Forte pluie…

…or pouring with rain for those of you with even less of a grasp of the French language. On our return to the UK we are intending on joining forces with our good friends to take up some private French lessons. They are very much needed as I just had a rather embarrassing moment in the local wine sellers. In fact you could say it was one of those ‘Miranda’ moments which included me trying to explain how lovely the weather had been in Bordeaux. I was very close to dancing round the shop singing ‘if your happy and you know it’ with a big grin on my face but Colin was unable to cope with any more embarrassment and dragged me away. I had already said soliel, soliel madam. I mean you wouldn’t shout sun mrs sun mrs to an English speaking person. I then went on to try and explain my wish for the wine of the region. I think she answered “have some strawberries with your wine” but I may be wrong. All of this was done with me in my pyjama bottoms partly covered up by my floral pac-a-mac and whilst having my one of many hot flushes so desperately trying to remove the scarf that was caught up in my hood. Hopefully I will never have to meet any of the people in the same wine cave again and if I do I shall be so fluid in French they will forgive my previous faux par.
Talking of faux pars or faux réponse, mes cher mari (my dear husband) advised me that we were travelling back to the UK at 4.30pm and I mapped out our route accordingly but on closer inspection of our printed ferry information we are actually sailing at 7.15am. This isn’t going to be too easy as we rarely even surface before nine these days. It also means we will have to miss out on visiting the Champagne region but maybe it’s just as well if we don’t visit anymore wine caves.
We have just crossed over the river Seine and are travelling through more little pretty French towns.
Here are a few photos of our travels and another empty street we came across on our walk around the local area in St Julien Du Sault.

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Take care dear friends
Deborah xxx

Lurky Levis…

…or rather Lurcy Levis in the Auvergne region. Here we stopped for a home (rather Helga the Hymer) cooked lunch of steak and chips and as it was a little overcast we pulled out our few remaining unwatched DVD’s. We are both rather disappointed that we didn’t bring the second series of 24 with us and we were left with a choice of a few subtitled French films or Les Miserables. I wasn’t in the mood for trying to read subtitles so we managed to depress ourselves, as we cried our way through Les Miserables. To pull ourselves together we took a leisurely walk around the lake and a few mosquito bites later we were ready to call it a night.

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We are certainly getting around France and Helga is doing us proud. So far we have visited the regions of Northern France, Normandy, the Centre, Poitou, Atlantic, Auvergne and now we are heading off for Burgundy for lunch and perhaps the Champagne region for dinner. We don’t like to plan too much, we just have a rough idea and a few Aires in mind and see how it goes. As we choose to drive on the smaller roads we go through lots of little French villages. They mostly look like film sets and as by the time we get up and sorted out its usually midday, the places are deserted. We often think we must have missed something on Yahoo news and that France must have being attacked by some mysterious illness as there is nobody to be seen. We are both enthralled by the enormity of this country as the landscape changes and we wonder at its beauty. We have only been away for a few weeks but somehow it’s seems much longer as we have visited so many different places, but there is nowhere quite like home.
I’m looking forward to catching up with family and friends but for now I shall enjoy exploring a few more Patisseries and tasting the various wines of the region as while in France I may as well live as the French do. The living is good here and today we have a little more sunshine.

Deborah x

A great day was had in Bordeaux…

…and I feel very proud of myself for cycling there and back without too much difficulty. What was meant to be a 20 min cycle ride did however, take us an hour and a half to get there and an hour to get back due to us getting lost somehow. All in all I cycled 7 miles today. Best of all I got to meet up with my uncle Jeremy and his wife and meet their lovely friends Judy and Eric. So we shared a very delicious lunch with two judges, a magistrate and barrister. They really were the best of company as they told their interesting tales of being in court. I feel very proud of Katina for completing the 42km along with her very young looking sixty one year old friend. Jeremy didn’t do too badly either completing half of it this year and planning to run the whole 42km next year. Apparently the route runs through 55 vineyards with wine tasting along the way. Here is a picture of us all together with another runner who also completed the marathon with her dog Rita.
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Tomorrow we shall start to meander our way back up the country. And who knows where we will find ourselves stopping along the way.
Deborah x

The French love their motorhomes…

…hence the numbers of them using the well equipped Aires and campsites. We. Are currently staying at a campsite close to the centre of Bordeaux. Today we will take the bus into the centre to have a look around. Yesterday we had lunch at the campsite. Unlike most of the UK campsites which either don’t have restaurants or. They are rather seedy, the French have high standards a specially as good is concerned. I enjoyed a lovely lunch of rib eyed beef followed by this gorgeous pudding.image
This was followed up by the obligatory siesta.
All ready to go now so. Will try to report back from Bordeaux centre ville later.
Deborah x

Thank you Jem….

