Notes from a relieved Jim


I am pleased to report that the car has been surrendered and I am a free man at last. For those of you that hire cars in strange places, do you find that often when you leave a town the hire car wants to say goodbye to various parts before transplanting you onto Route 66?

Thus this mng we left Brionne, said au revoir to bits I had not even visited and headed off down the A28 motorway to Tours.

Jean Paul (retired) behaved impeccably, as though he knew this was his swan song and he wanted to go out in style. The only hiccup was with a recalcitrant toll booth that would not accept my credit card and a belligerent ‘helper’ who refused to help me. We sorted it out and headed into Tours.

Now, this was the biggest City we had driven into and we were prepared for significant headaches and strained relationships between driver and navigator. But it was all a storm in a teacup. We sailed in, negotiated the streets in a breeze and JP confidently declared ‘You have reach your destination’.

We planned to drop off the car to an ‘unauthorised’ Avis depot and had to find it. Some directions from some handsome French guys (C did her helpless tourist routine – well I’d help her, wouldn’t you?) and we went around the block with no idea still where the depot was. We stopped on a disabled parking spot, C looked right and there was the sign! We’d have never found it.

I went in, asked if I could drop it off – no problem! Car surrended, watch back on my left wrist and all is right with the world.

Hotel easy to find, cup of tea and aahh….

Tours is great. It’s clean, spacious and much more sophisticated than the other places we’ve been. You can’t really compare them, as they are different. But Tours has something special. We believe it is a University town and the large numbers of young people seem to support that.

I also need to add that the streets were remarkably clear of canines and the deposits they tend to leave behind. In addition, there were doggy bag dispensers of the kind you see at home encouraging dog owners to clean up after their dogs – and they did!

We wandered around the old town – gorgeous and stumbled across a great square packed with bars and heaps of tables. Lots of people were there and we settled down for a beer and a glass of white – excellent. The photo above is the square, surrounded by great old buildings.

Tomorrow off on a day tour to see some Chateaux of the Loire Valley.

Tonight I purchased a bottle of vin Rouge (2€90, about $4 – not bad eh?) and we went off to some gardens and, using my gas cooker, heated up some baked beans for dinner. Ah, hot baked beans and vin Rouge, can’t get much more sophisticated than that can you?

The photo below refers:



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9 Responses to Notes from a relieved Jim

  1. BILL PERRY says:

    I hope they were haute cuisine baked beans Jim!
    Mind you I’m sure that the effect on you will be the same.
    Poor Cheryl.

    • Pete says:

      An apt comment Bill…. I still have vivid memories of the Mt Ann circuit, you inside a tent, Jim too, but him with his head poking out while holding the flaps tightly closed…..!!

  2. Greg SIMSON says:

    Good to see it all smoothing out for you. Should blow through the rest France easily now!

  3. Janet says:

    “A cup of tea and aah”. – see I told you a tea tour is a good thing

    • Jim Wilson says:

      Janet you always make the wisest of suggestions! How’s that recalcitrant Claire, lurking in the background?

  4. Jennifer says:

    Good to hear the death machine has been returned and baked beans a back on the menu. Hope you have a big bed or separate rooms.
    Does Cheryl know the words to Blowing in the Wind ?
    or Wind beneath my wings?
    Holiday continues to sound fabulous and the pics are great
    Are you at the half way mark yet?

    • Jim Wilson says:

      Jen Hopson you shall pay upon my return! Up to 23 days away and total is 61. So only just over a third of the way through.

      Visited 4 castles today – some good photos to come.

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