En France 2019: part 1

A different sort of tour this year – having purchased the Bongo it was time to take it abroad. So, to replace the usual Bretagne en Velo I arranged a grand tour of Southern France under van power . . . but still taking the bikes, so S could not get off entirely scot free. I won’t bore you with details of the usual ferry crossing from Plymouth to Roscoff, so first stop was a visit to Peter & Keith, who have retired from the chambre d’hote business and relocated down Pontivy way. As you might be aware from earlier blogs, they were erstwhile living at Lescouet Gouarec in the beautiful Ancien Presbytere, an old granite vicarage in the middle of Bretagne; so imagine our surprise when we found them ensconced in a Le Corbusier style concrete box with surround-window views and underfloor heating powered by geothermal energy. If you’re going to have a change . . .After a delightful visit, we went on to our first camping stop at Confolens. This was one of my random municipal camp-site finds, but turned out to be in a superb location on the River Vienne, a bit further upstream from one of our previous stops when doing the full cycle camping.

This was the first opportunity to test S’s stamina now that she is having to take beta-blockers (if you want to get the full story you’ll have to book an appointment for a chat). So I am having to stop myself from unwarranted cajolement and tapping of the foot at the tops of even moderate climbs; so instead I arrange for sunflowers . . .

I have told her that 32 miles with hills, average 10.8 mph translates to an unmedicated 15 mph, in a sort of reverse version of cycle doping, so I thought she deserved a treat. Now, regular readers will know that when en vacances I spare no expense to ensure that S enjoys a deluxe experience. True to form, after her heroic exertions en velo, I arranged a sumptuous al fresco feast . . .

. . . who says I can’t show a girl a good time.Next stop was the location of our week-sojourn in the Gorge du Tarn. After another 5 hour drive we arrived at the campsite quite late to find that we had the last available pitch . . . and yes, you guessed it, next to the utility block and being used as a thoroughfare by the whole campsite. Dark looks from S meant that I had to do something fast, so I parked the death-star in a defensive position and quickly put up a curtain wall. I commented to S that crenellations and cannon on the pop-up roof would have added a final deterrent effect given that our flag of kipper rampant on a purple field was now alas defunct . . . Anyhow, this all had the desired effect of redirecting the traffic through the adjacent pitch, who have now scrambled to erect a defensive pallisade . . .

But we do have a shady spot . . .

Ca va . . .

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