…for our lovely anniversary meal. It’s not our wedding anniversary until September 18th but our lovely daughter gave us a very generous early present of some Euro’s to spend whilst we were on holiday. So thanks to Jem we enjoyed a delicious lunch at a little restaurant overlooking the harbour. I chose to try some thing new, a local dish of deep fried crispy eel! I was a bit nervous about it but the lovely waitress who spoke very good English recommended it. It turned out to be very tasty, Colin stuck to his old favourite Moules avec frites. We really should have been brave enough to go for the oysters as the small fishing boats bring them in daily but neither of us could face them. I declined a desert having spotted a creperie on the way into town so we stopped on the way back and I enjoyed a pancake stuffed with pears and served with hot chocolate sauce and cream.
We are having a great chilled out time of doing very little other than eating and sleeping with the occasional bike ride thrown in to further explore the area.
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The bay this evening at 8pm French time.
Love to you all
Deborah x

We have found a great place to stop…

..at a place called Andernos Les Bains in a large bay on the Atlantic Ocean. The weather is cooler but the rain didn’t fall until we had returned from our bike ride into the seaside town. Along the edge of the bay are a number of little shacks that use the fresh catches of the day in their small restaurants. It seems that this place is a favourite of the French and the Aire which can take up to 40 motorhomes is pretty full, but we seem to be the only English van here. The little town is very pretty with lots of little shops and cafe’s. This place is famous for its oysters but neither Colin nor I are keen to try those again. Internet connection isn’t so good hence my lack of blogging over the last couple of days.
Here are a few more photos taken on the beach on the lake of our previous stop. One of the several huts to shelter from the hot rays of the sun, me at the end of the little pier watching the fish swim around in the shallow waters and Colin swimming in the lake.
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Colin has just returned from the Boulangerie with fresh bread and croissants. The plan today is to cycle to the beach and then sample one of the menus of the shack restaurants at lunchtime.

Love Deborah x

Carcans

After what seemed like a long drive we arrived at a campsite by a lake in a forest in Carcans. We are parked up under the tall pine trees which provides some welcome shade. Colin swam in the lake whilst I paddled as we listening to a band preparing for an end of season party on the beach. This site is due to close in a couple of weeks and there is hardly anyone here. The shower block is spotlessly clean and I have even done a little clothes washing this morning. Today temperatures are due to reach over 30c so we will take things very slowly. Every now and again we hear a crack and another large fir cone drops to the ground.
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We are having a wonderful time.
Wish you were here.
Deborah x

Oh what a night….

imageimage…and day. Futuroscope never ceases to amaze us even though this is our fourth visit. Yesterday we practically had the place to ourselves, or so it felt. The park is so enormous and just wandering around the place and admiring the copiced trees, beautiful flowers and amazing sculptures is enough to fill our hearts with joy. This time round we surfed the waves in Tahiti, scared ourselves on a 4D adventure, went into space, visited an Eco house, enjoye a lovely meal together and watched 70 foot high holograms of ballerina’s dance on the spectacular lake after as darkness fell.
You could say we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and must have walked quite a few miles in the day. Luckily our motorhome was parked just outside the front gates so we even managed to fit in a tea time siesta.
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Today we will continue our journey down to the south, who knows how far we will get before hunger demands us to stop for a bite to eat or the sight of another beautiful place to stop tempts us, but we are heading for a place under the trees on a beach somewhere. We are living the easy life!
Deborah x

Just by chance…

…we found this lovely free leisure park to stop for lunch yesterday. We ended up staying until the early evening when we drove fifteen minutes down the road to the car park at Futuroscope, our stop for the night. The Le Lac de St CYR comprises of a large lake with a beach surrounded by a cycle path that twists and turns through trees and along the river Vienne. Colin did a reckie and then together we cycled approx 4 miles around the lake. In the heat of the day it was lovely to lie on the sand and soak up the sun.
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Today we have the excitement of Futuroscope to look forward to but not before my egg and bacon breakfast that looks just about ready!

Wish you were here

Deborah x

The Loire River

Saturday night we stayed at another very pleasant free Aire on the edge of the Loire river and close to the town centre at a place called Beaugency. The following day we followed the river down to another beautiful little town called Amboise. It is quite surprising how quickly the Aire’s fill up so we were pleased to get one of the last few places left. During the afternoon we wandered into the town along the river. It is place steeped with history and has an enormous medieval castle. It was very interesting to read up about the history of this place and the valley of the Loire. The chateau at Amboise was home to Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots, for much of her early life, being raised there at the French court of Henry II. She arrived in France from Scotland in 1548, aged six, and remained in France until 1561, when she returned to her homeland – sailing up the Firth of Forth to Edinburgh on 15 August that year.
The great Leonardo da Vinci spent the last years of his life in Amboise. After a relaxing evening and another few episodes of 24 we both enjoyed a jolly good nights sleep.
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Today we are heading for Futuroscope which we fancy visiting tomorrow. It will bring back lots of lovely memories spent there with our children when they were only about 9 and 11. Hopefully it won’t be long before we can bring Elliot here too. It will be our fourth visit to this amazing parc of technology and we are promised a new spectacular night time show on the lake. Meanwhile we have found a lovely stop for lunch and an afternoon siesta. This is the view from my bed.
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A good relaxing time is being had.

Deborah x