Monday, February 20, 2012

France - Baguettes and Chateau Camping

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48 miles, Monday, August 1

When I woke up in the tent this morning, I told Andy that I’d dreamed I was speaking fluent French. It was a profound hint to learn more of the language. Either that or I’d crammed too many words in my head in the glow of the flashlight.

After consuming couscous and fruit for breakfast Andy vowed to find out what the locals eat. My husband is a voracious breakfast eater and was spoiled with two or three plate-sized pancakes with real maple syrup each morning. After a month on the road he misses his constitution and must find a replacement.

A common sight outside boulangeries and markets. Photo credit:
It was a short jaunt to a supermarket where the variety was a delight. In the dairy aisle we spied 12 different kinds of cheese. We chose Camembert. The wheel is shaped like Brie, yet its flavor is less pungent with the same nutty taste. By lunchtime, the cheese is a pre-warmed creamy treat spread on bread. Outside the store we filled pannier pockets with groceries and watched the morning crowd exiting with arms full of unwrapped baguettes. One couple strapped 5 long loaves to the racks of their mopeds, like lumber on a truck.

A tailwind swept us along through quiet towns. We noted that city offices and banks are closed on Mondays. Andy and I have only 100 francs in cash, but I’m not worried. Food has become a priority and I’m thankful we have enough money to fill our bellies for another day.

Maps to guide our travels; also helps locate campgrounds.
By day’s end we sailed once again to the Seine River. A few miles later, as indicated on the map, we located a campground. Surprisingly this wasn’t an ordinary setup allowing space for caravans and tents. RVs occupied all the designated spots. Fortunately, the proprietor accommodates a few travelers like us, allowing access to his spacious backyard quasi miniature golf course. Andy and I chuckled and enthusiastically erected the “VW Beetle”, as we’ve nicknamed our yellow home, in between holes 4 and 11. The greens are gone; only the cement tubs remain. A white table with chairs provides a spot for eating with a view of all 18 holes plus the owners’ brown and white chateau. We couldn’t believe our luck. It was further testament to our mode of travel and the unexpected pleasures of the moment.

One of the most delightful and unexpected rewards after a long day on the road.
After dinner we ambled along the Seine’s banks. With the company of others, and fishermen on the dock, my husband and I enjoyed a bucolic sunset; downriver a castle reflected in the slow moving water, like a scene from a postcard.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Annie, I really should have learnt by now that reading your touring posts is inevitably going to make me troll through the fridge. Luckily, I have goats cheese, strawberry and rhubard jam, and sourdough loaf from the farmer's market on Sunday morning. Not quite bagette and camembert, but, it will stop my growling tummy!


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