Camping Aritzaleku

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Date of travel

May, 2013

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Culture / Sightseeing

This is a huge site on a small peninsula in Embalse de Alloz below the village of Lerate. It is well signed from A12. It is a popular area for watersports and gets very busy during the summer. The campsite is described as ‘small’ although it has 176 pitches and wooden cabins. In Middle of May it was very quiet. I’m not sure I’d want to stop here in the summer, especially as there are two rows of places to pitch tents marked out below the chalets.

There is a small car park by the wooden reception area. This has a small and very basic supermarket (don’t get excited or rely on buying provisions here) and a restaurant behind. There is also an outdoor pool with jacuzzi, play area, games room and climbing wall but we didn’t investigate these.

When we arrived, the person on reception had no English. We were given a leaflet with a map of the site and the position of our chalet was marked for us. We were taken to the chalet and shown how to open the barrier with a card on our key. We drove past row after row of wooden camping chalets and our heart sank. Surely we hadn’t booked one of these? We then reached 8 semi-detached typical wooden Alpine chalets set above the lake with wooden shutters. There was parking by each and steps up to a balcony with chairs.

They were very small inside. There was a open plan kitchen/dining room with a table with two benches and two metal stools. Fortunately the bench did have a cushion and was reasonable comfortable for sitting as there were no easy chairs. There was a large fridge freezer, sink, tiny work area, microwave and small TV. There was no kettle or toaster. The two ring hob had been well used and the markings for the knobs long since worn off. The hot plates were very slow to heat and it took over an hour to get a saucepan of water to nearly simmering point. We never did achieve a boil. We scrapped any ideas of doing any cooking on it and our first job when coming in or getting up was to put water on the boil. The kitchen was poorly equipped with no large cooking knife or chopping board and a strange assortment of unmatching cutlery. There was nowhere to hang a towel or tea towel or coats. Matters where made worse when we discovered the kitchen sink was beginning to bung up and getting increasingly slow to drain.

There were only two electric sockets; one above the sink and a second by the door. We had to more the table nearer the door so we didn’t have to trail the flex of the computer across the floor.

Off this was a double bedroom with 4’6” bed with virtually no space on either side. There was a built in cupboard and hanging area but no bedside cabinet or lamp. We had to put the suitcase in the bottom of the cupboard to keep it out of the way and use the shelf for clock etc. Bed linen was provided but we had to make up the bed. There was a blanket and cover and a single pillow each. Outside the window was an expanding drying rack. This was essential as otherwise there was no place to hang washing to dry.

The shower room was equally small with shower, sink and toilet. There was only a small rail for towels and nowhere for sponge bags.

Stairs led to a triple room under the roof. Not only was there little space, there was little headroom over the beds and it would have been impossible to sit up in bed.

The inside of the chalet was wood panelled and there was little insulation. It could get cold and we were glad of the two electric fires we found in the cupboard under the stairs. The hot water seemed to be a bit hit and miss and often ran out during a shower.

I reported the problems with the sink and hotplates when we left. It was a different receptionist who did speak English.

The chalet was snug for two adults and would have been very crowded with 5 people. At £73 per night booked through Brittany Ferries we felt this was expensive for what was (or more to the point what was not) provided. In August and September it is £720 per week. Once used to the space available and limitations, it worked for us although I can’t say we enjoyed the place. However it was the only property Brittany Ferries had in the area we wanted to be.

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