Saturday 13 August

Another hot day. We drive to nearby Crémieu, a medieval town with a rich history. There is a well-equipped Aire des Camping Cars near the police station on the edge of the town where we empty the waste tank and then park up. Then it is just a minute’s walk to the centre of the town.

(magnify) City gate
(magnify) Covered market
(magnify) Augustinian Convent
Covered Market
(magnify) From the Hippolyte

There are information boards all around the town, most of which seem to be concerned with the different styles of windows through the centuries. We climb slowly up the hill that is referred to as the Hippolyte, where the first religious settlement was built, founding the town.

(magnify) From the hippolyte
From the hippolyte

After Crémieu, we drive on in the general direction of Les Echelles via some scenic minor roads, stopping fairly soon at the hypermarket at Morestel to stock up, refuel, and have lunch.

Suitably fed, we follow the D16 to La Tour-du-Pin, then the D17 to Virieu, and on down to the Lac de Paladru, which is very commercialised and is a disappointment. We can’t get to the shore because it is all private, including a very crowded pay-to-enter bathing area. After a much needed sorbet we hit the road again and head over the Col des Mille Martyrs. We try a campsite half way down but it looks crowded and is not within walking distance of any amenities.

(magnify) Approaching Les Echelles

So onwards down into Les Echelles to the site we had originally chosen, right in the centre, which actually turns out to be in neighbouring Entre-Deux-Guiers. It’s all right but nowhere near as nice as last night’s site – rather crowded and noisy and more expensive too. The receptionist tries to communicate something to us that I completely fail to get. Finally he calls a colleague over who translates into English: A “Jar of Welcome.” I still am none the wiser.

We are right next to the facilities block. There is also a swimming pool, but dinner is a higher priority. R is finding the heat oppressive – 30°C according to the van’s thermometer.

The showers are decent though. As we eat dinner in the van we finally learn what the “Jar of Welcome” is. I should have realised; it’s nothing more than welcome drinks!