Day10. Montignac-Charente to La Jemaye. 54 miles
The first half of the day was quite hilly, but I could find no reasonable way to avoid them. The centre of Angouleme is on a hill. I navigated through the city by a mixture of instinct and some notes jotted down from the road atlas and by looking at the IGN map. Fortunately I found a small sign pointing to Villebois-Lavallette, our lunchtime meeting place. A long downhill was followed by a climb to the next village, then another down and up and a down to the tiny fortified village of Torsac, then another climb. The rest of the way was a series of short ups and downs. I passed the extraordinary Chateau de la Mercerie, started by two brothers who used up all their family money on it - and it was never completed. It's now semi ruinous and an attempt is being made to restore it. Finally, I reached Villebois, a charming ancient stone town (population 800) on a hilltop.
The afternoon took me down the valley of a river and through several small villages. But it was incredibly hot, and I had to keep stopping for drinks of water. The last few miles, to LA Jemaye, proved to be very much easier than I had feared - a smooth main road with virtually no traffic.
The campsite is semi wild, unlike the municipal campsites we have stayed in up till now. I sense that it is under development. Excellent facilities, with music playing quietly. On the shore of a lake.