Sauternes To Labastide d’Armagnac

A very peaceful night, and even the church bells stopped at around 10pm. As we were hoping to lunch in Sauternes, we took it easy in the morning, and Sophie did a spot of ”smalls” washing & practiced her art skills.

I gave the fridge burner and flue the once over, with wire brushes and compressed air, yet again, in the hope of getting a little more life out of the old girl. The gas option has been temperamental for a while now, and regularly gets my hopes up and works for a few hours, only to dash them when I think I’ve finally cracked it. Definitely going to look into a professional service when we get back home because this has become too much of a recurring problem.

Lunch at the Auberge les Vignes was a great success. Their set menu was €16 for a three courser, with the main event being an excellent and generous steak cooked over an open fire, and arguably the best steak I’ve ever had with a set lunch menu, and I’ve had plenty. Dessert was described as ”gratin café, cognac”, which sounded intriguing and was effectively a very nice cognac tiramisu.

We hit the road after lunch and despite my best efforts, Sophie kept noticing those annoying chateau signs, and I was forced to pull into a village to research where they all might be. As we searched online as to where Villandraut was we realised we were actually in that town, and so off we went to see that one.

Fortunately, I had to take a call from the office, so I left Sophie to her own devices. We then had to take a detour North to see another chateau, when I was trying to get us South. As it happened we’d already seen this one on a previous trip, which has become too common a theme as we continue to tour France after many years.

After a third chateau we managed to get back on track, and fortunately didn’t see any more for the rest of the drive. After pulling in for an impromptu emptying session at a motorhome aire, we were close to our destination. Similar to our earlier chateau deja vu moment, we both immediately recognised this aire, which might sound a bit strange, but I remember it because many years ago I’d tried emptying the toilet cassette here, and not finding anywhere obvious, poured its contents down the wrong drain. This is a definite no-no in motorhome circles, and I still remember the looks of disgust from the motorhomers sat with ringside seats watching the event unfold. Needless to say, it’s not something I’ve ever repeated, and I did get it right today.

My objective for today was Labastide d’Armagnac, one of our favourite bastide towns. At the aire here there are two other motorhomes, plus a caravan, but it’s a very spacious area, so all should be good. As it turned out, the facilities are “en panne”, so I’m particularly pleased to have emptied out earlier on.

My first job on arrival was to finish the fridge job I’d begun in Sauternes. That’s now all done and the fridge fired up straight away, but I’ve done this enough times not to get my hopes up. Right on cue, as I write this sat outside with a glass of red, I can hear the all too familiar clicking of a fridge that is now refusing to ignite. Looks like all the ice cream will need eating tonight, as well as some of the other contents of the freezer.

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