Date: 27th July 2023
Travelled: 60 kms from Saint-Martin d’Ardéche to Vogüé
Visited: Gorges de l’Ardéche and Vogüé
Stayed: Camping les Peupliers, €37, N44.53740, E04.41040
Budget: 66 days @ €84 per day
Whilst Pam goes for a walk I service the Hymer and make ready for the road. We want an early start today our 10 year old guide book tell us the Gorges de l’Ardeche and Pont d’Arc are very popular and overcrowded during the holiday season. Our French neighbours give us a wave goodbye, our GPS set for Pont d’Arc.
The drive through the Gorges is spectacular. Trying not to look at the views whilst dodging cyclists isn’t easy. There are several viewing points along the road giving us the opportunity to pass the same cyclist several times.
At some point the road suddenly descends and the road tunnels start, lots of tunnels mostly short.
Suddenly we are at river level and the traffic chaos begins. As we swing around a corner the Pont d’Arc appears we slow to walking pace but there’s no place to stop and take a picture. So we eventually work out you need to park a couple of kms away and catch a bus back to the Arch. So a Wiki picture it is.
The GPS eventually finds the aire at the co-ordinates I had entered. Whilst it has services it sits in a shadeless car park on a day it’s predicted to reach the mid 30°s, So we re-set the GPS for a campsite at Vogüè.
There are three big campsites around Vogüè all very expensive, we check each one out in turn and go for best shade v biggest pool. It’s peak holiday time in France and there are nearly all full. Must be peak holiday season in Holland as a third of the campers, cars and motorhome have NL (Netherlands) plates.
We spend the afternoon at the pool deciding on exploring Vogüè tomorrow.
It’s a 1500 m walk into Vogüè which is pleasant in the cool of the morning. The railway viaduct and view of the village looking across the River Ardèche make for some good photos.
As we walk though the village there are some lovely houses but they are more by exception. Pictured below.
At the far end of the village we find the Église Sainte-Marie, the date stone above the portal states the year 1691. But a panel around the corner tell us it has been rebuilt 3 times since then.
Pictured outside a boutique hotel, a Citroën Méhari, an absolute classic. They made 144,000 of this mini-moke look a likes. Why are they so rare ? The body, doors and panels were all plastic. They finished production in 1988 still long before they developed UV resistant plastic.
As we wander back through the village a couple of streets higher we find Vogüé Castle the ancestral home of one of the most illustrious families in France. The Castle is now a national monument and museum. As it doesn’t open for another hour we won’t get to see inside.
So we’ve done Vogüé as best we can, we wander back to the Hymer. Once the Hymer is set for the road we catch a last quick swim, not keen to pay another €37. The GPS is set for Le Poët Laval in the Provence.
Michael + Pam