A somewhat slow day today.
I was up at sparrow fart as we had an early train trip to Bordeaux however got chatting to a delightful French woman and her daughter over my morning cafe au lait and croissant at the local tabac, who just happened to be hosting her Aussie bestie from Byron Bay. Ha ha, it was like a reunion and I was lucky to get back on time to catch our train, such a fun group and the four of us had so much to laugh about as we conversed in English and that other foreign language they speak here. I would’ve loved to have spent the day with them as they tried to encourage me to do so, but with Intrepid, you have to keep moving forward.
We enjoyed a scenic train trip past chateaux, vineyards and countryside back to Bordeaux, it’s a great feeling to return to a town you actually know and can get around in without a map.
We did a really interesting tour of a small wine museum learning all about the Sulphur revolution and start of the ageing process of wines in barrels, the evolution of the cork and label, the bottle invention, the origins of the Bordeaux wine merchant families ( I especially found that part interesting), the new markets and the wines return from India which was a fascinating concept. Of course the wine tasting at the end after wandering through the old stone dungeons museum, was appreciated.
I felt I could still learn more about the Bordeaux wine experience so deserted our Intrepid group again who were going shopping and caught the tram out to the La Cite du Vin. Another larger wine museum and a world of experiences, all good ones, the building was amazing, then to see rows and rows of bottles of wine from all over the world in the beautiful wine cellar was quite something. The actual wine tasting was set up at the top of the building which had a 360 degree panoramic view of Bordeaux. Priscilla, you were right, worth visiting.
I found a great little market and many outdoor cafes where I enjoyed a salad dinner (after all the rich fine dining I have experienced lately) and an excellent glass of French Rose (my new all time fav tipple).
I can’t believe I only have one week left on this trip before I terrorise poor Lorna as we embark on our million kilometre pilgrimage in Portugal. The trip has gone really well and met my expectations 100% with interesting new places to see and great activities to experience.
The group have got on well together and we have had some fun and often bizarre times together.
To recap, we have our guide, Nestor, our Spanish Cabillero, our occasionally, ‘I’m lost follow me’ or else ask Jane where we are, Spanish hero. He mostly doesn’t appreciate or understand my jokes however has come along way considering that now when we arrive at a new city and trundle past the local Novotel In the larger cities, he comments to me that ‘theese is noh our Eentrepid Hotel, Jane’ and laughs out loud. We get on well together, he confides in me about the group and asks for suggestions in regard to group management, ha ha I think I shall come back as an Intrepid guide in my third life hereafter.
Better make up a bed Cameron, my new bestie, a Spanish white knight in shining armour is coming to visit me at Osprey Nest since I taught him how to paddle a kayak.
Then we have our rather large lady from the U S of A! I’m convinced Michelle is related to Trump, she’s never actually admitted it (but actually I don’t always discuss my family relationships either). She is so like him, incredible stories she tells, all fascinating if somewhat unbelievable, but keeps us engaged and in fits of laughter. So loud that we were having dinner outside a restaurant one evening and a customer came out and asked her if she could tone it down a bit as she was spoiling his dinner with her utterly raucous voice and laughter. She is hilarious company in small doses.
She spent her time in Sarlat with the local Real Estate agent purchasing a house in the city on a whim, and she has two packets of sparklers in her luggage which she takes through customs (Trump fake news? No idea but it keeps the conversation interesting)
Then we have our Greek Goddess, Eleney who gets changed into a beautiful dress, full makeup etc and parades down the Main Street of every little French town we stay at every evening, much to the awe and appreciation of the locals. It reminds me of the Priscilla movie when the 3 of them arrived in the outback and stepped out of their hotels all tarted up. She’s actually a lovely person, also extremely loud but has been a great asset to our trip as she has researched all the fine dining on our behalf and I have never eaten such gastronomic meals on a trip before. (I also suspect our Spanish Cabillero has his eye on her tho’ don’t think the feelings are reciprocal and she hasn’t found a French husband yet, so all rather intriguing)
We have the two Ladies from America who mostly keep to themselves, they visit the local bars and insist upon making their own “dirty martini’s’ whatever they are, much to the local barmans amusement. They’re pleasant enough but look at me in awe when they see me take off on my own on one of my little adventures, they haven’t travelled much. One of them carries a plastic cup filled water and two fresh flowers from city to city!
They may also be distantly related to Trump. I wouldn’t be surprised.
We have our waitress from Wollongong...... it’s her first overseas trip at the ripe old age of 35. I don’t think she will be a traveller of the future, she just doesn’t get it!, the concept of travelling, particularly with Intrepid which involves a lot of independent travelling totally escapes her, not to mention her charisma bypass which must’ve occurred at birth. She says she wants to be like me when she grows old, not sure if that’s a groan or an ahem from me.
I’m enjoying Robyn’s company, my new best friend. After her 30 years in the military, she ensures that we all do things correctly and let’s us know when things need adjusting to confirm with military precision, but we enjoy each other’s company and she is very well read and an interesting person. You better make up another bed Cameron, I invited Robyn to come for a sleepover too, just move Wendy and Alan out into the garage or somewhere.
Omg and then there’s Jane, the totally weird one. (A local fisherman confided to me on the beach at Laurieton recently that the local fishermen and early morning dog walkers call me ‘the crazy lady’ because of my bizarre
7 am swimming habit regardless of the 5 degree winter temperatures and mountainous seas - I am slightly offended).
I can’t imagine what my fellow travellers think of me, bizarre comes to mind, they think I’m on uppers due to my energy levels but I explained to them that I inhale Eveready energiser batteries at night and sleep with the pink bunnies that just ‘keep on keeping on’. And then they see me zone out into my own quiet little thoughtful world on occasions and are convinced I smoke dope in between the battery times, but hey I get on with all of them and we’ve had fun together.
Tomorrow we head off for Luchon for our big hike, can’t wait.
Nadine I hope you and family are settling into our unit ok for a few weeks. Be carful of the Lane Cive community, they are different to Eastern Suburbs and not Jewish. I hope little Maddie copes, I miss her so much.
Safe travels Wendy and Alan.
Mum you must be jumping out of your skin with excitement by now at the prospect of seeing Wendy next week.