The tow ($700 CDN), repairs totaling about the same and unexpected travel and hotel expenses had made a big dent in our budget. Also, we had lost confidence in our land yacht. Seeing Europe one garage at a time is not part of the dream.
Reluctantly, we decided to turn back to the UK, where we had towing insurance. (European towing insurance had been too expensive at $1,000 / year for our type and age of vehicle.)
Friends back in Victoria had family in this part of France and were giving us travel tips, via Facebook. We had already enjoyed a fine meal at their favorite restaurant in Bordeaux. (NOTE: In France you may order your meat cooked any way you want (in my case med-well), but it will arrive rare by Canadian standards.) They recommended we see Saint-Emilion before we left France.
This proved to be a highlight of our trip. Saint-Emilion is a medieval town in the midst one of the best wine producing areas in the world. The limestone caves/quarries provide ideal conditions for wine storage during the maturing process. The vines are a World Heritage Site, tracing their heritage back to Roman times.
We arrive after dark. The commercial campsite is closed. We camp in the parking lot provided for tour buses and campers. In the morning we scrape ice off the windows of the van (inside and out|). Brrr!
The town is very well preserved, with a hermitage and church carved into the limestone a main feature (unfortunately no pictures allowed). Also, every other shop is a wine store.
|We awake to a cold wet world.|
|The front of the church carved into the limestone.|
|Three for the road.|
|These three would not fit in the box.|