I’m writing this overlooking a French allotment (for those in NZ, this is a patch of ground rented by a person to grow vegetables. The allotment is clustered with other allotments in a sort of community garden situation, but the produce of each allotment belongs to the renter of that allotment … although produce is often traded between allotment folk). It is very rural and really lovely as we have been seeing a lot of people growing their own veg and this is a chance to see one up close … I have high hopes of starting up a conversation over the fence! (I am just now trawling the corridors of my memory to see how many types of fruit and vegetables I can say in french and if i could indeed hold a conversation about rain, sun, dirt and growing things … yes I think I could 🙂
As I mentioned in a previous post, living in an apartment I am currently starved of cultivation experiences. When we lived on Waiheke Island, I had a large garden to play with but in the end I found it to be too much work, what with working full time, kids, housework etc. I had a real sense of relief when we moved into the apartment and I was no longer responsible for thistles that were taller than me in my front garden … shameful! However over time I found myself watching gardening programmes on the TV and looking longingly at other peoples gardens … thistles or not! So I have decided that when we return to normal life (where ever that might be) I want to get a garden (with a little house) and plant a garden that I will model on Villandry Chateau … in a very bijoux iteration of course. The house will also be more of a batch (small holiday home) than a large French chateau … details, details!
Anyway, back to the point of this blog post … I put up a new video about our time in England … and a little about our very nice experience in Business class on Quantas on the last leg of the journey … thanks to a large amount of air points!
Just to keep you updated … in the proper cycle-touring blog style …
Tours to Rivarennes (we stayed 1 night in a lovely campsite, the Les Terrasses de Rivarennes campsite)
Trip distance: 48.5km
Time: 3:40 mins
Max speed: 26 km/h
Average speed: 13.2 km/h
Total odometer distance: 378km
Rivarennes to Saumur (we stayed 2 nights in a mobile home at Camping de l’Ile d’Offard due to the rain)
Trip distance: 46km
Time: 3:56 mins
Max speed: 24.6 km/h
Average speed: 11.7 km/h
Total odometer distance: 424km
Saumur to Brain sur l’Authion (we stayed 1 night in a very nice campsite, Port Caroline)
Trip distance: 40km
Time: 3:12 mins
Max speed: 23.5 km/h
Average speed: 12.5 km/h
Total odometer distance: 464km
Brain sur l’Authion to Angers (we stayed 2 nights in Lac Du maine campsite – large but nice with it)
Trip distance: 42km
Time: 3:34 mins
Max speed: 25.6 km/h
Average speed: 11.6 km/h
Total odometer distance: 505km
The highlights in these places were as follows:
I was chatted up in Samur!! When I lived in France 20 years ago, being chatted up by French men was a daily irritation … French men being … well, French. But of course I was twenty years younger then so it was with total delight … and Husband disapproval … that I was chatted up in Saumur.
The torrential rain continued and reach ridiculous levels on the way into Saumur.
We found ourselves slipping and sliding down a mud trail that would have made my nephews proud! With my superior cat-like reflexes and lower centre of gravity, I made it through unscathed. However, the Husband came a cropper and fell off in the mud … he was not amused and has been complaining of a bad back ever since. This may be a play for sympathy, or a more sinister ploy to abort our current cycling/camping mission … it could of course be that he’s hurt his back … I’ll let you know.
And finally, I have made a pretty serious decision to eat less dinner so I can fit in more cake. The evening meals we have been eating have been good (due to extreme competition) but they are very much the type of meals we eat at home. Meanwhile, there are a great number of delicious cakes and pastries languishing in the patisseries as yet untasted by me. The obvious solution is to eat less dinner and more cake!