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Report 1939: Chateaux, Rillettes, Sunflowers, Mistral and Tour de France Triumphal Finish

By Anastasia from Canada, Summer 2011

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Page 3 of 28: Taking off to the Loire Valley

photo by my husband

Amboise

We left shortly after inspecting the car and adding any scratches to the list. We made a mistake because of unclear GPS directions, but recovered fast and only spent 10-15 minutes on the Peripherique. It was fine as my husband could get use to the car.

After we left the Paris zone, we stopped at least three times, so much because my husband was exhausted. I was exhausted too, but I tried to make it pleasant with the picnic kit I had brought. Even if we stopped six times, if it would have been necessary, as long as we had a safe trip.

It was easy to follow the roads, the directions were good. We finally arrived in Blois, then the road was familiar along the river to Chaumont, then to Onzain and Mesland. Our check in wasn't before 4:00pm, but we went directly to our campground, Parc du Val de Loire by Yelloh, to get to our chalet.

The campground is located in the countryside surrounded by vineyards. Our keys were ready for us and the reception personnel were very nice and welcoming. So we arrived at our chalet. It was very hot inside but we opened the huge glass door, in fact it was the whole front wall which moved and opened completely in the way that the dining room became one with the big terrace, so it cooled fast. We changed our clothes and went grocery shopping, in Onzain there were a supermarket. We purchased everything for breakfasts and enough food for a couple of picnics at our chalet, water, toilet paper and cleaning products. I couldn’t find the Sancerre wine I had back in Montreal, Menetou Salon domaine Pelle, but the wine section was pretty impressive. I purchased Vouvray sparkling wine. The choice of cider was good as well.

In Onzain the roads are really narrow and have priority. We had to reverse a couple of times as there were cars parked in the street so no room for bidirectional traffic. My husband was nervous as several cars were waiting.

Then back to the camp ground. I forgot olive oil, so we stopped at the camping store, which had many essential items and the prices were good, so I could buy a bottle of good olive oil.

It was hot and there were two swimming pools to cool off. After a swim, a nice picnic at our chalet and then to bed. It started raining with lightning, but it was of short duration. I woke up after an hour because somebody was talking very close to me. There were two pigeons on the roof! I had a good laugh then chased them away and fell back asleep. I woke up during the night, and checked through the window. People in other chalets were staying outside with anti-mosquito lamps. This was reassuring so I fell back asleep.

Actually, during a couple of days I was under impression the earth was moving under my feet, or was it the chalet floor?

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