Day five and the schedule was for a 30 mile leg from Dijon back into Beaune. After a deep sleep the “old git” and the “old gal” were fully refreshed and looking forward to getting back into the vineyards – as long as the route was flat!
The self-guide “bible” promised that today would be a “classic ride” along ‘La Route des Grands Crus de Bourgogne’. It added: “It is a perfect ride, returning to the wonderful vineyards and the villages that tend the precious vines and lend their names to world-famous wines.”
And we were told that the harvest was just starting so the paths through the vineyards would be full of people picking the grapes.
And the “old gal” was delighted as it stressed the navigation would again be simple – with plenty of opportunities for stops and wine tastings along the way.
But before Team Tandem Ecosse headed out of Dijon there was a major task to be achieved – finding a cycle shop and being able to buy more new spokes for my back wheel in case any more snapped.
We found one quickly and the “old gal” disappeared inside as the “old git” was left in charge of parking me and locking me up. And he was amazed that by the time he got into the “velo” shop, she had managed to communicate the requirement to buy four spokes – called rayons in French. The bike shop owner even apologised that they were black and not chrome!
Buoyed with that success the dynamic duo headed off into the picturesque villages which where breathtaking in their beauty. First was Marsannay-la-Cote, then into Couchey and then Fixin.
Next we cycled through Brochon and Gevrey-Chambertin – all of which offered opportunities for tastings – before we all stopped in Morey-St-Denis. Here the “old git” and the “old gal” disappeared into a cave for a fantastic tasting – through the steps from a village, to the premier cru, and finishing with the grand cru. They both agreed you could taste the difference as the prices increased – even although the village wine was still particularly tasty.
It would have been rude to leave without a purchase, so a bottle of wine was duly bought for the lunchtime picnic – with another bottle of Cremant for arrival back in the hotel in Beaune as an aperitif for dinner.
Back out into the sunshine and the “old git” noticed the amusing name of the village square and persuaded the “old gal” to pose under the stone work sign.
No comment is the best caption for this picture! (Just joking!)
We set off again – in lovely warm sunshine – riding through Chambolle-Musigny then Vosne Romanee.
The “old git” was in heaven as we were inches away from some of the best vineyards on the planet. So he had to get off for a photo opportunity.
The grapes were just ready for the harvest.
The “old gal” was enjoying the break from the map-reading so the “old git” decided to check the next few instructions on the route – and noticed a series of hills were coming up for the afternoon. He decided to keep this quiet until the next stop in the village of Nuit-St-George – one of the most famous wine names.
The “old git” checking the map in the midst of the vineyards near Nuit-St-George.
As we cycled into the gorgeous town of Nuit-St-George we were welcomed by our Yukon friends John and Nancy in the town square. They had set off a bit earlier than we did, and had just enjoyed a leisurely lunch and we joined them for coffee.
John (who had the same hatred of hills as the “old gal) had already looked ahead at the route instructions and spotted the hills for the afternoon ride – and had worked out an alternative route into Beaune, which was still scenic but just avoided those uphill stretches. This was like manna from heaven to the “old gal” – and this was definitely the route we were going to take back to Beaune.
But firstly an exchange of photos was required and the “old git” got the camera out to record the first international followers of my blog!
John and Nancy from the Yukon who were on the same self-guided trip.
And of course it wouldn’t be a blog without a selfie….
A selfie featuring John and Nancy with the “old git” and the “old gal” – all smiles!
After waving them away, the “old git” and the “old gal” decided on a trip to the Imaginarium in Nuit-St-George which was a fantastic experience – giving a great audio-visual experience of the history of the Burgundy region’s wine-making, and an insight into the art of making Cremant and Champagne.
And another wonderful picnic was enjoyed in the parkland outside. The picnics were a real credit to the “old gal” and on this one she had surpassed herself with some purchases in the most amazing fromagerie in Dijon yesterday – including an orgasmic Gouda with a layer of truffle in the middle. It truly was sensational. And the wine from the village of Moray-St-Denis was wonderful as well.
The Imaginarium had a great shop selling all of the region’s wine – and of course Cremant, so a return visit was pencilled in by car tomorrow for the purchases to take back to Auchterarder.
After a very interesting couple of hours, we all cycled off on the non-hilly route to Beaune – which saw us cycle through more vineyards and villages such as Prissey and Corgoloin before Chorey and Ladoix-Serigny.
We were soon back at the hotel – the same one as at the start of the tour, and indeed the dynamic duo had the same wonderful room overlooking the courtyard so they could keep an eye on me parked in the cycle rack.
The “old gal” did another spoke check before locking me up, and noticed that another two spokes had broken today. None of the spokes we had replaced had broken – but clearly further repairs were going to be required tomorrow before the final “warm down” cycle. So just as well that the “old gal” managed to procure some more new spokes, cut to the correct length!
A bottle of Cremant was quickly demolished as the “old git” and the “old gal” celebrated their return to Beaune – some 130 miles after leaving five days ago.
The meal tonight was a wonderful outdoor meal in one of the many quaint squares in the town – with some tasty duck for the “old gal” and another steak for the “old git” before a plate of local cheese. Yes, I know you want to know – a tasty bottle of Gevrey-Chambertin premier cru red washed it all down.
Just time for a walk round the town – which had an eye-catching series of computer-generated graphic displays projected on to some of the historic buildings.
Then back to the hotel and another night of deep zzzs before the final day of the tour tomorrow.