A reunion in Créon & Bordeaux
It’s over 6 months ago since we said goodbye in Wissant, but the day is finally here when we’re all on the road again. We finally meet up again with Sarah and Andy from Only the Bare Necessities. They have spent the summer hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in the USA so we can’t wait to hear all the stories of that incredible challenge!
We agree to meet in Créon, a town outside of Bordeaux with a small Aire. We get there first and decide to have a look around the village to see what’s about. We find a nice village square with shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. So far so good! We’ve also spotted a rather large wine Cave, so that’s very promising.
Shortly after we get back to the van, we spot Winston the Hymer turning into the Aire. They’re here!! As is now our ‘on the road’ tradition, we gather together with a whole bunch of food and drinks and we sit down for a long meal and good conversation. On this occasion we have plenty of different cheeses, olives, dried sausage, bread and wine. A very French lunch!
We’ve been following the PCT adventure on Instagram all summer but it’s great to hear all the stories. It’s difficult to imagine how tough it must be to spend 5 months living only with what you can carry on your back, sleeping night after night in a small tent and walking nearly 2500 miles! We’re in awe!
After a good, long lunch we decide to visit the Cave and stock up on some more wine. Like many wine caves, this cave sells wine by the litre as well as by the bottle. You can buy or bring your own container and have it filled up from the wine-pump. The lady in the cave lets us have tasters, pouring us rather large glasses of red wine each. It’s good wine and we get a 2L container each, which costs all of €4.10 to fill up! Bargain!
We spend the rest of the day catching up on all our stories and putting the world to rights. Good times, good company and good memories!
The next day we venture into Bordeaux. The bus goes from just outside the Aire by the Tourist information office. At the Tourist information office, we helpfully get a map of Bordeaux and the bus timetables for getting back as well. The bus takes approximately 40 minutes and luckily Luna is allowed on (at the discretion of the bus driver, so there is no real rule unfortunately). The ticket machine on the bus is broken so we even get a free ride into the city!
It’s a grey day but at least it stays dry. Andy has done some research on the city and guides us around. He’s found a great bistro for lunch so we try to get a table. It seems it is a very popular place so we have to wait 20 minutes or so for a table, which we spend perusing the nearby vintage shops. We pop back, get our table and enjoy a lovely lunch before heading out to explore the city some more.
We visit the cathedral with its separate bell-tower, the Jardin Public, the Place des Quinconces and the Monument aux Girondins with its amazing fountains. We walk along the river to Place de la Bourse and enjoy the wonderful ‘Le miroir d’eau’ in which we capture the Basilique de Saint-Michel. We walk through the shops into the student quarter and through the Porte d’Aquitaine where we find a small book market and some bronze turtles.
By now it is getting late in the day and we decide to head back to find the bus back. We walk back via the Basilique de Saint-Michel and after some confusion due to the language challenge, we find the bus-stop for the way back. Luna is allowed on again and this time the ticket machine works but it’s only €2 each for a ticket back. We decide that Créon is the perfect place to visit Bordeaux from, without taking your van into the city.
Another social night of food and wine after a long day sigh-seeing and we’re all pretty tired. We watch an old black and white film together before calling it a night. Tomorrow we all move on again.
For us, it means a drive to Biarritz in the rain. Once more we’ve managed to drive straight into an ‘Amber weather warning’ storm… Unbelievable! We park up in the Gabrielle Dorziat Aire and settle in for the roughest night yet with incredible downpours, thunder and wind. We can hear the ocean roar all night. The next morning we manage a quick walk to the beach in between down-pours. At least we’ve seen something of Biarritz. Such a shame but we’ll be back. This is our last stop in France for a while as we’ll be crossing into Spain today! Let’s hope we find some better weather…