Packing and Cleaning


Day 15 – Friday 29th June

Today is a sad day. As we will be travelling home tomorrow we have to pack our kit and give the gite a bit of a clean.

I made my last 3km run to the boulangerie earlier this morning. Picked up a “petite boule”. It has been hard during the last few days, the decision making that is. A petite boule, a grand boule, a pavee or perhaps a baguette. I am going to miss the daily bread trip. I don’t know where the nearest artisan bakery is at home. The nearest we have is in one of the supermarket chain stores.

I’m not likely to get a bright smiley Bon Jour from a bland, help yourself, bank of loaves. Let alone the same varieties of bread.

So we have packed and scrubbed, rewarded ourselves with an ice cold beer and relaxed for a while.

We visited a local cave to buy some local wine. This descended into farce as I initially tried to ask concrete truck drivers mate if the cave was open. He of course couldn’t understand me but wouldn’t know anyway. He did indicate a guy on a tractor. So I went and introduced myself asked if he spoke any english. He shook my hand said something in French, climbed down off his tractor and ran off behind a building. In the meantime a black and tan dog came and introduced himself.

There are no language barriers betwixt man and dog.

A couple minutes later another guy turns up on a tractor. Speaks in French at 1000 words a second while first pointing at his cement covered wellies then at the building works and the truck. Eventually I understood him to be saying that he couldn’ deal with us as the concrete truck had arrived late. That he now had to deal with the concrete before that went off and could we come back tomorrow morning after nine.

We said not to worry, we couldn’t come back as we would be travelling home. As we were leaving he came running after us with a bottle of wine. Presumably as a consolation for not being able to buy his wine. I protested that it was not necessary, but not too much, and accepted gracefully. We bid our adieu’s and headed off to Aigre.

In Aigre we headed into the supermarket, to hedge our bets and buy some commercial wine. After that we went to research the two restaurants and decide which one should have our custom for our last relaxed meal in France.

The lucky winner was Le Square, who provided us with an adequate meal which with beers cost us over 50 euros. This compared to a really good meal with wine and beer which cost us just over 31 euros at Les Colombiere the night before.

And so back to the gite, a couple of games of Rummikub and early to bed.

Mooching


Day 11 – Monday 25th June

Decided today would be an unstructured day. Just drive out into the countryside and see what we can see.

Our initial direction took us to the next village, where there is a small chateau, and on to Chives (pronounced sheeve). Here there is an unusual church with what looks like a garage attached.

Church @ Chives
Church @ Chives, Charente, France

From Chives we headed deeper into the countryside where we came across a shady stream. Photo opportunity methinks. Soon I am laid on the ground, all professional and artistic, even got the external flash attached. Turns out that the batteries have enough oomph to drive the flash display but not enough for the flash itself. So I made do with what I had and plugged away.

Then we thought, “Why don’t go walk round Aigre ?”. We have passed through the town several times just to visit the nearest supermarket. It was time we paid a visit.

Hotel de Ville, Aigre, France
Hotel de Ville, Aigre, France

It turns out there is not a lot there but Aigre provides all the basics. Post Office, bank, pharmacies, a Spar, tabac and a couple of restaurants. We plan to give at least one of them a test in the next few days.