I mention this because time was getting on when we left Alencon and so we needed to find somewhere for the night. Something we’re finding these days is that we keep on coming across places we’ve previously visited. Just 10 minutes East of Alencon is an aire at La Fresnaye sur Chédouet, which we’d headed to for refuge during the heatwave experienced on our last visit to this area. It’s on the edge of a forest, which provided much needed shade and somewhere to walk that was out of the sun.
This time though the temperature was around 5C, so around 30 degrees cooler. From Alencon to La Fresnaye, heavy rain set in as the sun set and the rainbow faded. Even so, the autumnal colours in the last light of the day were magnificent. In the last few kilometres there was actually sleet, so that prompted us to make a mental note that in the event of snow, to do our best to be stuck where there was water, loo emptying facilities, and ideally shops within walking distance. We’ll also keep our refillable gas topped up.
So another peaceful night on our own, and no snow, which was good.
In the morning, after taking advantage of the free water and cassette emptying, I had to trick SatNav lady into taking us the country route to Mortagne au Perche. After enjoying the late evening trees the previous day, we wanted more Autumn colours. The day was very sunny right from the start, and the route very picturesque.
The plan was a coffee and cake break at Mortagne at the aire at St Langis. This was a really impressive stop, and had it been the right time of day it would have been a great overnighter, with its separate bays and amazing wide views across the countryside from an excellent high vantage point.
After our coffee break I talked Sophie into a stroll round the fishing lake just beneath us. I only got away with it by explaining that we could actually drive the few metres necessary to get us to the lake’s carpark. Some things never change. We had a good modest walk and enjoyed some more great scenery.