Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Montrichard & the "Gueule de Bois"

Well, it must've been over a week since I last updated this blog & that's not because nothing's happened, I've either been too ill or too far away from a wifi connection.
I believe I had just landed at Montrichard last time I wrote, after leaving Stu & Syb at Le Chant D'Oiseau. The site at Montrichard was quite a big one, & had a few English campers as well. I think it was my second day there when I met another lone English traveller called Bernard, he wasn't so much a traveller but had some connections with Montrichard & a small amount of work to do there for another English family.
I was still doing really well, keeping my camp clean & tidy, keeping up with all my washing-up & laundry & cooking myself some decent meals. I even got round to visiting a small museum in Montrichard, it was devoted to heavy vehicles, only cost 4€ & proved to be quite interesting.
Anyway, one night, Bernard came over with a bottle of pink champagne & asked if I fancied a drink, I'd just eaten a good meal & had some red so didn't see a problem. Once that was gone he spotted my other 2 bottles, bought that day in Netto, so nothing special. Once I had tried to keep up with him in drinking those he went off to the site office to buy another bottle (most site offices sell the local plonk for about 5€/bottle), he came back over half an hour later, he'd been drinking with the 2 guys who run the site & said we should go up there, I'd had enough by then but went along anyway. The 4 of us polished off another bottle then out came the calvados, coffee & some other rocket-fuel that appeared to come out of the freezer.
Needless to say a good night was had by all, Bernard passed out just outside his tent with his cooker on full blast (which I managed to turn off on my way past & convince him to get into his tent). The next morning I woke up with a “Gueule de Bois” (look it up) to rival all past ill-mornings. I managed to make myself a coffee, had a chat with Bernard & told him I was off back to bed. As soon as I laid down I knew a very fast trip to the toilet was in order, where the remains of last nights dinner & my morning coffee made a brief re-appearance. I spent the rest of the day in bed, when I was supposed to be moving on, managed to eat some malt loaf (another British delicacy I managed to smuggle over) & drank plenty of water, none of which stopped me throwing up again in the afternoon, this time I was delayed by Bernard, chatting away, & only made it to a hedge, just in time for one of the site managers to drive past! (very embarrassing).
The whole situation left me feeling very unwell for days, & I was ready to pack it all in & head back to Dunkirk. The following day I apologised to the site managers, paid up & left. I think they felt guilty as they knocked nearly 6€ off my bill!
I managed to explain to them that I hadn't come to France to drink with English people, I can do that at home & usually avoid it like the plague. They were kind enough to convince me to continue with my travels & even convinced me to change my plans, more of that on my next post.
Until then, if you want to enjoy a holiday in France, stay away from boozy English folk. Even now, a week later, the most I've managed is a glass or two with my dinner, & I feel so much better for it.

Here's a few pics of the walk into the town of Montrichard, along the river Cher, from the camp site.

And here's a couple of choice shots from the Museum of Heavy Vehicles, in Montrichard

And, finally, a couple of the site itself, my pitch to be exact.

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