Monday 27th July 2015

We woke to find a message on the old phone asking us to call Frankie as soon as possible. We did so and found that James was taken to hospital last night, having choked on some chicken and was kept in overnight because the blockage wouldn't move. Frankie assured us that James would be OK and was going to see him shortly. We said we would phone again later in the morning. We obviously spent the day worrying about James but when we spoke to him in the afternoon he sounded OK but very sore and tired. This is the down side of being away from home - we cannot go and give him a big hug xx

Obviously our minds were "at home" all day but we aired off the rest of the washing between the showers and strong winds. The scare with James prompted Allan to make a call later in the evening to his sister Jean and to ask about the rest of the family and to be reassured that everyone is OK back home. We try to keep in touch as much as possible, where our phone connection allows and to keep in touch with local events back home but we do also rely on people feeding us information (phone, email, facebook, messenger, whatsap, skype etc.). Thank you to everyone who does contact us - this is hugely important to us to keep in contact with family and friends. It is Allan's intention to put a message board on our Blog at some point for people to use.

Tuesday

Left Gizeux to go back to Saumur to pick up Dorothy's new phone battery but when we returned to the shop "Mon Reparateur" at about 11 in the morning the man there had lost the new battery! He asked if we could return just before lunchtime to give him a chance to locate it. We had a stroll around the town and returned just after 12 but unfortunately the battery was still lost!!! You can imagine how Dorothy was feeling at this point!! He said he was going to search some more so we agreed to return later in the afternoon.

So, we then made our way to E Leclerc to do some shopping and upload the blog but access to the internet was impossible so, after a late lunch in the motorhome we returned to "Mon Reparateur" and the battery was still missing??? Fortunately the owner's son HUGO was there and he quickly found the new battery. Hugo is the most important man in France today, he is our HERO!

Once the battery was fitted we then travelled the short distance to Turquant (this place now seems like home to us) to upload the latest Blog page and another page with the photos that had been taken of our Silver Wedding Anniversary celebrations by Marco, who is now back home in Germany. Dorothy made a call to James to check on his progress and a call to her mother to say that our normal contact numbers are now in use again and then tried to catch up on the internet with what has been happening back home over the last week.

At the end of the day the weather is still wet but less windy. A drop in temperature over the last couple of days of around 27 degrees makes us feel quite chilly.

Wednesday

Time to move once again this time to Chouzé sur Loire. The route that we must take is over the same narrow bridge that we took last Friday. Many short sections and at each section the girders above have an angle piece that gives the carriageway a lower height limit. The height for the carriageway is sufficient for our motorhome, except at the intersections where we must move over to the center. We slow down at these parts to await a break in the traffic so we can move over. The traffic up ahead stopped for us and we carried on. However where they had stopped there was a car towing a boat and its oars were sticking out the sides. Allan moved over to the side to avoid them and knocked the wing mirror on the side of the bridge. Fortunately without major problem except the mirror folded back and there is a light scratch on it.

The only drawback is a very upset Dorothy and a lot of ear bashing for the next few miles.

When we arrive in Chouzé sur Loire we find a pretty little village. The road doesn't actually go along beside the river but you must walk down a little lane to what must only be described as an idyllic setting. A beautiful little lane, an old quayside, along side the River Loire with a pub/restaurant, flower beds, seats an old boat on the bank and more little boats in the water.

There are houses all the way along the quayside. Across to the other bank of the river there is a forest. Later we find out that this forest is in fact on an island and there is another part of the river beyond it.

It gets even better because on checking we find that there are 3 geocaches alongside the river and another 2 in the village. All were found without difficulty. Another is too far away to walk to and it has been given a high difficulty rating so we don't bother about that one. It may sound that we do a lot of geocaching but it does take us to some interesting and beautiful places that we would not discover without the local knowledge of the people who leave and publish them. We have found 976 since 13 Sept. 2008, 7 years, an average of 139 a year. We have found 61 this year and we wonder if we will still be here in France for our 1000th geocache.

Thursday

The village is so nice and the weather to start with was so sunny so we decided to buy some bread from the local boulangerie and stay here a while longer. Unfortunately in the afternoon it gets a bit cloudy.

