Rallye de Charente route 2018


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Here  is the route for 2018.

First map for the morning


Second map for the afternoon.



What’s on in Poitou-Charentes; September 2018


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September; well summer is over but it can linger on and be very pleasant in central France…. should I say Nouvelle Aquitaine???  Maybe… it could have been  a worse name. Anyway there are some big events on this month, depending on your intrest, boatshow in La Rochelle, Veteran and vintage cars in Angouleme or Photography at Barro.

24th Festival Coup de Chauffe; Cognac: 1st and 2nd Sept (more)

Coconut Music Festival Saintes 6th 7th 8th and 9th Sept (more)

BOURSE ET EXPOSITION INTERNATIONALE COQUILLAGES ET FOSSILES  Yes I would like this one I have a few shells at home. 8th 9th and 10th Sept  La Rochelle (more) 

LA NUIT DES ETOILES La Noue 5th, 13th and 20th Sept. (more)

Lavood Stock Festival at Lavoux 8th September (more)

Remontee de la Seudre; Royan: 8th and 9th September (more)

L’Imprevu Festival Montemboeuf; Montemboeuf: 6th to 9th Sept (more)

Journées du patrimoine Poitiers 2018 15th Sept (Lots in various locations) check web site (more) 

Barrobjectif photographic exhibition;  Barro: 15th to 23rd Sept (more) excellent ….make the effort to visit this.

Le Grand Pavois boat show; La Rochelle: 26th Sept to 1st October. (more) Biggest in Europe?

Circuit des Remparts/International Rallye: Angouleme: 14th 15th and 16th  September……   I love it. (more)

Rallye International de Charentes ( this is part of the above weekend but occurs on the 15th Sept. The route is not announced until a few days before the event, I will post it on this blog when I can.

Concert Saint Benoit Swing du 27 au 29 septembre 2018 (more)

Half Marathon; Chasseneuil: 16th Sept (more)


Sooty Copper (Lycaena tityrus)


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The Sooty Copper is a small butterfly that is easily overlooked.

It is in the family commonly known as the blues, which in Britain includes the Common Blue, Holly Blue and the Small Copper, all of which most reasonably competent naturalists will be familiar with.

This one is not found in the UK but is quite common in France, There are many more species of Butterflies to be found in France than in the UK, partly because it has a bigger range of habitats. Mediterranean, Alpine, through to northern European like us. There is an excellent web site to help you identify any strange butterflies you may come across called Butterflies of France.

Argiope bruennichi (wasp spider)


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Wasp spiders turn up quite often in central France.

This one I photographed beside the Charente river in St Macoux yesterday (19/8/2018). There were in fact two of them quite close to one another both were posing upside down but one had her back to me and this one was the right way round.

I suppose I could have taken them form the other side but that would have meant standing in the river!


L’ancienne tuilerie


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There is an old tile making building just up the road from the car park at the Gallo Roman ruins at Sanxay.

Although it would appear that they are mainly producing pipes, these can just be seen in the background to the right.

Presumably there would have been many of these buildings in the past as all old houses in France have the attractive curved tiles like the ones on the roof in the photo above Also there would have been a high demand for the clay pipes used in land drainage and other building jobs.

I found a French web site about the old production of tiles which is worth a look. Tuiliere ancienne 

However this is the first building like this which I have seen, possibly others exist but are not right next to the road and so not so easily seen. The operation seems to be still producing bricks and tiles and is run by Victot et Fils……… 

He refers to the business as a Briqueterie  and tuilerie as they are producing tiles for roofs and floors along with bricks and pipes.

Charroux; past and present


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I had a trawl through the old post card photos of Charroux and there are quite a lot but as you would expect 95% of them are of the Charlemagne tower.

This is one I found, which was of another subject, the Mairie and court.

Here it is today, not much has changed just the door really.


This is another view  of the scene.

Whats on in Poitou-Charentes; August 2018


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August 2018  As always this is just a soupcon which grabbed my attention, do check with the web sites for each department.

Painters in the street Charroux 4th and 5th August (more)

Various activities including Rock climbing, Paddle boarding etc  on the Gartemp ; Montmorillon  August 2018 (more)

Spectacle Pyromelodique;  Angles sur l’Anglin, 5th August 2018, (More)  

Symphony of Summer,Fouras, 8th 9th and 10th August (more)

Festival of Polynesia, La Rochelle 10 and 11th August (more)

Festival of Jazz . La Rochelle 10.11 and 12th August (more)

BRIC A BRAC Place de la mairie 16240 PAIZAY NAUDOUIN EMBOURIE RUFFEC 15th August (more)

Mad Hatters festival; Featuring Bootleg Beatles and Dr Feelgood . Caunay  10th 11th and 12th August (more)

COURSES HIPPIQUES,Hippodrome16330 MONTIGNAC CHARENTE 9th, 16th and 23rd  August 2018 (more)

Championnat de France de supercross; La Tremblade 14th August (more)

Festival Crescendo; (Progressive Rock) Saint Palais sur mer, 18thAugust     (more)

