Yes, it's me again with tales of good times, bad times (to make you feel there is a God!) and the Ugly? You will have to wait or read the last line first, for that one!
The Good Times have definitely continued, very much along the same lines as before (I.e. Wine, food, wine etc) but with different areas, grapes, food specialties and towns.
We continued driving south after Brittany to a place called Brantome, through the Loire Valley where we visited the lovely Chenonceau Chateau and gardens designed by Henri I I's mistresses and wives (there were 4 or 5?) using money from taxes with no expense spared...no wonder there was a revolution!!....this building is gorgeous and still fully furnished including large floral arrangements and not a cannon in sight, those girls knew what they were doing! I'm not sure, however, if they all kept their heads? My French history is a little lacking, not through lack of trying on Kev's part but ask me where the nearest wine, bread, pastry shop are and I'm a genius!
Finally arriving in Brantome, an ancient island village with the oldest original working bell tower in France (yes it certainly works, quarter hour, half hour, hourly and forever on Sundays in case you are hung over and are forgetting mass!). We stayed for 3 nights in this very beautiful old town we love. Here we met up with Gary, Sharyn & Josh and had a fun dinner on the edge of the river (on the safe side, of course) before they left us the next morning (note: bad time #1 to follow).
The weather has warmed up and summer is in full stride (low 30's) allowing us to visit many villages in this area and the beauty here is never ending, every field is greener, cottages quainter and wild flowers more colourful! They may be classed as arrogant by some, but some day's you can understand why, they just do lots of thing better when it comes to pleasing the senses, they even have pretty weeds!!
After 14 days we have arrived again in Pezenas, the town where we spent 6 weeks in 2007 while attending the Rugby World Cup (yes even I went to a game). We are staying again in the converted convent and this, and the town, feels like home already...another of the French ways ways...nothing changes, it's almost a law! While I am writing this the boys are cooking a BBQ in the courtyard, Kev has the Ipod playing, the wine is being sipped and the world is a pretty good place!! For those who were with us 8 years ago you will remember these nights!
Yes, you got it, from here........
Here goes with the "bad" stuff travel can throw at you....thought it was about time to get you feeling sorry for us!!
#1 Losing Passports....oh that is a doozy!! Murders and divorces have been caused by this! Whilst Gary and Sharyn (G & S) were in Brantome with us, we only shared one night and then they moved onto Paris to fly home with 3 days to spare. We stayed 2 more nights and on the 2nd night our landlady raced up to me with G & S's passports in her hand! It is now Thursday night, they fly out Sunday...not good!! But said landlady tells us French post offices work Saturdays and if we mail Friday it will be in Paris on Saturday morning by 10am...what the!! Well, there is a much longer story but they finally arrived and G & S are back in Australia and still married!
#2 Now to make G & S feel better, we then moved onto Pezenas where we received an email from Brittany saying we had left all our travel documents for the English part of our trip at the castle!! Good old French post has been engaged again and we hope to have them back in the next 2 days! I am not saying whose fault it was in either case, as I am either guilty or too nice!!
#3 Well this is good, bad and ugly.....We had a one night stay on our way south at a farmhouse advertised as 2 bed/2 bathroom apartment...it was in the middle of nowhere, took a while to track it down, long unkept grass everywhere (mower in middle of it), swimming pool that ducks would think twice before entering and two hosts that were a cross between Green Acres & the Beverly Hillbillies (sorry if you are too young to understand that bit!). Male host Chris was English and obviously starved of company and just would not go away, was hankering to join us for drinks even invited us to join them for dinner....we just needed many drinks and for him to go!
The apartment had one bedroom and another double bed in the lounge room with the ONLY bathroom next to that bed...he could have hidden another bathroom but we were to scared to ask him back for fear of never getting rid of him! All in all it makes a funny story and we had only one night there before leaving very early! This accommodation glitch has made us appreciate all the others even more!
#4. Drove to our favourite restaurant Lou Pescadou only to find that it was closed down in 2014 so we had to settle for next door....now our favourite 2nd best restaurant!! Sorry, I knows it's supposed to be all bad stuff..
#5 Sadly graffitti has finally appeared in France, mainly down south, we used to comment regularly about its absence..but no more!
Well, I could make up a few more bad things but basically not much else has gone wrong and the "ugly" I'm still looking for in France, it seems it is just not allowed!!! Except maybe for Chris (and he was originally English)..his hair hadn't seen a comb in a while and his nicotine stained beard from chain smoking was interesting and I think they live in the back blocks in case the French deport him!