Anyone who has suffered the curse of the road trip, pulling on cold and still damp undies before setting off will appreciate just what a blessing it is to be travelling in cooler temperatures and staying in places where bathrooms are heated. In these conditions the “smalls” washed in the evening are crispy dry and warm in the morning and dare I say it, something of a pleasure to don.
Thus with nicely warmed nethers we set off in direction vaguely south, asking the nice lady in the GPS to take us as far from anything that looked like a motorway as she could. For those unfamiliar with the road network in France, this has the effect of forcing one to slow one’s journey, smell the flowers, take in the surroundings, at the same time taking an interminable amount of time to travel not very far. It also means that if one were not a tractor or farm vehicle enthusiast before, one soon gathers an enormous knowledge of the intricacies of all variety of machinery, while following them up the road at a pace which would make a canal boat proud.
I am sure there is a word for having an irrational fear of roadhouse food, and if there were we would happily apply it to ourselves, and even more happily report that we were able to dodge that particular bullet this day, finding a bakery open at exactly the time we realised that despite several hours of passing through the countryside, we were barely out of site of last night’s bedroom window and perhaps after eating, if we were serious about getting anywhere anytime soon we should hit the tollway. Those tollways have their place. We made it before sunset, a heated flat, out of the chilling wind bringing the promise of tiny temperatures overnight, comforted by the thought that our undies would be warm tomorrow too.