Love is never having to say you’re sorry, they say. Well, we love France but er… sorry! We seem to be all discombobulated by finding ourselves here in France because of the ferry malarkey, when we should be in Spain. The first few days of a long trip are always a bit weird anyway – it’s really odd at first not having to get up for work or in my case, not having to get up to continue doing the house up. You’re getting used to living in a tiny space again, saving water, using as little electricity as possible, and I swear most of our conversations start with “Where did you put…?” Or, “Did you pack the…?” So being in completely the wrong country makes the disorientation even worse! I know, I know – first world problems and all that. So it’s sorry France, like Michael Jackson we’re gonna put an egg in our shoe and beat it!
Our time in France has still been fun – I don’t want you feeling too sorry for us! After our last chat we left Chartres and headed for the little town of Meung sur Loire, a pretty little place on the banks of the er… River Loire. It has a modest chateau, the first we’ve seen, and as it was a Saturday there were folks wandering around in the spring sunshine and we watched some lads fishing in the little streams which run through the town. These are les mauves, dug in the Middle Ages to drain the marshland upon which the town is built.
Our resting-place for the night was in a well-placed aire beside the car park serving the market-place. By chance, Sunday happened to be market day so we woke to throngs of people coming into town to take advantage of the farmers’ low, low prices for fruit and veg. Like £3 for an avocado or £17 for a free-range chicken… Can you see why we want to head to Spain? For £17 we can have three courses and a bottle of wine for two!
I’m afraid our franco-discombobulation continued with our next destination; we wanted to see a ‘proper’ chateau so we decided to go to Blois, which our guide book raved about. We did have a good look at the chateau, several times in fact, as we sailed past it on the inner ring road! Our guide took us to a purpose-built motorhome aire, right in the city centre in the middle of a complicated one-way system, and which overlooked the chateau. And which was closed for redevelopment. Every other car park in the vicinity had height barriers, and as you know – Vince is a tall fella so we were stuffed! Bye bye Blois.
We slept instead last night by a fishing lake in a tiny village called Chouzy-sur-Cisse. There was nothing much there but very strangely it’s the only place so far where we’ve had any satellite reception. Even more strangely we arrived just in time for the first Formula 1 race of the season. How weird is that?
It was this morning over breakfast that we had a long think and decided to push on to Spain. It’s 11° here in France and 22° in Seville today, our hearts aren’t really into exploring France any further. We’d intended to ‘do’ the Loire Valley on the way home but now I think we’ll save it for a future visit.
Our feelings were confirmed for us when we stopped off in Amboise for a look around. Amboise is one of the prettiest Loire towns with yet another spectacular chateau. But roadworks have closed the bridge across the river to where we needed to be so we were diverted a long way up the river and had a real faff to get back again to the centre. After two very expensive coffees we thought naaaaahh – these are silly prices let’s just get to Spain for better value and more sunshine.
We’ve stopped for tonight in a campsite just north of Angouleme which we visited in 2016. An early start and a good long run tomorrow should see us in San Sebastian just over the border in Spain where we can stay for a night or two to get our Spanish heads on. We’ve read that it’s a really nice place to stay so we may linger a day or two so that we can tell you all about it next time. Meanwhile I shall add the photos and get this off to you whilst enjoying a rare beer. As I’m on a bit of a fitness regime I’m only allowed one beer a week. This is the one for the first week in September 2023…
PS Gill proof-reads this drivel for me whenever I post and she’s just told me to stop sounding like a miserable old git! I said at the start of these adventures that I’d try not to make everything sound artificially wonderful – and the truth is, it’s not all sunsets and skimming stones in the waves. But I’m still abroad with m’best girl and my favourite boy so hey – life is good 🙂