Wednesday April 17, Montreaux Chateau
|A beautiful morning at the Abbey, the clouds were really strange.|
We have really sweltered today, the temperatures rose and by mid-afternoon were close to 30 degrees. We really enjoyed our stay at the Abbey, got away by 9am and drove into town to see if we could collect our parcel of guidebooks from French Passion. Parked in the Super U carpark then walked back to the Post Office that we were directed to yesterday. Took a bit of finding but finally made it and we were fortunate to speak to a girl with good English. No package there for us, but she rang the Post Office in town that we went to yesterday and thankfully our package was there.
Back to Super U to pick up a few things, which took much longer than we expected. It always seem to be the same when you first arrive in a country, it takes some time to work out what things are and requires a lot of looking and trying to translate to find what you want. Finally found the feta cheese with the help of a girl who spoke a little English. Then it was back into town and while Ian waited in the van I went to the Post Office and finally picked up the parcel. Managing a few words in French and trying hard to do more. Popped into La Post where we were in yesterday getting a map, and bought an English/French dictionary. Although I can use google translate, I am sure it will be much easier to use the dictionary. I enjoyed being recognised by the lady from yesterday and was able to communicate a little.
Next job was to head to the mall we were told about yesterday to see if we could sort out a Sim card to use in France. Gave the details to “Jilly” and she had us there in less than 30 minutes. A good size carpark with plenty of room for Ruakiwi, time for lunch and a coffee before we tackled the Mall.
Found a very nice chap in the Orange store who spoke very little English, but with the help of Google Translate on our phones we were able to communicate well and sorted out a Sim card to use – not as cheap as we wanted but it will work okay. He popped it in and loaded it with 5gb data so all set. There was a huge store called Cora where we went looking for a few things, a bit like The Warehouse in NZ, but a more upmarket.
|The nice chap at Orange|
Finally, we headed off by 2pm, and it was getting really warm. I had found an Aire beside a lock on a canal with bike paths which was about an hour away so we set off. Motorways in France have tolls which can be quite steep so we have set Jilly to avoid them, which meant she took us right through the rather large town of Mulhouse. Not an easy drive for Ian, and we went through some rather “interesting” neighbourhoods but final got out the other side and into the countryside.
The Aire is in a rather lovely spot, right beside the Rhine Rhone Canal but it was so hot we opened up every window in the van and put the awning out to shade from the sun and kicked back for a few hours. By 6pm Ian got the bikes out and we headed along the canal for a really wonderful 13 km ride. Everything is so lush, the paths are lined with grasses and wild flowers. So loving our bikes, the air was cooler and we scooted along with a bit of power from the batteries. Passed fisherman on the canal, and enjoyed the country side, passed a farm making hay. Pulled our chairs out and sat under the trees by the canal and felt we deserved a cold drink. Spoke to a local who said that this high was unseasonal and tomorrow it was going to be much cooler. He told us that people cycle this path from the Atlantic to Budapest in Hungary and often pitch their tents near where we are camped.
|What do locals do on a hot afternoon? Put up the umbrella and fish.|
|Hot air balloons out for an evening.|
|A herd of cows beside the camp.|