Tuesday May 23, Villefranche-sur-Saone

The turrets at the Chateau in La Clayette

After catching up with a few people in NZ this morning we thought we would take the bikes for a bit of a ride around the roadways through the vines before we left. I thought it would be no problem tackling the hills with my electric bike – but I was wrong! Got halfway up a hill and neither the bike nor me could go any further, we had reached our limit! It seems that I will have to get a bit fitter.
Decided to take a scenic drive around this area and head up into the hills which is the home of Charolais cattle. After leaving the lower rolling hills of the Beaujolais we continued along the D roads to La Clayette.  The countryside was a picture, with meadows and small groups of cattle interspersed with small villages. Stopped at a boulangerie in one of these and got our baguette for lunch along with a wee sweet treat to go with a morning coffee…yum.
The vines in this area are cut very low to the ground.

Delightful villages nestled into the hills.

Charolais cattle everywhere.
La Clayette turned out to be a rather a delightful town with a fairytale type of Chateau surrounded by a lake, looking truly majestic on such a beautiful day. Meandered around town, but as always, it was around 1pm and everything was shut. Picked up a few supplies at the supermarket and continued our circular tourist route, saw a sign that said we were in the Rhone-Alps and it really was a climb up into the hills before dropping back down into the valley. Couldn’t get over the huge amount of forestry and the associated timber mills.
Arrived late this afternoon at an Aire in Villefranche beside the Saone River. It turned out to be quite a mission just getting into the place with a barrier that required a card – and that had to be obtained at another machine which needed me to punch in my email address which it quickly said wasn’t correct. Finally managed to work it out, using friend Steve’s email address (thanks Steve!) put my credit card in and finally received a card that we could use to open the barrier arm. Felt a bit negative about the camp, but by the time we settled into a spot under trees beside the river and sat outside in the breeze, all was good. Might even stay another night!
The Chateau

Forestry in France - just for you Big Ed!


Bugsy Malone said…
Nothing will phase you guys by the end of this trip!
Pamlyn said…
May we assure Anonymous that we hold Ian in the highest regard, no matter what he is wearing.
Thanks to him, my nightmares are now bearable, as whenever I have one,I think of Ian in a French vinyard, riding his bike.