Saint Blancard to Laréole

After appreciating the lovely waterside views we decided to move to a more solid-based position in the same carpark before bedtime. Rain was forecast for the morning and whilst the ground was solid enough, it showed signs of having been muddy previously, so moving just a few metres and ensuring we could comfortably roll slightly downhill to the exit seemed prudent.

When we woke, the rain had started, and all looked good, but we thought we’d head off straight away anyway.

First stop was the town of Lombez, which is known for its large round cathedral tower. No convenient parking, and rain were the key factors leading us to stop just outside the centre and have coffee onboard instead. Under other circumstances I think we’d have taken a wander.

Given the weather we thought it was a good day to have a meal out and so we decided to check our the next small village of Samatan. Aided by TripAdvisor, and Park4night which showed us where there was some generous central parking, we were soon sat down in the lovely “La Table d’Olivier”. The restaurant had great reviews and features in the “Tables & Auberges de France” guide (, which we were given on our departure.

Their set lunch, including wine and coffee was a very reasonable €18 and it was the first fine-dining we’d enjoyed since starting this trip 9 weeks ago (no offence Sophie 😉). Every course was excellent, as was the wine, and the service too could not have been better, with the waiters making every effort to help on the language front where necessary. If you’re passing we’d strongly recommend a visit.

The rain had stopped by the time we left and the next stop was L’Isle Jourdain, where we just tipped out and topped up, plus had a Lidl visit, where we were sadly unable to find our favourite ice-cream.

We’d now turned North-West and soon passed through the very attractive small village of Cologne, where their main attraction is a colonaded covered market. Fortunately you can drive right round this unusual feature, but despite Sophie’s pleadings I drew the line at two circumnavigations 🙄.

Just outside the village, we found ourselves on a minor road with great far-reaching views and saw a pull-in which looked suited to being an overnight spot. As it turned out, before long the traffic was more frequent than was comfortable, and whilst this would likely peter out with time, we didn’t want to take the risk.

I’d seen a promising carpark with views on Park4night, just 5km away and so off we went. Just before we arrived there we passed a large carpark for the Château de Laréole. With more wonderful country views, no cars, and set in a tiny village, it seemed ideal. In fact we discovered another motorhome had had the same idea.

We’ve had a walk around the outside of the chateau, open free to the public, and are now settled in a very pleasant spot for the night at the far end of the carpark, next to a rather large field with far-reaching views.

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