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...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

14 August 2023

Breakfast banter

Monday 10 July 2023

Just before going home we had a nice traditional blast of French hospitality. Our chambre des hotes, Les Accacias, was a converted farmhouse down a kilometre long woodland track in the middle of nowhere, run by a retired couple who spoke no English (but made good use of Google Translate on a tablet when my schoolboy French wasn’t up to it). 

Last night was Sunday, so of course almost every restaurant within a hundred miles was closed. But we found the only open one in a little village 15 minutes from our guest house and ate classics like escargots, rognons de veau and andouillette in mustard sauce, washed down with Ricard and a decent Alsacienne pinot noir. No-one spoke English there either.

At breakfast our hosts were pleased to hear about this, as they now know somewhere to recommend for Sunday evening guests! This was all part of an elaborate, slow and disjointed conversation over croissants. It would have been a bit less odd if our hosts had been eating too – but they just sat and watched us eat while trying to get the iPad to translate another question or answer for us!

Anyway, the rest is tedious to relate: five hours driving on the autoroutes, with a foolish detour to try and find lunch in a village in Champagne. None of the villages in Champagne have anything resembling a place for lunch, especially not on a Monday. And then we arrived at the Eurotunnel 1.5 hours earlier, hoping to get a bump onto an earlier train, only to discover that some screw-up was in progress and our actual train ended up leaving 1.5 hours late back to Folkestone. So that’s 3 hours sitting in a car we won’t get back! We had to sit in the car, of course, because at this final hurdle there was quite definitely no shade anywhere in the parking area and still 28C out there – so we had to keep the doors open, or occasionally close them and have the aircon running, to look after our cargo of wine.

Which has now made it home, along with us, after a lovely month in Italy.

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One Response to “Breakfast banter”

  1. Jane Elizabeth says:

    Hello, old friends! Trying to re-fire my travel dreams…

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