Red Wine, Baguettes & Smelly Cheese travel blog

Tour de France training - way to go Liz !

Where else in the world would there be a sign to "The...

Restored medieval windmill at Faugeres

French alarm clock

Lost in translation

St. Guilhem-le-Desert - on the pilgrim route to Santiago

Light mid-morning snack

St. Guilhem-le-Desert - Gellone Monastery

Bridges across the Herault Gorge

La Couvertoirade - 15th Century towon of the Knights Templar

Windmill at La Couvertoirade

Citroen 2CV Rally!

Cirque de Navacelles - circular gorge

Cirque de Navacelles - circular gorge

Gorges de la Dourbie

Bikers convention

Nant from a big cycle hill !


This week has been filled with bike rides, more medieval towns, a fun lunch out with the locals and a hike to some ancient windmills.

We shared a wonderful bike ride from our camp at Laurens to the neighbouring village of Faugeres, where we hiked to the top of a hill to see a wonderfully restored ancient windmill with 360 degree views over the vineyards and hills, followed by a fun-filled lunch with the locals at the Bel Air Café. Unfortunately, the service station selling the “best wine around – ask for the back room” has closed. Still no shortage of wine though. The return ride was a blast as it was all downhill – way to go Liz (see photos)!

Notable events this week:

• After doing the dishes for 35 days in a row, anyone would get good at it. It is fun to arrive at the dishwashing station 15 minutes after the German contingent and then beat them all back to the camper van. Not that this is a competition or anything.

• Talking about the Germans, the French need a lesson from them in organizing grocery store checkout lines (as we are now experts of course). Their complete lack of logistical organization is compounded by the fact that virtually everyone pays with personal cheque, further delaying a broken process. Tell me, who uses cheque books anymore?

• You do not need an alarm clock when camped near the small town of Lodeve. There is a donkey in the next field, who stuck his head through the fence and hee-hawed us awake. Looking through the vent from our bed in the top of the van we came eye to eye with him………and both laughed out loud.

• The greener the cheese, the better it tastes. But the greener the cheese, the more plastic bags you need to store it in the fridge. Liz has laid down the law, “No more smelly cheese! The fridge smells like a gym locker.”

• When you have to make (another) visit to the dentist and he produces an implement that looks like a medieval torture weapon and then proceeds to use Google translate to tell me what he is going to do with it, right then is a good time to run and don’t come back. So I did.

• When one of us throws out a key travel document and the other offers to go and rescue it from the very smelly recycling bin, many “brownie points” have been earned. No names mentioned.

• When you wash and clean the camper van, guaranteed within 24 hours there will be a thunderstorm including lots of rain and mud.

European trivia

Every week we will give you a trivia question, with the answer given the following week. Remember, no Googling!

Last week: Which movie starring Kevin Costner was filmed in the medieval town of Carcassonne?

And the answer is: Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves!

This week: Which town in France has the tallest bridge in the world?

Until next week,

Liz & Ian



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