Aubusson, France 8/13

August 19, 2013

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Getting a late start from St. Pardoux & Souvigny, we had intended on driving until evening. About 4PM, we came upon the town of Aubusson on the confluence of the rivers Creuse and Beauze. The town is apparently world famous for its tapestry and carpets since the 14th century, the kind one might see in a castle or “Château” as they are called in France.

We spotted an RV dump station sign so we decided to investigate. It turns out that the EU, for all its other failings, has required that EU countries install these “dump stations” for the convenience of the many RVs on the road. Virtually all European RVs, both trailers and motorhomes, do not have the 25-gallon BLACK WATER tanks common in the US. They use “Cassette Toilets” which have removable 5-gallon tanks similar to the Thetford Porta Potty we use. Thetford, www.thetford.com also makes a wide range of Cassette Toilets.

There was a large parking area with already two RV’s, a public toilet and a very clever tower to dump black water on one side and fill fresh water on the other. A simple grate is used to drain “Grey Water”. We were impressed and later quite surprised to be one of 14 RVs staying overnight. Our French neighbors were extremely friendly which has started to give us a better impression of French in general.

The next morning, a motorcyclist zoomed in, popped his helmet off and was all excited about our truck. He spoke only French but you could tell in his eyes that he knew exactly what our expedition vehicle was all about. He was a fellow Overlander who had been all over Africa and parts of the Near East. After an inspection of our living quarters and a warm handshake he flew off again.

The town of Aubusson on the confluence of the Creuse and Beauze rivers has been world famous since the 14th century for its tapestries and carpet, the kind one might see in a castle or “Château” as they are called in France.

The town of Aubusson on the confluence of the Creuse and Beauze rivers has been world famous since the 14th century for its tapestries and carpet, the kind one might see in a castle or “Château” as they are called in France.

The narrow streets of the old part of town were in walking distance of the RV parking area.

The narrow streets of the old part of town were in walking distance of the RV parking area.

Aubusson 003

It turns out that the EU, for all its other failings, has required that EU countries install these “dump stations” for the convenience of the many RVs on the road.

It turns out that the EU, for all its other failings, has required that EU countries install these “dump stations” for the convenience of the many RVs on the road.

The clever black water dump device had a flush button like a toilet. On the opposite side there was a fresh water fill spigot.

The clever black water dump device had a flush button like a toilet. On the opposite side there was a fresh water fill spigot.

Virtually all European RVs use “Cassette Toilets” which have removable 5-gallon tanks similar to the Thetford Porta Potty we use.

Virtually all European RVs use “Cassette Toilets” which have removable 5-gallon tanks similar to the Thetford Porta Potty we use.

Overnight at least 13 motorhomes had joined us. Clearly, the RV dump stations bring tourist dollars to the towns, and the number of people traveling in small and medium size motorhomes was surprising.

Overnight at least 13 motorhomes had joined us. Clearly, the RV dump stations bring tourist dollars to the towns, and the number of people traveling in small and medium size motorhomes was surprising.

A famous Aubusson tapestry depicting a fable by Jean de La Fontaine

A famous Aubusson tapestry depicting a fable by Jean de La Fontaine. (Wikipedia)

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