To see more of the country we have been taking 'alternative' routes. Often highways but not the major motor/Toll ways. Sometimes it doesn't make a major difference but we see more around the roads. But at other times there is a major difference. Today was one of those. Our anticipated trip time between Beaune and our next accommodation had been seven hours. Overnight we had all agreed the this was one time that taking the motorway might be a sensible thing to do. It cut 2 1/2 hours from the predicted trip.
SO we had a drive without pressure and Mary got us to the area in very good time.
And then!! !!!!
We had a street name with no number. The street and village were entered into GPS. That street was easily found; it was long and Mary took us to the middle of it; we had no number but did have a description of '4 x two story Gites' (self catering country accommodation) which seemed like it would be easy to find. Pete had been told there would be no one there until after 5.00; to be safe we had given 5.30 as arrival time. so having time to spare we took a drive to the nearest big town (Salon)to look around and to see if it would go onto our 'to do' list.
Then back to our street to be there by 5 or shortly after. Up and down, no two story houses anywhere in the street. Stopped to ask. Yes that was the street; Chemin de Beauvezet, but they had never heard of the place name; meubles Domaine Beauezet. SO round and round we went, with increasing frustration. This was one of the places we had already paid the full amount for the weeks accommodation. We began to be wonder if we had been did diddled.
We hit another village. Pete went into the hairdressers, paper in hand. Yes, they thought they knew the place. An old lady having her hair done was consulted as the one to know everything about the area. She did. But not a lot of help to Mike. the directions had to be translated but no one spoke more than a few words of English. However we ended up at least with the general direction to head. And the comforting knowledge that perhaps we hadn't been ripped off. The GPS was tried again; this time the one on Mikes GPS (Henry back again). Finally we saw a house with a farmer outside. He nodded vigorously when shown the paper with the address and said 'follow me'. He hopped onto a quad bike and zoomed off with us in pursuit. We came to a large brick, and definitely two story building, well probably more like three. With a turret! we waved at us, and turned and went back the way he had come.
Our hearts were sinking. This was almost in ruins
There was a vehicle parked in what had possibly been a courtyard in previous times but now had junk as well as the ute. There was junk everywhere.
And again, no one to be seen.
Finally the owner appeared and we followed him a bit further on.
In very halting and limited English we found out that we were the first people to have booked into the newly built gites. The front and end walls had been the old stone machinery shed. He was a bit apologetic that the swimming pool wasn't quite ready for us to use, but the pizza oven in the communal BBQ/party room was.
SO this is also a farm stay. we can have a guided tour around if we want, when one of them has the time (not this week-end) They run a rare breed of French beef cattle, grow crops for hay,(very expensive, very specialised hay that is bought by the elite racehorse owners in England the in ARabian countries. They also have olive trees and press their own oil and have a vineyard. Their youngest son, 17, is doing a wine making course and then they will begin making their own wine.
We had a welcoming bottle of Provence wine in our frig.
WE could probably spend a day just touring the farm and finding out about its history. A farm with very old buildings and with a name the same as streets in two different places must be intersting. Language would be a bit of a barrier however. Christine, Norbet's wife, speaks better English than he does, but still needed lot of guessing on our part, and reference to the dictionary.
Her availability is also limited. She is nurse manager in the Cardiovascular hospital in the nearby village of Eyguires
WE found out why the GPS was having problem. Not only are there two 'streets' with the same name (the first really a street, the second, this one, a road that seems to wind through several farms. Then there is the minor detail of which village it is on. The farm may have one postal address, but the boundaries of three villages meet on the farm, so the main house is in one, the old house in another and some of the fields in another.
The difficulty with where farms start and end also happens here. Was the quad bike man a neighbouring farmer, or is his house on this farm? And the house a bit further on from the Gite, again with no fences or dividing markers between, is that yet another farm? or is this all one big estate???? (turned out later, the first is another farm, as is the second, but its Norbet's brother)