Going back to the subject of chateau compulsion, we did subsequently pass another one in a town with the eye-watering name of Torsac. Clearly misunderstanding the “pull over NOW it’s another chateau”, I simply drove on, which didn’t go down too well. The upside though was that for the next hour or so we had an extremely peaceful drive giving us plenty of time for personal meditation.
Wanting to increase the distance covered we set off to another spacious aire at a town called Chef Boutonne. We arrived at about 4:30, so it was too late for lunch really, so I suggested cake and coffee, which we enjoyed before our final push for the day which finds us at La Meilleraie Tillay, which is highlighted as a special aire. As it’s currently raining we’ll look forward to finding out what exactly it is that makes it so special, when the rain stops.
Despite the prevarication en route as to whether we’d cook or not, and my hopes getting up, it was decided that we wouldn’t. So I pretty much survived yesterday on a small cake for each of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and so given the walking we put in I’m expecting the pounds to be dropping off me. Perhaps that’s Sophie’s plan.
Sophie was clearly tired from the long drive – it must be so gruelling just sitting there enjoying the scenery, as well as reminding me of my optimal stopping distances, the correct speed at which to pass a truck on a bend on a narrow lane in the rain, the ideal pulling over spot to ensure the minimum walking distance to the next photography session etc etc.
Being tired I could see her irritation increasing as a mild boom, boom, boom was emanating from a VW camper over in the corner of the carpark. She wanted to go and have a word, but wanting to avoid any conflict, I suggested we put our own music on instead. She went over anyway, so I made the most of my freedom and put some music on myself. In fact she was gone for ages, which meant that they’d either been “Sophie’d”, which can really last a very long time, or they’d overreacted to her plea for peace and she was never coming back. Either way, I knew I had a reasonable time to enjoy some well-earned freedom.
As it happened, she did eventually return and said we’d all be catching up in the morning. So despite the rain we had a long chat with Dave and Remi from the UK, whilst unfortunately their shoes got soaked outside. I just want to point out that we didn’t insist they take them off. A lovely couple doing an extended tour of Europe, ultimately aiming for Southern Spain, and they’ll be surfing their way down there, and taking on some of those beautiful Galician beaches. We’ll definitely be keeping in touch and will no doubt continue to compare notes and tips.
So apart from our momentary noisy, but now lovely repentant neighbours, it turned out to be a very, very quiet stop. A cockerel this morning, but not too intrusive.
Wanting to take advantage of the continued wet weather for putting away the miles, we were gone by mid-morning. En route I though of a ruse that might result in a cooked meal today, and hopefully plenty of other days too. I suggested that we have our main meal at lunchtime, when we’re less tired, then when we’re flaked out in the evening we can pick at bread & cheese and anything else we might find lying around. We both agreed which meant that we could clear the fridge immediately of a few bits and pieces for today’s lunch, and that was handy as we caught sight of another Lidl.
My planned lunch stop had us parked directly in front of the amazing chateau at Challain La Potherie. We’d literally discovered it by accident a couple of years ago, and the gardener then had invited us to wander around the grounds. It is privately owned and is truly spectacular and is definitely up their with our all time favourite chateaux.
From there we headed to our final resting place for the night at Saint Aubin du Cormier. This is one of our favourite Park4nights in our immediate vicinity and is solid lakeside peaceful parking. I’m sure we’ll get a walk in round the lake and village before too long just to make sure we get some exercise today.
Progress as follows: