We moved onwards through France with a long drive north, including a diversion around Bourg-en-Bresse that left us doing some old fashioned paper map reading as the sat nav tried to push us back onto the closed road.
As we continued our steady pace through France I wondered again why we don’t spend more time in France. By avoiding toll roads we were seeing some of what France has to offer, but it felt very superficial as we were only passing through. I snapped a few pictures from Bertie as we went to remind us of the types of places we were seeing.
When we were tired of driving we picked a nearby free aire from one of our apps. Today’s aire was in Pierre-de-Bresse; a mixed car park with motorhome services and electricity. A little manoeuvring got us close enough to plug into the electricity, but it wasn’t man enough for our kettle and we didn’t have any other reason to be on hook-up so we unplugged and moved away to leave the space free for someone who needed it.
The following morning we set off early to the Foret d’Orient through increasingly rural villages. We found a free parking spot on Park4Night that had a position on the shores of Lake Temple with some views. Despite there being one other van in the car park it felt nice and peaceful, insects abounded in the humid atmosphere and we chased a few lazy fat flies out of the van before making sure that all of the fly screens were in place.
We took our bikes out along the shores of these vast reservoirs. A cycle trail runs along the northern edge of the lakes, mostly on dedicated pathways right alongside the lake shore. The views of the lakes were beautiful, the water as flat as a mirror, and as soon as we started to find the lakeside views a bit tedious we entered the forest between the lakes and completely different surroundings. School children were out in droves on their bikes, each group topped and tailed by a teacher and wearing brightly coloured vests. When I got a puncture we had a rapt audience as we changed the inner tube. We stopped at one of the beaches on the Lac d’Orient for our lunch, sitting at picnic benches and watching the few other people who were using the facilities.
After Lake Annecy, this area felt a little lacking in dramatic scenery, but was far more tranquil, we had a quiet nights sleep and were pleased to wake up the next morning without any insect bites.