We left early against the commuting traffic out of Bourg-en-Bresse and onto a local road that wound its way through open farmland toward the towering forests of the Haut-Jura.
Big blue skies above promised a splendid day and being mindful of the still undiagnosed squeal problem we made it a short drive to the pretty lake at Nantua.
Motorhome parking was in a gravelled area next to parkland and alongside the lake, with Bertha’s nose practically poking over the water we headed out on bikes to explore the shores.
The lake is home to carp and eels and we saw old local boys out in flat bottomed boats with rods and nets for a day’s fishing and usually with a terrier dog or two for company. At the water’s edge a busy colony of nesting coots ‘clucked’ and ‘pipped’ to each other and curious-but-too-close children.
The locals seemed to be either the older fishermen or younger, veiled Muslim women with babies and toddlers in push chairs. Asking about this at the tourist office we discovered that the town, originally based on 19th century tourism, boomed in the 1960s due to the plastics manufacturing industry.
Migrant workers from Turkey were employed in the nearby factories and established a local Muslim community, now indigenous in the area. Community cohesion is amiable but as our friendly chap explained to us, more could still be done on both sides to fully bond together.
The lake is in a valley and we explored the surrounding wide pasture lands on our bikes visiting a pretty hamlet at St Martin-du-Frene and waving to herds of dairy cows.
It was a restful day in an interesting and pretty place with just a shadow of disquiet about the squealing wheel. We were sure we could get to the bottom of the problem and get it fixed quickly…