I’ve been taking lots of video footage but unfortunately by the time we have finished the day, I am absolutely stuffed and unable to do the video editing required to cut out all the boring and naff bits … who knew taking a year off would be so busy and exhausting!
So … I decided to start this post with a quick catch up and, if I ever have any time to spare, I will fill in the bits I’ve missed later. Following on from my last post, the camping experience in Hayfield went well … I should clarify … the weather was very grim (British grim, which is pretty bad!) but we had the good fortune to find that the people with the reservations for the ‘glamping’ cabins had cancelled … and we just couldn’t resist … so we didn’t actually camp in a tent but instead ‘glamped’ in a ‘glent’ (I think), which was a blessing given the shear quantity of precipitation that dropped that weekend. We also enjoyed fabulous hospitality and great company, which was lovely.
After some very enjoyable and filling goodbyes, we then got the Eurostar train over to Paris. This was a bit of a mission but you have to admire the workings of British bureaucracy – it’s taken years to develop a ‘more than my jobs worth’ system of this quality and who am I to argue … we just need to adapt and follow any silly rules that come our way. I anticipate a lot more of this kind of thing. We are chalking it down to the true European experience … the natives in their natural environment, so to speak.
Our 3 days in Paris were a bit of a fail due to certain marital ‘adjustments’ that were a bit blustery in nature. However these cleared up as we headed down to Orleans to start cycling down the Loire Valley. We stayed a day near Orleans on a lovely campsite in Olivet and met a very nice German couple, Chris and Hieka (I’ve probably spelt this incorrectly), who were way more organised and planned than us (which is saying something!) with the most amazing ‘transformer’ camping setup based around a 4-wheel drive. They very kindly offered us a place to stay in Germany, so Germany is now officially on our list of places to go!
We then set off down the Loire valley in fabulous sunshine and temperatures of 25 degrees … yes, I know … in May! Unfortunately, that didn’t last long and yesterday was a very long and wet day. We cycled further than planned to get to a campsite with cabins, were we have holed up for the last two nights waiting for the worst to pass. We did venture out today to visit the chateau at Blois. It was damp but enjoyable.
Tomorrow we continue on to Tours and hopefully the weather will cooperate. The Husband has, of course, used all the facilities at our 5 star campsite … because we’ve paid for them … so came back from the swimming pool this evening shivering uncontrollably and exhibiting an unhealthy bluey-white colour from head to toe. Apparently, he was the only person having an evening dip in the rain so had plenty of space and got full value from the experience!
So that’s us pretty much caught up with the what’s and where’s of the trip so far …
Other things to note are that the Husband is now on spork number 3. Spork number 2 went the way of spork number 1 and also met a sticky end. I have arbitrarily called a 3 spork ownership limit based on the fact that if a person can’t maintain spork ownership for more than 2 weeks in a row then said aspiring spork owner should be deemed incompetent!
We have also discovered that, after 24 years, of marriage, we are unable to cooperate … team-work does not seem to be within our abilities. This is counterintuitive as we are individually quite competent people but apparently not in unison. We have instead adopted a sharing approach, taking turns at each task. This has worked out quite well on the cooking front as we are quite competitive so we are eating surprisingly well! We are scoring each meal (I am winning BTW) on a scale of 0 to 10. The scoring is not very scientific and has a more elemental basis. For instance, after a hard days cycling in the rain it doesn’t matter how technically good your salad is, your score will be low. In these circumstances, hot tasty and substantial scores best. But once you know the rules, the game is on! … Today I pushed the boat out with two courses … beat that H!