Category: Gardens and Paths

Heading to the ITT

Got another nice ride in – a lovely route around to Aunac, with a stop for coffee.

Bastille Day celebrations were fairly subdued – no huge parties or fireworks that I could hear or see.

We got away mid-morning on Thursday – we’re both pretty organized and packing up the campervan didn’t take long.  The trip south to the time-trial course took about 2 ½ hours as we travelled on smaller, quieter roads.

The yellow route marking arrows weren’t up yet, but it’s pretty easy to tell when you’re on the route…

We looked for a parking spot along almost the entire route, starting in Libourne and going almost all the way to Saint-Emilion before pulling over and claiming our spot. 

We’d passed quite a few campervans already and knew many more would come but didn’t want to risk getting stuck on the wide shoulder as the ground looked a bit soft.

We’re in a nice wide spot with room for one or two more campervans, right next to a large vineyard.  This is a UNESCO Heritage area and is well known for it’s excellent wine – we’re beside a field of Merlot grapes.

They’re doing spraying of the vines right now – great timing!  We kept all of the windows shut for part of the day but luckily the sprayers knocked off fairly early.

We’ve discovered a problem with the campervan – the sink isn’t draining properly.  There’s a bit right at the top that’s a plastic piece of crap and has broken so all of the drain water flows directly into the cutlery drawer underneath.  I am now doing dishes in the bathroom sink.

The town of Libourne had their fireworks on Thursday night – I was already in bed but listened to them for quite awhile.  Mo heard them too and did her usual little barky/growly thing at them before settling back down on my feet.

Just after breakfast Friday morning a fellow pulled up in a car beside us – the vineyard side, not the road side.  We wondered if we were going to get asked to move, but all he did was warn us to close all of the windows as the sprayers would be coming soon.

We knew the machine was approaching, but appreciated the warning and kept the windows closed for an hour after he’d passed.

In the afternoon we took a walk back to the next group of campervans and on the way passed a very beautiful garden that must belong to the owner of the vineyard.

We had a rather lazy day – I finished the last of the three Genghis Khan books and was left wishing for a fourth.  We found a second problem with the campervan – the freezer has stopped working and the chicken as well as the salmon were both completely defrosted.  Chicken is Friday’s dinner so that’s ok and I made a teriyaki marinade for the salmon so it’s all good.

Late in the evening a bunch of vehicles pulled up on the road, including a semi-truck and several vans. They commenced to put up large signs and some barriers.  Apparently we’re right at the ‘4 km to go’ point.

The team had men from several different countries, including a fellow from Louisiana who said he used to do setups for the Cirque du Soleil.

It was quite a production and they didn’t finish until almost 10:30.

Ready for What’s Next (?)

351F0BFE-A2DD-47F1-9340-835F695BE5DAUpon leaving our nice parking spot outside the Royal Oak we took the ‘scenic’ route back via Bath.
Over the next few days we took Mo for some nice walks, and another bike ride to Droitwich. I tested the electric assistance a bit more and can tell it will make a big difference on the hills. Once again I split off at Tibberton to follow the canal and trails back to the house.
One afternoon we packed up my beautiful Cannondale into a box ready for shipping home – I have mixed feelings about taking it home, but knowing that I have the beautiful new Cube over here now makes up for it. And it also means that I’ll have a great bike at home now to ride.
Colin planted some new grasses and flowering plants in his back garden and moved Mr. Buddha more to the centre.
With the work that had been done earlier the garden is so much more inviting, although with all of the rain we haven’t actually been able to enjoy it much.
It seems that after so many months and so many adventures that the present and the future are suddenly rushing upon me. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the road I’ve travelled to get here, and where I’m going in the future.
We had a couple of excellent dinners over the last few days – roasted chicken, that I made soup out of later; roast shoulder of lamb, that also made great bunwiches that next day – lots of good food to remember.
I got pretty much packed up on the last afternoon, and we took it easy all day, only going out briefly for a few groceries. Mo has been staying pretty close to me – when I sit in the comfy chair in the living room there’s just enough room for her to lie right next to me.