Saturday, 27 August 2016

More Meuse

We've moved all of ten kilometres upstream to Revin. This may seem a bit pointless, but it will give us access to a different section of the voie verte, which is proving to be utterly delightful and quite possibly the prettiest cycle track we've ever come across. We parked at the aire which is right on the riverside a few metres beyond Intermarché. It was closed for lunch so we mooched around the town on foot, despite the temperatures hovering around the mid 30s. On first acquaintance Revin seems quite workaday compared to the postcard pretty charms of Haynes. An information board overlooking the industrial area next to the supermarket explains that the town had a thriving metalworking trade up until the 1980s. This explained the narrow terraced streets we had just explored in a failed attempt to find the town centre. 

The aire at Revin is next to the river, the area behind is the site of Revin's former foundries (now Intermarche!)
What we did find was Revin's camping municipal, also closed for lunch. We had a quick scout around, discovered it was about €14 per night, and decided to move the van here. Aires are great, especially free ones, but the restrictions on 'camping behaviour' make them less than ideal in a heatwave. We needed somewhere where we could wind out the awning for shade and cook outside on the Cadak in an attempt to keep the inside temperature in the van almost tolerable. Eventually we found our way back to the aire. Revin occupies a sweeping S bend in the river, hemmed in by high wooded hills. It is not always easy to orientate yourself in relation to the river banks. The place also has steep narrow streets and an imponderable one way system. I was pleased that we reconnoitred the route from aire to camping on foot checking the street names on Google maps. We are learning! Five minutes of prep saves jangled nerves later. 

Revin is mixed architecturally - some ancient houses

A modernised town centre
Signs of economic decline - many closed shops, even those formerly owned by winners of the Nobel prize for Literature.....
In some ways our days here have been re-runs of our stay in Haynes. A bit of a late start, no rush over breakfast, a leisurely cycle ride of 20km or so, upstream one day, downstream the next, a light lunch, and a BBQ in the evening as it gets a little cooler. We have only been away from home a little over a week and already we are evolving into our itinerant selves, going with the flow, flotsam on Time's languid river. When I got up this morning I felt a little peculiar, at first I could not place what was wrong. It dawned on me, nothing was up, I was in unaccustomed good spirits and life felt good.

The section of the voie verte upstream from Revin is particulatl lovely

another photo stop....

The 'mirror-still Meuse'

Laifour - a riverside village.

More reflections - why is still water so hypnotic - I could watch it for hours...

Contemporary can be beautiful too, or at least jolly, if not exactly beautiful.

South of Revin the voie verte passes through a canal tunnel.

Back at the van - watching the paragliders - maybe its cooler up there.

BBQ's the way to go - too hot to cook in the van.
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