Wednesday 13 July 2016

Champagne lifestyle

Wednesday 13 July 2016

Nido's parked up in another free aire in the village of Mutigny, high on a hill and completely surrounded by grape vines - we're deep in champagne country.  When we arrived we were alone, but a couple of vans have turned up since.  

It rained quite heavily last night and again after breakfast, so I waited until it stopped before moving the van over to the service point to fill up with (free!) fresh water and dump grey and black waste.  We stopped off at the Super U on our journey for food and diesel, before arriving at our first planned stop - a free Aire alongside the huge man-made lake of Der de Chantecoq, parking up with around about 20 other motorhomes. We enjoyed our lunch then started a walk around part of the lake.  At the start a woman stopped Cathy to ask if we had a portable gas stove she could borrow and which was our van.  Cathy said she looked very shifty and something didn't quite feel right about her. Also, the lakeside walk was on a boring concrete road with views of but no access to the lake.  We have a rule that if one of us feels uncomfortable at a stop, then we'll just move on, no questions asked. Well, I wasn't keen on the view and Cathy was suspicious of that woman and her male friend driving around in his car.  So I looked up another aire, we drove off and are now happily parked up with amazing views over the champagne vineyards.

We had a brew on arrival then went for a walk.  First we wandered through the tracks between the vines, noting the terroir was very stony and chalky, but clearly the vines like it. Back up the hill, we walked into the village.  Although quite small, there are several small, family champagne houses, offering tours, tastings and the opportunity to buy a bottle or two. The locals were also setting up for some form of party at the village hall, maybe for tomorrow's Bastille Day celebrations. 

Back at the van Cathy prepared a delicious dinner of pan cooked salmon, with vegetables and lentils, which we enjoyed with a (cheap!) bottle of Saumur cremant.  Now washed up, we're sat looking at the view, with a mix of dark clouds dropping sharp but short rain showers, combined with the occasional shaft of sunlight.  It's quiet, we're full and no doubt will be nodding off soon - so it's goodnight from her and it's goodnight from him - goodnight! 

Post-lunch walk - great skies

ooh - we're heading into that!

Great view from the aire at Mutigny

Future bubbles!

One of several small, family champagne houses in the village

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