Monday, 8 July 2013

Bourgogne roadbook greenlaning

Greenlaning in beautiful sunny Bourgogne seemed a good proposition while weather at home was displaying it's best rain soaked gloom. So that's why we drove to the pretty town of Saulieu on the busy D906 to find the wet weather had reached this part of France as well. We camped at the almost deserted camping Municipal.

Despite the weather the local baker provided us with a perfect baguette, some croisant and pain au chocolat to prepare us for our trip to the French wilderness.
The tracks were wet and soggy, but we were optimistic. 
The roadbook used "Tulip" diagrams to show us the way. With some clever distance measuring and meter tripping we managed to follow the directions and keep to the track indicated.
After a while we hit a few trails too soggy and overgrown to be sure anybody had been there the past few years.
Here our first attempt at the roadbook floundered. The path was so overgrown there was no room to choose an approach or steer a line. Still finding a little traction we decided to back out and look for lunch. By now we were relieved to see the rain go and the sun come out so the tracks could dry out a little.
It seems we are more talented at finding a good lunch, so soon we were enjoying a great lunch at "Les Cordois" in Magnance.
Having abandoned "roadbook one" and encouraged by our successful lunch we decided to look for the famous town of Eppoisses where they make this wonderful cheese.
At a local supermarket we found this jumbo version.
But as we were not sure if our cooler would keep such a monster Epoisses fresh while even the youngest Epoisses smells like many sweaty feet, we decide to get three of these smaller ones in stead: one to eat and two to take home. 
The local towns are pretty and mostly historic. 

If you can ignore the rusty Renaults and Citroens, You could pretend to be a time traveler.
With a few weird touches
The second night we camped at the "Municipal" in Venarey Les Laumes called "Camping Alesia"
Alesia was the battlefield where the last major engagement between Gauls and Romans was fought, marking the turning point of the Gallic wars in favour of Rome. 
Starting "roadbook number two" we enyojed a couple of pretty fords
and we saw a few interestingly named villages too
The route took us into the beautiful forests.
After another good lunch we got back on our route to find it blocked by some small trees. We were sorry we did not carry a saw in the car, but we managed to find a detour. 
Only to find the detour blocked by a larger tree and very slippery ground. It took us a good couple of hours to get back on tarmac again. One small tree pounced and snagged the rear bumper.
At the next campsite the bumper was reattached without any trouble at all.
After abandoning the second roadbook we enjoyed the historic town of Chatillon Sur Seine.
Next day we started the third roadbook, much to the enjoyment of some locals who found our efforts hilarious.
Weather was glorious by now and at lunchtime we found another great restaurant. We had reached the southern parts of the Champagne region.  
This was a "Salade Chaourse" at "Marius" in La Riceys. Looks more like a very thin pastry to me. Beautiful and delicious!
After a few more hours on the trail we decided it was time to find another good Municipal and historic town.

This time we found it all in Chaumont.
Even the locals approved
Chaumont is a pretty old market town.
With some interesting buildings. Of course the "Arse" is the "Arsenal". What else?

These houses must be very old, but are still inhabited 
Music abounds and the dogs sing along as instructed by their owners. 
 And then we headed home, but of course we stopped in Luxemburg for a wonderful Thai/Chinese lunch. 
Though we never finished the roadbooks, we had massive fun and a great adventure. The roadbooks were a good pointer to some nice local tracks. We can always continue the roadbooks on antother visit or find our own tracks from some good "Cartes Randonnee" we found.