Last Saturday we were in a state of shock after the Brexit results and very worried about our future as expats living in France, not to mention our drop in income due to the pound falling against the euro.
We decided to go away for a few days to relax and try to get ourselves back to a normal state of mind.
We had packed up the camping car and prepared to leave early on Sunday morning when our neighbours called by to say 'bonjour' and ended up having a rosé with us, I'm sure he can hear a cork being pulled out of a bottle from across the road! We told them our plans and Marius said as he didn't have any plans for the week, maybe they would come along too.
By 7 am on Sunday morning we were surprised to see Marius's camper car already out on the road ready to depart when we did as we hadn't actually taken his suggestion very seriously! We set off and they followed us all the way to Saumur where were allocated 2 places side by side. Marius parked alongside, only 6 feet from us, just a bit too close for my liking so the next morning we moved to a plot on the other side of the hedge from him to give ourselves a bit of privacy.
We had arrived in time to go to the local pizzeria for lunch and while we were there we heard a lot of noise and then bands playing outside in the street. We discovered it was the annual carnival of giants and that we were in a prime position to see the whole parade as it set off around the town. I only had my tiny tinted paper sketchbook with me and a magic pencil and managed to get a few scribbles down but not much worth looking at as I was drawing standing up and we had drunk a couple of glasses of wine with our lunch which made my hand a bit wobbly!
We stayed in Saumur for 3 nights, walking into the town each morning for a coffee and lunch and relaxing at the camp in the afternoons. There was an outdoor pool with a fantastic view of the chateau that I spent one afternoon drawing in the sketch at the top of the post and as you can see the weather was rather variable but warm.
We've visited Saumur several times in the past and this view I drew on site is one I have already done as a birthday card for Bob in 2006 and I have also another copied from my original photo taken over 35 years ago.
After 3 days we needed a change of scenery and moved on to Chinon, only 40 kilometres east on the river Vienne which joins the Loire at Montsoreau. We've been here at least 4 times over the years and really like the location of the camp with it's views of the chateau and proximity to the lovely historic town famous for it's connection to Joan of Arc. We had another 3 days here, strolling into town, having meals out and drinks with Marius and Martine but we were craving our own company and managed a day 'à deux' on Friday when we left them to their own devices.
On Saturday the weather was still rather cloudy and the forecast not very good for the next few days so we decided to call it a day and go home. Marius received a call from a friend and announced that he was going on to La Rochelle to see him and we set off back to Perros. I drew this little sketch in my camper car journal to remind me of the experience...