Saint-Hilaire-de-Chaléons, Loire Atlantique

Ok so we’d never heard of this place either. We’re still travelling South and we wanted to visit the city of Nantes. There is a very expensive campsite in the city so we started looking for alternatives. Using the railway line on Google maps we found this place about an hour from Pontchateau.

We cross the Loire river on the way in.

It’s a little village with a railway station and a municipal campsite about 45 mins by train from Nantes. These campsites aren’t usually online and it took a couple of phone calls and halting English and French but we booked in. It’s only open in July and August not sure why really.

The site sits alongside a cemetery and very unusual homage to Calvary and also the Calvary in Pontchateau. What a coincidence!

Reception doesn’t open until 6pm but as the site is almost empty, maybe three sites taken with tents, we choose a pitch and setup as it’s only 1pm. All the pitches have shade as the site has mature trees everywhere and it’s only €16 a night.

A helpful german camper told us the bar opposite the site is only open one last day today and that the boulangerie next door was closing next week. Both are going on their two week summer holidays in August, so very french.

We enjoy lunch outside in the shade under the trees, made with lovely fresh bread followed by delicious cake bought in the boulangerie.

T checks out the train station which turns out to be less than five minutes walk away and susses out buying tickets and train times.

Late afternoon I pay the cemetery and Calvary a visit.

The graves are different to ours  only having just a family name on and sometimes an individual’s but no sentiment or date of birth & death.

The site services block looks new and is very swish and beautifully clean but still lacks toilet seats and paper. Still seems strange to me and it varies from site to site.

Around 6:30pm we enjoy a g&t and then a drink in the bar across the road. We do intend to eat in a local restaurant but can’t get in. It’s Saturday night so we probably should have booked this afternoon. Instead it’s back to the van with a picnic from the fridge, the last bit of salad and homemade garlic bread. T was on the red wine and he got more than he bargained for. A wasp sting! It was in his glass and stung him, wine spurting everywhere. He looks like he’s had lip filler but only on one side!

Trivia quizes to end the evening managing both our best and worst scores and Nantes to look forward to tomorrow.

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