Au revoir Paris!!! Bruce heads south, excited about visiting and experiencing life in the typical smaller French villages.
We have joined the France Passion, that allows you to stay overnight for free on private properties throughout France.
Hosts are farmers, wine growers, restaurants, craftsman or motorhome owners that create a welcoming space near their home for one to five motorhomes. France Passion(Click here to see more) takes you far away from the bustle of campsites and provides a peaceful and safe stopover. For 22 pounds we were sent a current guidebook showing all the hosts addresses, with GPS co-ordinates, facilities, etc. There are over 2,000 in France. You receive a card and sticker as proof of your status as a France Passion guest. Yes, we are loving the France Passion.
One and half hours south of Paris we pulled into our first France Passion stopover near Pithiviers in the Loiret region. We were a bit nervous as we pulled up on their property. An elderly French couple came out to greet us, with the language barrier we only got their names – so they went to get their daughter (our Host – Laurence) who spoke a little English. She gave us a friendly reception and after a lot of Tres Bons! And Oui!, Oui! We were shown to their Camping Car area overlooking lovely trees and garden. Indeed it was a Tres Bon experience. Laurence and her husband Frederick are Cereal farmers. In addition, they have a Gite and a “weekends only” restaurant. Pictures below.
After cycling the immediate villages, we settled down for the night after a Mark special BBQ (dare we say Aussie Style!!).
Such a friendly and positive welcoming at our first France Passion stay, inspired us to choose another site for the next night. This stopover was at a family winery in Sousson Sur Loir. On arrival, Dominique took us down into the CAVE – his underground wine “bunker” where we sampled his Sauvignon Blank and purchased a couple of bottles for 5.50 per bottle. No sulphites or barcodes for these bottles!!
Eagerly we took to our bikes and meandered alongside the Loire and found some cross- country dirt tracks. Bev enjoyed the excitement of a river crossing too. GO BEV!!! Not just any river – this is the Loire (a part of it anyway!!.)
Our view from Bruce travelling down through the farming country of The Loiret.
Chateau Sully Sur Loire was another of Bruce’s views.
Driving through many of the smaller villages, Bev has been enchanted with the importance placed by the community on the Mairie building (Mayor). Always in the centre of town, well preserved and presented. Usually with beautiful floral gardens.
The view from Bruce as we stop for lunch.
What the!!!….. Thought this was worth a note, came across this on our bike path ride to Orleans.
Main street of Orleans. After 25 km of riding, we arrived at Orleans. An amazing historic town with electric trams to-boot!! These trams get their power from along the ground between the tracks, not sure how that works.
Decided to follow the canal bike path on the return trip. Very picturesque.
Our last two nights have been adjacent to the village of Jargeau. Helmut, in the Hymer camping car adjacent to us, is from Frankfurt on his way to a family reunion in Versailles, Paris. It was great to talk for the evening. Together we drank one of Dominique’s bottles of wine and received many tips of places to see and go!!.
After two nights in a Camping (Caravan Park) in Jargeau, we decided we needed another France Passion experience. We travelled 350km south to the start of the Dordogne region. Our wonderful hosts were Nadine and George who are fruit farmers predominantly apple, pear, strawberries, raspberries, etc. near the village of Pompadour. Being a lover of Potiron (pumpkin), Bev bought up their supply of “Confiture Potiron aux abricots” (pumpkin and apricot jam).
The piece de resistance – our French Easter Egg!!. Happy Easter to all our friends and family. Hope your Easter was special – like ours!!