We had another long day behind the wheel of the Defender today. For those of you who are curious, it is over 500 km from Tours in France to Charleville-Mézières near the Belgian border. And you need to skirt around Paris as well. That is quite a long time hanging out in your flip-flops while the transmission tunnel roasts your right leg…
But it needed to be done to make our bank appointment at ING in order to register our account for NetNomads Community.
Camping Port Diseur
This campsite is just barely still in France within a short hike of the Belgian border at the edge of the small village of Monthermé.
Coincidentally it is within a stone’s throw of Camping D’Haulmé where we spent a night on the first journey to Holland only a couple of weeks earlier!
The site is an average size and set on the confluence of the Semois and Meuse rivers. It appeared to be fully booked, with a large group of hikers/cyclists having dug in on the upper slope near the ablution blocks and all the riverfront pitches having been staked claim to…
However, hidden down near the bottom of the site was a muddy, soggy piece of grass that was still drying out after the heavy rains a week ago had forced the rivers to flood their banks. It was down here that the old guy gave us a small pitch.
Between two rivers
And what a cool little pitch it was. The river was literally two metres from our back door and having elected to sleep in the Landy we could view and hear the water flowing by from the comfort of our bed. Talk about a green and natural luxury!
The brown waters of both rivers were still rushing by quite rapidly, barely a couple of dozen centimetres below the grass line and made for a dynamic setting. A fishing rod poked out over the water (good luck with that), a broken tree trunk floated by at speed, a couple played soggy badminton while we prepped our roast veggie and chicken dinner for the oven. Very chilled.
The first shower test
We set up our little shower tent and hooked up the Kampa Hot Water Geyser System Thingy (I forget the technical term for this). And we tried out our first (heated) shower with water pressure (not from one of those shower bags that sprinkle icy water).
It was great. The system worked as advertised and the water was comfortably warm. It should heat the water to approximately thirty °C above the water temperature and it seemed to do that well enough.
We have a couple of wooden slats to stand on and using only about ten litres of water managed to get a soapy and refreshing rinse! And this also saved having to trek all the way to the shower block – so win-win all round.
The Ardennes is well known for being a nature lover’s paradise. Huge forested areas, hills, valleys, rivers, quaint villages… Hiking, cycling, canoeing and good beer.
There is also a lack of highways which means small, winding little roads through the forests and less traffic about. A pretty good argument for a weekend away.
Or a stopover on your way through Belgium… The campsite was mostly charming because of the proximity of the two rivers. But the facilities are there and the village is close enough to be doable on foot.
If you would like some peace and quiet in a setting surrounded by nature this is a good, basic campsite to spend a couple of days at while you explore the surroundings.