I Haven't Sweated like this since Canoeing down the Zambezi!
18.06.2013 - 18.06.2013 86 °F
And so we leave Provence behind and head for Beaune. We didn't leave until midday wanting to soak up each and every possible ray from that big yellow thing in the sky. Dear Reader...if you are looking at this blog from anywhere other than the UK, you cannot possibly understand how starved we Brits are of feeling warm through to our bone marrow!
However, sometimes I get it wrong. Hard to believe I know, but there you are. We should have left before dawn. It's hot out there. I MEAN REALLY HOT!
Still there was lots to look at; thousands (truly) of hectares of cherry, apple and pear orchards. Field upon field of lavender, and vines as far as the eye can see clinging to every south facing patch of land, and being hand-weeded. With not a sprayer in sight I am thinking maybe this is an area for organic produce? Pretty soon we reach the vineyards of Chateauneuf du Pape. Not a weed in sight. Do you think they do their weeding in the middle of the night?
Bianca isn't feeling her best. We stop at a service station. "Our girl is very warm," says Doctor Ben getting his dipstick out (that's enough giggling in the back!) and on the strength of a none-too-perfect reading decides to buy her more oil and us...ice lollies. It's so hot we can literally wring out our t-shirts; not a good look. Replenished we jump back into our beloved cauldron and press the button marked STARTER. Nothing happens. WE GET OUT AND PUSH! She starts. OH JOY! She obviously just wants her crew to work as hard as she is.
By the time we reach the (cool looking) Rhone in Lyon we resemble two broiler roasted chucks. Smug b......rs in their air conditioned trucks and cars smile benevolently as we sit in gridlock traffic with Bianca smoking. Even the wine gums have melted! With every window wide open the heat emanating from her floor and the transmission tunnel, which extends from under her bonnet to the boot, was so hot you could have fried an egg on it. And she had problems, spewing oil all over herself and anyone else who got remotely close. She was drinking oil and promptly spitting it out of her filler cap. Well, that was our theory.
We stop again and give Bianca more oil after checking all her other vital signs, which amazingly were 100%. Would you like to see my cockpit? Thought so...
Yes, those are my feet in their Rondini sandals. And, yes, those are two lollipops, given to us up some Alp or the other. That black box is my trip meter and can you see my fuse boxes? Pretty cool eh! Those red pens are essential and I am trying to work out how to throw the compass out the window...it informs us we are headed N/NW PERMANENTLY. That's not so cool.
We finally reach Beaune and the beautiful village of Puligny Montrachet. "She looks like I feel," says a woman to her female co-walker outside the hotel, as I stumble around Bianca in a sweaty haze. "It's an oven in there," I grunt. "Well, at least you haven't walked nine miles in this heat," she says. GET HER! Dear Reader, I hadn't realised there was a competition for "most sweat-making activity in France" that day.
After a long cool bath, a strong vodka and the realisation we have somehow covered in excess of 460kms today, we head for dinner. This is the only photo you need to see...