Tuesday 26th August.
We are parked up this afternoon in (another) vineyard just outside the village of Neuville de Poitou and about 10 kilometres north of Poitiers. It's a lovely setting, part of the France Passion scheme and there is an option for an electric hook-up too. We drove here today from Nieuill L'Espoir a pretty village about half an hour south of here, where we stopped last night, making a couple of detours on the way to try and source some cupboard hinges for the motorhome; unsuccessfully I might add. The existing hinges locked up several weeks ago and I've been trying to find replacements ever since, I know I can get them in the UK and it looks like I'll have to wait till we get home in a few weeks before I repair the cupboard. Repair and maintenance on a motorhome is much the same as that on a house, there are always little jobs to do to keep things running smoothly and keep the elements out.
There's not a great deal of news as we make our way slowly homeward. The French countryside is as beautiful as ever, the roads are as empty of traffic as ever and the quality of baguette & croissant is as hit and miss as ever. I'm keeping the blog going though just so our friends and family know where we are and hoping that some of them are still reading it. I guess the difference between a blog and a diary is that the latter is a personal thing which you don't necessarily want other folk to read and the former is the opposite; you want everybody to read it, be hanging on your every word and waiting breathlessly for the next installment. Unfortunately it's becoming harder and harder to create a cliffhanger experience for you. For the first three months of this trip we were in uncharted territory, so to speak, we were travelling in countries we hadn't been to before and it was all new to us in so many ways. It really was an adventure for us from when we left Calais and all the way through Greece and Italy. We had been to some of the Islands before, Crete, Corfu, Kefalonia but never to the mainland. It was the best part of this trip. We had so much fun, met so many lovely people and saw such a breathtakingly beautiful country that we will definitely return in the not too distant future. Whilst France is the most "motorhome friendly" country we have been to, Greece is the most "people friendly" country by far. And we only scratched the surface in the couple of months we were there.
I think what I'm trying to say is that this leg of our return trip to the UK was never going to have the thrills and spills and excitement of the outward journey. France is a beautiful country, we've both been here many, many times before. My sister lived here for over fourty years, our eldest daughter has been here now for twenty five years and despite our poor language skills we feel comfortable here. And yet, France is never going to knock our socks off, which is not to say the countryside cannot be stunning, Greece did though. France is like the rest of Western Europe, it's tidy and organised and regulated and, in a way, predictable. Greece is pretty much none of those things and that's one of the many things we loved about it. Whilst in France one gets a Gallic shrug, in Greece one gets an arm around the shoulder.
So, if the entertainment value here has dropped a little bit for you I apologise but can reassure you we are still having a fabulous time. As I write this we are waiting for the vineyard reception to open and then it'll be another tasting and a few more bottles in the van!