Started the day quite relaxed at Futuroscope, just outside Poitiers. Never knew that France has a multimedia theme park, which is one of its kind in the world. The whole area made us feel we were in the US. Large stores, restaurants and car showrooms sprawled along the major roads.
We really needed the relaxation after the shenanigans of the previous two days. Had a bit of a lie in and then after the loading of the bike, headed for breakfast. Made sure the bike was parked in view. This is an important consideration, as the bike is loaded up with our stuff.
The plan was to write the day 1 & 2 blog quickly, which stretched into an hour and half. But we had time on our hands so no stress there. Post the extremely crucial task of updating the blog and all social media, headed off towards Saint Emilion to meet Vincent at Chateau Guadet.
Quick break at Services (I’m not posh like the other person writing blogs, so I’ll just say Services!). We were well ahead of time so we milled about a bit and somewhere, somehow time got away. We realised we were now going to be late for our meeting so made a dash for it.
Beautiful ride into the town, riding through the arches and the narrow streets.
Managed to find the Chateau and parking right opposite. But now we have the problem that our stuff is loaded onto the bike, so what is to be done? I dashed into the Chateau, not really caring for the stuff. When you go motorcycling, you expect that your stuff will be stolen at some point of time so I was quite blasé about it.
Once inside, however, Jesal realised that a laptop, camera and Go Pro were all inside the stuff, lying there just waiting to be stolen. So, another quick dash to get the important stuff before we could spend some time with Vincent.
Vincent showed us around the impressive cellars and cask room of the Chateau and we learnt that the Chateau Guadet wines were served during the wedding of Queen Elizabeth. This is all family run, with Vincent being the 7th generation of the family to take over this heritage. Quite recently returned from Australia, 2011 was his first bio dynamic vintage. Vincent produces wines which are 80% merlot and 20% cabernet; except in exceptional circumstances when frost on the merlot meant that he had to do 50% of each.
We tasted some of the wines. Mind you, for me it was really tasting and using the spittoon; whereas the pillion rider (you know who I’m talking about) took full advantage of the situation
After a quick chat with Guy-Petrus (Vincent’s father); we made our way to the campsite where we were going to pitch tents for the night.
Pitch secured, luggage unloaded and then begins the task of pitching the tents. Considering that we were both camping virgins, the putting up of tents was done quite nicely, efficiently and in a very civilised manner.
Note: No humans were harmed physically or verbally in the process of tent pitching!
All set and smug, we went off to find some celebratory drinks. They arrived even before ordered. Magnums of rain to celebrate the first night of camping.
This called for some serious measures. A bottle of wine to the rescue.
It was sinfully enjoyed, standing under the canopy, listening to live entertainment put on by the campsite.
I genuinely do believe that wine is the answer to all problems. We finished the bottle and it stopped raining – it was as if the rain was just waiting for us to finish our wine.
We headed back to our tents, which were nice and dry inside. Sleeping bag, camping mat, pillow and a good night’s sleep awaited.
And there we were, just about to enter the tents and wake up the next morning, having finally lost our camping virginity.
True bliss or nine days of wonder? Did we carry on being smug on day 4 or did it all come crashing down like a house of cards?
Stay tuned, for the next blog ...