Later in the afternoon we decide to go for a walk again along the quay side, retracing the way we went when we first arrived here.

Such a nice day, so why don't we walk a little further along the riverbank and even perhaps have a look at the location of the difficult geocache. It is a level four difficulty so we possibly won't be able to retrieve the cache.

When we arrive at the location it is a large tree with a few rocks underneath it so Allan rolled the rocks aside and there is nothing there. Then looking up and there it is about 30 feet up in the branches just hanging there in full view. Dorothy says that there is no way we can get to it, you are a 65 year old pensioner, in summer shoes and shorts and a good shirt..... We now have a total of 977 found and signed geocaches!!

Dorothy was shaking so much that she couldn't take a photo or throw the cache back up to me without several attempts! Once I was back on terra ferma and we had both got our breath back, these are the photos we managed.........

The Tree The view

Later, sitting out in the early evening with a glass of refreshment (G&T) a man on a cycle rides past the Aire so Allan just for a laugh waves him a cheery greeting. He turns his bike around and Allan gets worried about what's going to happen next. The man comes into the Aire thinking that he knows Allan and after a bit of a chat, together with a Andre and Lydie a French couple on the Aire we find out that the man is on his way to his allotment to pick tomatoes and we arrange to buy a kilo, Andre and Lydie decide to buy some as well. When the man returns, in his car this time with our garden fresh tomatoes, seeing this the other motorhomers on the Aire rush out wanting some as well. Next time the man returns he has tomatoes and eggs so we buy a dozen eggs as well and tomorrow we may be having tomato omelets!

We finished the day with a telephone call to our friend Zelie and it was lovely to have a good chat with her.

Friday

Off to the village boulangerie for the breakfast bread (Pain, pronounced pa ) together with cheese it makes a perfect French breakfast. Then just sitting around all morning. Keeping the blog up to date and doing the washing up.

An English motorhome has just come onto the Aire bringing a couple with a northern accent. They have asked where to buy the tokens for the water. Dorothy suggests the village shop opposite or the Marie at the end of the road. The shop seemed to be OK as they fill up and leave. People just passed through most of the day, filling up with water or just getting rid of waste. Perhaps they are just like us a few years ago when we had to rush from place to place and fit in as much of France as we possibly could during a two week holiday.

A telephone call to Allan's cousin Jean in Plymouth rounded off our day.

Saturday

Our stay in Chouzé sur Loire has come to an end and we pack up and move on. Only about 6 miles to the next village with a motorhome aire along the Loire valley - Restigné. On arrival we find a pretty aire with designated motorhome parking overlooking the vinyards.

Dorothy asks Allan to check for geocaches and there is one here but it's half a mile away, so we decide to just take a look at the village and find the Boulangerie for some bread for lunch. Bread, Brie, Branston and Beer - Allan is happy!!!

Later in the afternoon we decided not to be so lazy and went in search of the geocache. Yes, another laverie cache! and returning past the church we stopped to take a photograph as it seemed unusual for us to have flowerbeds and a bandstand in the church grounds!

And then a walk though the allotments but not too far as the temperature is rising again. 25 C outside and 30 inside!

Sunday

We woke to this beautiful view. Cornfields with Vineyards beyound as far as the eye can see.

We discovered that there were 8 geocaches in the nearby village of La Chapelle-sur-Loire and thought about going to do these but when it comes down to it, the weather is hot and sunny so why bother, they will stilll be there tomorrow!

Sitting in the sunshine, doing absolutely nothing except reading and relaxing.

Then a motorhome pulls into the Aire and much to our surprise it's Andre and Lydie, the French couple from Chouzé sur Loire! They are also quite surprised as this meet up was not planned.

During the evening we chat with Andre and Lydie using a little French and little English and Google translater on our phones. They have toured to many parts of France, many of them we have also visited.

Two photos during the evening of the other view from this aire, looking towards the village.

Dorothy makes a phone call to her Mum and brother to find out how the show "Legally Blonde" in Eastbourne went as our Nephew Damon played Emmett.

 

I wonder where our travels will take us to next, and who we will meet along the way....

 

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