It was cloudy, cool and damp as we set off for our next campsite, Huttopia Royat in the Auvergne, in a strange area of extinct volcanoes famous for, among other things, Volvic mineral water. As we drew nearer there was a break in the rain and
the sun came out, revealing the extraordinary chain of volcanoes, including the highest, Puy de Dome.
This was a campsite we had stayed at before, in 2008. We had trouble finding it then, and again this time! Having checked in, we
had trouble finding a pitch that wasn’t in deep shade under trees. Having found one, we discovered that the electrical hook-up didn’t work. But when we reported it a very nice chap came and sorted it out. We were even able to
sit outside in the sunshine for a while – until it started raining again. However, the fabulous toilet block more than made up for the weather. In fact, it was so comfortable I could have cheerfully moved into it permanently. First,
it was heated, and had a door that actually shut. (It’s amazing how many campsites wedge the door open permanently, making the interior uncomfortably draughty.) Second, the loos had seats and paper. Third, the washbasins actually had
a hand dryer, a rarity in French camp sites. And fourth, it was new, smart, and modern. This meant that using the facilities was a pleasure, not a chore.