Tuesday 21st June.
Over the last few years we've stopped in plenty of what can only be described as one horse towns. This evening we are parked up in La Chapelle-de-Guinchay (46.21013 4.76749) and I reckon the horse has left for pastures new. If there ever was a horse here at all. Sleepy does not begin to describe this little village which is in the heart of Beaujolais country, a little south of Macon. There's a car park here with facilities for motorhomes and we have a tourist information office and a shop attached selling regional produce. We strolled in this afternoon and the lady behind the counter studiously ignored us, we browsed a couple of leaflets and then went into the shop, picked up a couple of bottles of wine and some pate and with a sigh she took my money, gave me my change and if I had not said "Merci madam", not a word would have been exchanged.
We've spent the last few days with our daughter and her family in St Etienne, which was lovely, and our plan this morning was to drive to Beaune and spend the night there but we didn't realise how far it was. The Sat Navs said about four hours so when we stopped for coffee after an hour or so we had another look at our options and decided this little village was ideal. Still, it's quiet enough, apart from the main Paris to Lyon railway which is about 100 metres away.
Two Euro 2016 matches were hosted in St Etienne while we were there - Czech Republic vs Croatia and Slovakia vs England. Our daughter's house is only about a mile from the stadium and the fan zone is even closer. All the bars in the centre of town had been instructed to close their terraces, take all furniture off the streets and only serve alcohol in plastic glasses on the day of the England match. On reflection this wasn't necessary as the English fans behaved impeccably and we heard of no trouble at all. I was tempted to watch the match in the fan zone but was persuaded to watch it on TV at home. ITV on the iPad for the build up and then French commentary during the match. Maybe we'll do better in the knock out stage when teams have to attack rather than attempt a damage limitation strategy as Slovakia did last night, we'll see. I'll be seeking a stop over with WiFi on the 25th!
Wednesday 22nd June.
Beautiful drive today through Cluny, Buxy, Givry and on to Beaune where we are parked up in the spaces reserved for motorhomes (47.01754 4.83673). Whilst yesterday was overcast and very warm today is sunny and scorching. It's 6.45pm, the temperature is still in the low thirties and there's no shade at all in the car park. The fridge is working overtime but I doubt the beer which I'm looking forward to will be particularly cold. Beaune is a beautiful town, it's the second time we've stopped here and we've also stopped on a couple of nearby vineyards where the wine is considerably cheaper than in the posh shops here in town. Last time we visited the old hospital and the mustard museum/factory but contented ourselves with a walk around town on the shady side of the streets this afternoon.
Tomorrow a little further north near Auxerre where we will be in Chablis and Crement de Bourgogne country and we plan to stop in a vineyard there and, no doubt, add to the payload before we leave.
No photos today as the WiFi, which I'm "borrowing" from the hotel next door, is not too good and I doubt it would cope with having to upload images.