The plant where Charlie was manufactured is in Tournon-sur-Rhône in the Ardèche, where they produce nearly 6,600 motorhomes and 4,000 caravans each year.
Whilst we we’re in Tournon we hoping to get a tour of factory, but unfortunately the visitor programme is currently suspended. It would have been nice to have seen where Charlie was born especially as the Chausson 640 has recently been awarded the best layout of the as part of the European Innovation award at the Stuttgart Motorhome show.
Plan ‘B’ was a visit to the Valrhona city of chocolate but parking Charlie anywhere nearby proved so difficult we ended up in the vineyards of Crozes-Hermitage AOC which the cognoscenti amongst you will know produces very fine Cotes du Rhone. So Lesley how exactly did that happen?
Our next stop was a very typically French town of Crest. According to the tourist information, the castle in the Drôme Valley has the highest medieval castle keep in France.
The aire for the night was perfectly positioned just over the bridge below the centre of town. So we were able to cross the bridge and get our morning pain au raisin. We were also lucky enough to be there on market day and didn’t miss the opportunity to stock up on some great local produce.
Setting off the next day, we couldn’t find anyone to pay the 5 euro per night fee to, so although there were no facilities (water or electric) you couldn’t beat the convenience of the location and all for free!
As pert of our Christmas presents we had been given some great guide books including ‘The official Guide to the most Beautiful villages in France’.
We both like rural France, the simple pleasure of French bread and cheese (and wine), we love the markets, the traditions and culture. There is a frustration especially for me of not being able to speak the language in such a way that I might be able to have a meaningful conversation (no not necessarily about Brexit or the gilet jaune opinion of Macron) but something more than just ‘Je voudrais une bagette s’il vous plait.
We have been away only for a few weeks but we’re already we are starting to consider the why’s and the wherefores’ of what we’re up to. I know we just want to rush around, ticking off places we’re been, pressing on to the next castle or church, snapping the views, covering the ground just to be able to say….. “we’ve been there”. I think for me, yes I am looking to visit nice places, but it’s more about getting under the skin of the country.
Anyway the guide is easy to follow and has just a few selected towns in each (some areas are better served with more locations) of the four corners for the country. Today’s target was Mirmande a medieval hilltop (there’s often a hill) with great views of the Rhone valley from the top.
In the height of the summer season I can imagine it can get pretty busy as there were quite a few cafes and artist galleries. We particularly liked this old railway sleeper filled with glass for 4,700€ by Bernard Froment (just in case anyone is looking for xmas present ideas)
That’s all for now folks
Toodle Pip D&L
Dave & Lesley
We have nearly new Motorhome for our next adventure a Carthago C-Tourer I149. We love our first Charlie but we expect the Charlie II to keep us warmer in the winter.