That is to say, in the department Puy-de-Dôme, as opposed to camping in the famous dormant volcano, the Puy de Dôme.
Who would have thought that the heavens would open and torrential rain would plague our camping trip to this region in the centre of France – in August! But then we often look back on our camping disasters with such misguided fondness don’t we, as they remain the most prominent in our rose-tinted memories.
We are not the most seasoned of campers and I totally blame my husband for the hours that it took for us to put up our tent, when all around simply “popped” theirs up, without any fuss. He had to get the bargain, reduced by 70% or something too good to pass up, and guess why, because it was the most enormous, frustratingly complicated, annoying load of tatty old canvas that you could possibly have to deal with.
Our ordeal of erecting our home for the night, lasted well into the night, with everyone else having a good laugh at our expense. To make matters worse the campsite flooded and all our efforts were wasted in a vain attempt to keep our belongings dry. I did eventually forgive him, when he finally admitted that it wasn’t his best buy.
The weather did improve long enough for us to visit the volcano, which was the main reason for us deciding to cut across the central belt from Lake Annecy to the Charente. We took the little rack railway, rather than make the climb on foot and it was a fascinating experience, not too many opportunities out there to get right inside the bowl of a volcano. Only wished that for such a Tourist Hot Spot it hadn’t been so damned cold!