So our time in Spain is at an end, well for a few months anyway!
We have crossed over the boarder and in a very non ‘our leap of faith’ gone on a big drive, well big drive for us at around 350km….
Ok not that long a drive, then…..
Which brings us to today’s post, I’m sure the list is endless but today I’m going to talk about two things that the French just effortless get right …
1. ~ Bread
The savouring of baguettes is a serious business in France – shortages are what stirred the famous revolution, and there’s even a French bread law.
They all share the same taste, pretty much.
It’s only the texture of the crust and the amount of air inside that changes depending on individual baking methods. This is because the French bread law (yes, there’s actually a law) states that traditional baguettes can only be made with four ingredients, wheat flour, water, salt and yeast.
This means there can’t be too many unpleasant surprises.
Something else that must legally stay the same is that they can’t be frozen at any stage or contain additives or preservatives, which finally explains the frustrating reason they go stale after just 24 hours if you didn’t just devavor the thing
But in France stale bread isn’t such a problem – you’d just be buying more bread the next day anyway, making sure to get the daily dose of this heavenly drug.
2~ The motorhome aire
For us motorhome ‘aires’ means designated motorhome parking areas (Aire de Camping Cars in France; Stellplatz in Germany and Austria, Sosta in Italy ) provided and maintained by villages, towns or cities usually with some type of motorhome services station offering options such as grey water and cassette toilet emptying and refilling of drinking water.
Overnighting on an aire is usually allowed for a maximum of 24 or 48 hours.
The parking itself might be free or might attract a fee and any or all of the services may be charged as well (if there is an electric hookup that is almost always extra).
Generally speaking the more the parking charge the more services will be included. Some aires even provide toilets and showers and feel more like basic campsites than aires, from our experience in the off-season some campsites officially close but maintain a basic aire service next to their regular pitches or in the car park outside their camping.
In reality most of the aires we have stayed at are essentially car parks, either just for motorhomes or at the side of larger parking areas where a few larger bays have been especially painted.
Which neatly brings us to today’s stop over
A small, unassuming village with obviously a super little bakery (see above), a large church and not a lot else.
What I’m trying to say is that we are being offered campsite facilities for a fraction of the cost !
In a small wonderful village,along side the wide rolling free road of the D137, St. Genis de Saintonge (N45.483530 W0.566760) but one that doesn’t need to turn a profit- they are just happy you stopped over and spent money in the local community!
An automatic parking barrier and upon payment you’ll get a pin code to allow entry and exit during your stay.
It allows use of the full range of services including electrical hook up for €10 per night
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