La Rochelle to Maché, via St Michel en l’Herm

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After dinner on board, I fancied a stroll, but Sophie was a bit tired, plus still nursing a bruised little toe, so I thought I’d wander into La Rochelle. It was a lovely evening, although the wind was cold, but it’s a straightforward and interesting 30 minute walk along the large marina, then by the sea as you approach the iconic towers, where the harbour to La Rochelle’s old town is. I had a nose round the town, doing a bit of research into restaurants for lunch the next day. By the time I’d returned, Sophie’d got talking to a Scottish lady in the next van along, who was taking a year out to travel through Europe, with her three dogs.

By the next day, Sophie was up for a walk into town, but only on the proviso that we caught the sea bus back. So we walked in, enjoyed a lunch outside, took a stroll round the backstreets, then caught the hydrogen-powered “bus de la mer” by the main tower, which for €3 each took us back to the marina, just below where we were parked.

We set off pretty smartly, generally continuing northwards, and although I’d planned to explore the coast, it was clear that the immediate roads and little villages North of La Rochelle weren’t all ideal for a motorhome, and parking there was pretty much prohibited anyway. So we just kept inland, and soon after taking advantage of Charron’s free motorhome services, we’d crossed over from Charente-Maritime into Vendee.

Our stop for the night was by a small étang/lake in the small village of St Michel en l’Herm. It was a popular spot for dog walkers and fishermen, but we had the place to ourselves overnight, after enjoying a spectacular sunset.

After a good night’s sleep we made a prompt, for us, start, as we set out to move on up through the Vendee. After a short brush with the typical Vendee coast, we then headed inland, touching on Talmont St Hilaire, where they have castle ruins. Deciding against returning to the coast, which we’ve explored in the past, we continued our inland route, initially passing Le Girouard, where they have an excellent overnighting spot, with plenty of rural space and free services. They also have a baguette machine in this tiny village if you’re out of bread.

Final stop for the day has turned out to be by the Lac d’Apremont just beyond the town of Maché. Fishing is clearly popular here, and we have a very attractive position overlooking this lovely lake.

*** 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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