St Just Ibarre to Estibeaux

*** For just a taster of our photos, you might like our Facebook Page: @RandomMotorhomeTravels ***

The only sound last night was the rushing river, so an ideal sleeping venue. It was a busy morning, by motorhoming standards, and in fact we didn’t get off till after 3:30pm in the end. Our first neighbour had turned up just before we left, which is just as well as they parked so close. It is tempting sometimes to think that we have sole rights to these great spots – I think this is because it is genuinely a rarity for us to overnight with neighbours.

Today’s route took us past the site of Gurs’ well known internment camp, which initially housed the many Spanish refugees fleeing their country towards the end of their civil war. Then, in WWII the French imprisoned Jews and foreigners there.

Our main objective of the day was Sauveterre de Béarn, a town situated on a vantage point overlooking a bend in the river Gave d’Oloron. The free motorhome facilities were appreciated, and the parking helpful for a day visit. However, being cheek to jowl with our motorhoming neighbours, with tennis courts behind and a Basque pelota court in front, and the associated thudding and whoops of delight from the participants of all ages, we somehow knew that we’d not be overnighting here.

The town is attractive, has some lovely buildings, history, and great views. However, it feels like it is has had its day, and its beauty has been left to sadly fade.

Having banked on Sauveterre for our night’s accommodation, it was then a question of referring to Park4night for some inspiration. I set a course northwards towards a potential spot almost an hour away, then mapped in a few other possibilities en route.

The first attempt, at the village with the great name of Puyoo, wasn’t practical as it was a small grass parking area next to the river, and with grass can come a risk of getting stuck – hard-standing is always the best. We came up trumps with our next Park4night, a picnic area next to the Lac de Tastoa near to Estibeaux.

The large lake has great parking, trees for shade, with plenty of geese and ducks, an island with literally hundreds of roosting Egrets, and is very quiet indeed. Only a few cars arrived during the evening. Strangely, one must have been a hunter, who arrived as it was dusky, presumably intent on murdering some animals. Ducks, geese, rabbits? No idea, but we only heard about 3 gun shots in the dark, and were pleased when they drove off.

So, another great result from Park4night.

*** Just to mention that our blogs can be up to a few weeks behind reality, as we’re always in catch-up mode ***

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