After Hector ignored the “France Passion” opportunity of our first night, it now is time to move further West and head for a vineyard.
A clichée of a vineyard? Perhaps, but a Good One: Domaine de la Cune, Saumur
I heard and read a bit about Saumur, e pretty town at the Loire, and even the idea of seeing some castles seems like a smart one. The arrival at the Domaine de la Cune in the late afternoon comes with the right picture: endless rows of vine up to the horizon, framed by green forests and spreckled with neat “chateaux”.
Where does all the Wine come frome? Oh yes, from the Friendly Man Next Door…
With my TomTom navi and its tendency for interesting roads, I am happy enough that Hector is such a slim van. Only once a sharp correction is required when the road underbridges a maximum height of 2,5m, but that is nothing that a turn to the right could not fix and apart from this, I am fine and enjoy the beauty of narrow wine-villages.
The day ends with fresh salad and a freshly opened bottle of wine. The bottle accidetially happened to become part of Hector’s groceries upon the encounter with the friendly vintner. Of course I know that I am not obliged to buy some of the owner’s products on my vineyard-overnight-stays, but even when thinking hard about it, I do not find any reason against.
The next morning will present dropped temperatures (< 20°C! Perhaps I should turn on the heating…) and a cloudy sky. The evening though is warm and the wine is gentle – good night, world.
Bienvenue en France
Everyone knows that spontaneous holidays are best based on thorough plans and exact milestones. Hence, a “France Passion” address is driving my navigation system towards the Alsatia while the temperatures are driving towards 35°C.
This is so Hector
It comes as no surprise when Hector decides to speed up and only stops at the shore of a lake: forget about fancy food “en Alsace”, welcome to the lake “Etang du Stock”! The campsite at the foot of the small church is simple, but just fine for our first holiday night. “Bien sûr”, with an immediate dive into the lake right away.
I conclude that 18€ for camping are well invested while Hector concludes that he likes lake-nights best. Unless there is sea and beaches available, that is.
The hot summer weather proves the very first Hector owners right who had ordered a full 100% of the available extra equipment: eletric step at the living room door, electric windows in front, electric rear mirrors, double airbags and (tadaa!) aircondition – makes 5 out of 5 possible features. The latter is most welcome these days and eases the hours of driving.
The first day has passed by easily and I am curious what the second day will bring. How about the fridge and the regular troubles with the gas cooling? How about vineyards in the region of Saumur? What about culture and castles along the Loire??
What I love about camping holidays? The spontaneity! Nothing needs to be booked, no long-lasting preparation is required and all you need is a bikini, a credit card and the keys for Hector.
As a matter of coincidence, the pleasant anticipation of the surf holidays made me blow the dust off my skateboard and run the local skatepark once a week. Apart from the fun, the practice may be of use when trying to ride the waves of the Atlantic Ocean later this summer.
Hector, always eager for sun and water, used a lazy Saturday morning for some water polo (says he won the trophy, being the first to hit the target). With the windscreen now being washed from all sides, I am finally able to see his sparkling silvery dress from all perspectives – even inside out.
At least Linda remains relaxed. Holidays at the sea = all routine, no preparation needed. My only concern is that she might outperform my fragile wave surfing if she continues her open water swimming: Kilometres and kilometres in rough sea, pumping her arm and shoulder muscles like superwoman. Great that she will be still vivid after each surf lesson! Thus, there’s someone (superwoman) who can take care of food and drinks while I will be totally “crevée” (exhausted), sleeping off on the couch.
The Girl with the Camping Diploma: Linda
Great Holiday Expectations ahead!
The Trek = 141 km, 7.107m up and 4.119m down, that is the summary of my Himalaya holidays. Just as expected, it was easy enough for me due to long-lasting, profound hiking experience: I have started long before the trip in my earlier youth. In May 2017 to be more exact.
Now when I look back, I see that the cloud on which I floated for weeks and months has dissolved somehow. Still, some things have slightly changed along the way: Heights above 5.000m had been nothing but a number, while now I remember how it felt to be up there. Only time will tell, yet there is a fair chance that Nepal might become one of those life-changing trips. Not as a single baboom-event, but with subtle, longlasting influences on my perspective of things. We will see…
While the Nepal trip has been a fantastic experience, some (me included) might ask: What about camping? And here we go:
Finally, Hector will be star of the road again, carrying me to France. 4,5 hours of (new) finest music, 8 hours of weekly sports and 1 new bikini are all it takes for the preparation of the next trip. At least, almost. Getting more and more into my well-known enthusiasm for sun, beach, sea, food, wine and surfers, I spend some spare time on nice-to-have preparations such as
- Sort all snippets about recommended restaurants, promising vineyards or camper parkings neatly into a colourfal roadmap => checked
- Fresh up & improve my skateboard skills => checked
- Make Hector sparkle and shine => upcoming
- Throw 3 bikinis, a wet suit and the skateboard into Hector’s closets and head up straight West. + South. Well, wherever the sun is visible!
The plan is to stop every now and then, see castles, medieval villages and uncounted grains of sand along the coast line. Counting down the days until low season kicks in!