A Travellerspoint blog

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...and back to Beaulieu

Sorry no photos today.

Left Biarritz in pouring rain this morning. For the first time since the first couple of days I allowed the GPS to take me onto the auto-route and peages (tolled motorways). Had a lot of distance to cover and didn't want to arrive in Beaulieu at midnight!

Wildlife sighting of the day was a Coypu, or large river rat. A species introducing to France from Sth America in the early 19th century for their fur. Like most introductions, they escaped and found themselves quite happy in the water ways of France. Sadly their habit of digging gigantic burrows in riverbanks causes considerable destruction. Calling them a river rat doesn't serve them well, more of a giant guinea-pig that has a tail and likes to swim. They are herbivores. The one I saw was happily grazing on the grass at the side of the road.

Only had one stop along the way and that was in Auch, which is apparently famous for it's Armignac. And also as the home town of D'Artagnan, one of the 3 muskateers. My intent was to have lunch then go to a specialist in aged Armignac as I wanted to buy 2 bottles of the 1963 vintage. Managed the lunch portion no trouble, escalopes of pork with chorizo risotto and a lovely glass of red wine. Failed to find the Armignac specialist....grrr.

So carried on to the next village Roquelaure where I was searching for the Chateau de Rieutort. Another fail! Ended up following a sign down a teeny tiny little road for about 5km until I ended up in the front courtyard of a local farm. Not to be dissuaded from my mission I asked the old man staring at me if I was lost or whether I could buy some armignac. After some trouble understanding each other he directed me around the house where I found a woman gardening who then took me into the tasting room and sure enough there were bottles for sale! Sadly, no year specific bottles. So bought a 15 year plus bottle for me, and a larger 8 year old bottle for my friends 50th wedding anniversary.

As I wandered back to the car carrying my hard earned loot I was waylaid by the old man and another younger man who asked me if I was English. I quickly corrected them and they were delighted to then spend the next 10-15 minutes discussing rugby and sheep! It seems that in France that is pretty much what New Zealand is known for. Eventually I made my excuses and headed off.

The 4 hour drive to Beaulieu was uneventful, but hooning along at 130km per hour you certainly have to have your wits about you, no time to gaze out the window at the sites. Arrived at about 7.30pm, just in time for a glass of belgium beer or two with Serge while we waited for Bea to get home from work.

So the 'Tour de France' portion of my stay is complete. From here on I'll be staying in the South of France, shuttling back and forth between here and the Cote d'Azur, staying with various friends that I have already visited. Don't worry, plenty more food to be eaten and wine to be drunk yet!

Posted by Kanumera 02:46 Comments (0)

loitering in Beaulieu then on to Fayence

Had a huge sleep in this morning , I think all the driving had caught up with me.

Spent most of the day loitering around on the internet, chatting with Serge, making coffee, annoying the cat and trying to get my washing dry. Hit the road again at about 4pm. Stopped on the side of a very narrow road to take a photo of these poppies. Have noticed them the last couple of days but this was the first chance to stop with relative safety.
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Stopped for wine supplies at the next village after Beaulieu. Lyndy and Dom arriving by aeroplane so not sure if they will have supplies, and l'm at the house first so clearly need a drink on arrival...see!
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Auto route journey uneventful but bloody expensive! Stopped at the supermarket to get milk and ended up buying supplies for dinner. YES my friends l cooked! Started with sausisson and Roquefort with baguette and a glass of Rose. Followed with filet steak, asparagus and tomatoes, and a glass of Rose. Finished with a huge bowl of strawberries, and a glass of Rose! Nice!

Earlier wondered what the weird noise outside was. Discovered frogs and tadpoles in the swimming pool, no swimming in the pool for me this weekend!
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Expect Lyndy and Co in about an hour. Just enough time for another glass of Rose!!!

Posted by Kanumera 11:48 Comments (0)

Cannes

Went to the market at Fayence this morning to pick up some food supplies for the weekend. Had a wander around the stalls and picked upmsome vege's for dinner, then had a quick drink at the cafe.
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After lunch Lyndy and I headed into Cannes for an afternoon of shopping. Went to the beach to check it out, then wandered into the shops.
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Shops along the waterside are the swanky ones, Armani, Dolce & Gabani, Chanel etc. Stopped here and there and tried on a few things including a lovely jacket at Armani, then had a coffee at the Armani coffee shop. Checked lots of other shops then decided that the Armani jacket was just too lovely!
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Final photo is Fayence taken from just up the road.
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Posted by Kanumera 13:53 Comments (0)

...and then there were three!

In the final week of my 7 week trip...amazing how time flies and also amazing how much you can jam into 6 weeks without even really trying too hard!

After the weekend in Fayence I returned to base camp in Beaulieu. Poor Serge now instead of two women in the house there are three....as the lovely Claire has joined us from New Caledonia! First time the three of us have been together since 1998. Not sure that anyone but Serge can really appreciate the impact of that!
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Our first full day together we of course went shopping! The main goal was to buy accessories for the 1960's party that Claire and I are going to on Saturday. As usual though we got distracted by shoes and dresses! Discovered some amazing wigs in the African hairdressing section of Montpellier. Note that Claire is sporting 'one' of her purchases in the photo above.

Had a great day wandering up and down the tiny little alleyways of old Montpellier. Far too much laughter and fun was had as we burned a hole in Claire's credit card! Here is a tiny sample of her purchases.
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Yesterday was spent adding more touches to our outfits. Three mad women sitting around the sewing table with cotton, needles, fabric and jewellery flying in all directions!
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Clothes, shoes, jewellery organised, we now just have to practise putting on our makeup! More to come on that.....

in the meantime I'll leave the final word about all this activity to the cat
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Posted by Kanumera 07:00 Comments (0)

Party like it's 1963!

Much practice was required to get our eye makeup just right. Here was the result of the first days efforts!
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Mid afternoon on Friday Claire and I left Beaulieu for the final time (well for me anyway). Arrived in Villeneuve in time for an apperitif before dinner at Christian & Geraldine's place. Met up with Remi and Veronique and most of Remi's immediate family, including a few aunts and uncles. A mere 22 of us for dinner that night!
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We stayed in a mobile home at the camping ground, which was also where the Party was being held. Five of us in a mobile home was quite cosy but we managed remarkably well.
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Luckily we had lovely sunny, warm weather so we were able to sit outside at the table and loungers.
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Unfortunately, my rubbish sleeping habits, combined with a very narrow hard bed meant that I did not sleep very well at all! So while Claire, Remi and Vero walked the 6km back to G & C's for lunch on Saturday I instead relaxed and drove down an hour or so later. Our fifth friend, Jacques, joined us in the afternoon.

Party started at 7pm, so our preparations started at 5pm! Here are the results.
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We had a fantastic night! Four course meal, lots of wine followed by a coffee and then a choice of digestif either Mirabelle or Angelica. Then dancing until the wee hours of the morning!
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Posted by Kanumera 09:17 Comments (0)

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