James and the Giant Party

For some reason, this post, did not auto upload, it had originally been set to post in September 2023. Just found it in the Draft folder.

I was heading for the small village of Cherval. This is on the way home and North East of Bordeaux.

I’d been invited to a wedding/union party on the Friday. And Thursday night was a birthday meal.

However, that was a couple of days ride from Bordeaux. I stopped at a campsite about two o’clock in the afternoon. The weather was very warm. Well over 30 degrees.

One of the days riding took me on a stretch that the Tour de France route.

The village of La Roche-Chalais was decked out with lots of TDF related art and sculptures.

Unfortunately many of these were not seen as the peleton went through.


The route then headed toward Aulaye. I covered the same ground. Riding over the writing that had been laid down on the road for the riders.

The difference between my speed and the race, was massive. It was an uphill, yet it didn’t look it as the peleton sped up it.

The tour had covered the route on the 8th of July and it was nice to see part of the section I rode, on the TV. There were no crowds to see me slowly cycle by.

The last day to James and Jacqui was only a short ride. There had been a thunderstorm overnight, so I got up later and allowed the tent to partially dry before leaving.

The day before the storm. Very warm.

I didn’t want to turn up empty handed so popped into a shop along the way and saw the cheapest Cote du Rhone wine that I had seen to that point. (I saw it later on at an even cheaper price of €2.85 a bottle). I think if I lived in France I’d live on wine! It was too early to pick up at that point. So picked some up closer at a convenience store. But even so prices compared to the U.K. are unreal.

How little for Cote du Rhone.

Leaving Aulaye I started to see more and more UK number plates. Some villages seemed to be 50/50 U.K. plates to French plates.

English cars

Laprade was a pretty village many of the houses had U.K. cars on the drives or parked by the roads.

I arrived early. James and Jacqui were due about an hour later. If been sent the location and it was easy to see I was at the right place after seeing a wadworths sign and a restaurant that used to be in my hometown of Devizes.

Something tells me I’m in the right place.

Whilst I was waiting for James and Jacqui to arrive I took the opportunity to relax on the lovely terrace and read my kindle for a bit.

After cleaning up and getting ready we headed towards a local restaurant to meet up with some of my hosts friends for a birthday party meal.

The town was a hub of activity, as they also had a food festival on in the main area.

There was a quite a large English community in the area and they even sold beer in old fashioned English dimpled pint pots.

Some excellent company at the restaurant, the wine and beer flowed well. 

More wine being consumed.

I went for the beef.

The morning of the party, James and I went over to where the party was to drop off some games and see if there was anything we could do to help. We were tasked with getting some sunflowers to decorate the tables. Lots of farmers grow sunflowers for animal feed. Most of them had gone beyond flowering. But with some direction we found a field. I acted as look out while James went in with secateurs. A short time later there was boot full of contraband, I mean flowers for the party.

Field of Sunflowers being grown for cattle feed

In the evening, we went over for the party, the food and drink flowed rather well again, and everyone had a really good time.The barn had been decorated for the bash and looked fantas
James and Jacqui – Kings of line dancing!

The dancing and partying carried on through the evening and the dance floor was well used all the way up until it was time to leave.

The day after the party, we had a quiet day, before James and Jacqui had to fly back to the UK and I then continued heading North, on the final leg of the trip.

Thanks again to James and Jacqui for their hospitality and to everyone else who made me feel most welcome.



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