Hobnobbing with aristocracy

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DSC_4049A slow start was planned for this morning but Majella and I woke soon after 6:00 am. The heavy mist we had on the previous two days was gone this morning so, after showering, I wandered into the local roads to see if I could capture a sunrise. I was lucky enough to find a spot just 100 m or so up the road where I had a view to the sun rising behind trees and over a field.

We had a relaxed breakfast and I spent some more time working on banking and photographs and uploading to my 2017 Europe album. Debbie’s washing machine was on the blink and the word yesterday was that it needed a new board if it could be economically repaired. Majella had reached the limit of her patience with laundry and tackled the essentials by hand and hung them over the drying rack in our living room.

Majella and John had some discussion about plans for visiting a garden of note which was not too far away. The weather forecast was predicting a storm and rain later in the morning and we wanted an activity that we could complete before the rain arrived. By the time we set off it was about 10:00 am.

It was my turn to drive and we headed down the now familiar track to Moncontour where we turned off and headed to Hénon and on toward Jardin Le Colombier. There were signs from Hénon and beyond and we noticed a roadside sign indicating Le Colombier but did not see a marked entrance. Some way up the road we saw a grand house and took a road beside it but found no garden. We headed back toward Hénon and tried another side road with no luck before we found the entrance by the Le Colombier sign. It was unattended but there was a sign indicating that we should deposit our 5 euro per person entrance in the box and take a ticket. We did that and entered.

DSC_4057There were multiple marked tracks so we started on the short one but graduated to a longer trail. First stop was the chapel which was built under an enormous Lebanon cedar. From there we followed the arrows up the length of a small stream, around a lake, up to the source and back around the other side of the lake to the château. There we explored the gardens. As we headed toward the exit we encountered the 82 year old Comtesse Catherine who was attempting to rescue some overladen branches of pear trees that were espaliered against a stone wall but falling away. John was able to assist with getting a branch tied up and another removed. Our reward was a little guided tour of the front with the Comtesse as guide.

DSC_4093We drove back to Hénon where we visited the church of St Peter and St Paul. It is a grand old church and surprisingly like much of the rest of the town it was bedecked with hanging baskets of flowing plants. By the time we were done there it was approaching lunch time and we were thinking of coffee. We did not find any coffee but we did find a boulangerie where we were able to buy some interesting pastries and a loaf of bread for lunch.

Back at Trébry we ate a simple lunch of fresh bread, saucisson (sausage) Majella bought at Saint Quay Portrieux yesterday, tomato, lettuce and cheese. We followed that by sharing the pastries.

DSC_4106After lunch we rested while the rain came through. I managed to work through some more photographs. By 4:00 pm the rain had passed and the sky had cleared so we decided to walk the Circuit de Fourmis, a 5 km marked trail that we had noticed went past our door when we were out walking Sunday. The walk took us along some country roads, little used cart tracks, and some tracks through local forest. We passed a variety of farming activities and interesting buildings along the way. The general direction took us out toward Saint Glen and back but it was not until we were half way through that I thought to regret not having turned on my tracking app so that we could know for sure where we had been. Most of the trail was well marked with arrows but toward the end they disappeared and we were left to guess our direction with a bit of assistance from maps.me. At one point we followed a dubious cow path scrambling under an electric fence to a dead end and had to backtrack some distance but we eventually made it back to Trébry and home.

Pauline and Majella worked on spaghetti bolognaise for dinner. John and I headed back to Saint Glen in the car to pick up some bottles of wine and hard cheese that could be grated onto our spaghetti. We found wine but no hard cheese and had to settle for a pack of grated Emmental.

We enjoyed our spaghetti dinner and and hour or so of conversation accompanied by streamed music (Dylan and Baez) before turning in.