 Bouche à Oreille Parthenay,  25th to 28th  August 2018 (more)
Festival de Confolens; Confolens:   13th to 19th August 2018 (more)

Les Soirees Lyriques de Sanxay; Sanxay: 9th 11th and 13th August (more)

Jazz en Ré – 18th  August 2018 (more)

2018 Tour du Poitou Charentes, Charente, Charente Maritime, Deux sèvres, Vienne 21st to 24th August 2018 (more)

Festival du film Francophone; Angouleme: 21st to 26th (more)

Festival du livre Angles sur l’Anglin, 12th to 15th August 2018 (more)

Vide Grenier,Montignac ,25th August (more)





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Savigne is between Civray and Charroux, it is almost a continuation of Civray and many people will associate it with Intermarche which is located threre along with other ‘out of town shops’

However it is also a beautiful little village on the banks of the Charente river…if you care to wander off the main road. Which I did and I took a set of photos as I do to illustrate its charms.

The village is dominated by a large church, nice but not the most stunning you are going to come across in this region. It is l’Eglise de St Hilaire. Evidently it dates back to two centuries, part of it is older than another part. According to Brouillet, the church is from two distinct periods:

  • “The nave, the primitive door, some windows, a portion of the choir and the bell tower are from the 12th century”   ;
  • “The current door and the part of the nave where it is open, several windows, the vault of the choir and the apse are of the XVth century” ;

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OK lets move on from the church to the river, it is the Charente, there are some lovely scenes along this stretch, there is a narrow and old iron bridge but also several little roads which just lead down to the river and then stop. One of these is called the Chemin de Pecheurs and when you get to the river there is a sign saying ‘Peche interdite’. I saw a Kingfisher there, presumably disobeying the notice.There is also a lavoir which I always like to photograph. This one has to be the worst one I have ever seen…. neglected, no roof and in need of renovation.

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As I am wandering around if anything querky, odd or photogenic catches my eye then they all add to the picture of the village so here to end off are a few photos in that vein.

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To check out my photos of other towns and villages in this region click Villages and towns of Poitou-Charentes


Occelated Lizard



This is my second post about an Occelated Lizard (Timon lepidus ). I saw this one at the European Zoo in France.

They do have some there which are captive. This one though was a wild, free living one. It was in the Marmoset enclosure. Why? well also in the Marmoset enclosure are a population of little mice. These were scurrying from one little hole to another. There were no Marmosets to be seen.

The Lizard, quite a large one, probably about 80 cm long was sitting on top of a mound and as one small mouse dashed past him it ran after it and seemed to try and catch it. The mouse made it down a hole and the Lizard sat looking down the hole.

These Lizards live in the Poitou-Charente region of France, I have never seen one near our house in Vienne but they were always around my Parents in law’s house near Brossac in Charente-Maritime. I also have seen them in other parts of the region.

They are capable of taking quite large prey including big insects, small birds, birds eggs and I have read that they can even take a baby rabbit. So little mice would certainly be a possibility.

I have written a post about all the different lizards that you could see in Poitou-Charentes and it gets quite a few hits, not as many as Snakes in Poitou-Charentes which is the second most read post on my blog. The most viewed is a post about why the English refer to the French as frogs ???

Cognac Blues Passion; Santana


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It was brilliant and it did rain, not just rain but massive thunder storm, winds and torrential does not even start to describe it.

However I have a confession to make. I am a totally incompetent photographer. I took my Panasonic Bridge camera with me complete with two spare batteries. Took loads of photos in the afternoon and of the rain storm, also messed about with a few short videos.

Then in the evening I took a few more of the stage before Santana came on and then the battery died, not to worry, two spares. When did I last charge them??? Hmm some time ago, I wonder if they have any charge. First one nothing, oh dear, second one nothing. What a prat!!!

So we enjoyed the concert and I thought I could write something and use the photos I took in the afternoon.

This morning I looked for the battery charger and it is not in my bag of tricks, I presumably left it at home. So double prat. ( slight excuse we did pack in 15 minutes flatt as Brittany ferries had rung us to reschedule our ferry ).

OK briefly and without photos, great venue, only saw a tail end of one artist then rain started, we sat under a tree, security said move on, as trees get lightning, So we sat under a big marquee selling Cognac, security then came along and said move on, closing early due to orrage. We walked through heavy rain and sheltered in entrance to museum, security said move on, completely leave site and re entry for Santana may happen at 7pm.  ( I think they normally clear the site around 5pm as afternoon stuff is free and evening stuff is paid for)

So we sat in car for an hour or so, watched rain and lightning and around 7pm it cleared and we went down to entrance. Massive crowds, gates closed, few nervous looking Gendarmes about. Eventually about 8pm gates open and we gradually shuffled in. All other acts had been cancelled and Santana was still happening at scheduled time of 10.30pm which it did.

The little venue was stuffed, all open air, if it had rained/storm as in the afternoon it would have been chaos and very dangerous. It did not, Santana were brilliant, not just Carlos but all the musicians, played lots of old favourites, also very political (on the side of the good guys.. my side), and it finished not on time but half an hour late at 12.30pm  Then a 50 mile drive home through tiny Charente villages and bed.