Having returned to Beaune last night, the schedule for day six set out a short 16 mile “warm down” tandem ride back into the vineyards – with opportunities for even more wine tastings! Oh well, if you insist!
And there was also some free time to enjoy the area! So the “old git” and the “old gal” decided on a morning trip by car back to the Imaginarium at nearby Nuit-St-George to make some wine purchases.
After a good look around yesterday, the dynamic duo had a lengthy shopping list – and soon had a trolley full with a half case of rose Cremant, and a half case of white Cremant.
Then there was the joy of filling a mix-and-match case – with some of the best red and white labels from around the Burgundy villages.
I was a bit worried where all the wine boxes were going to go in the Tandem Transporter as I take up a substantial amount of room. But the “old git” had it worked out – with the half case boxes being relatively thin and flat and argued that I could sit on top of them!
So buoyed by some retail therapy – and a brief Cremant tasting – they headed back to the hotel in Beaune and changed into cycling gear to tackle the third set of spoke repairs on my back wheel.
The “old gal” really had this off pat by now – and operating without any fear within minutes my tyre was off and the spokes were being fitted. The “old git” was soon pumping up my rear tyre again – but there was a new problem. It wasn’t inflating. Zut alors!
After some examination and head scratching they decided my inner tube must have got a nick in it with all the prizing on and off – so effectively I had a puncture.
Fortunately the “old gal” had decided to invest in one of the new aerosol sealer puncture repair things which pumps sealer into the tube to seal the hole. And it worked a treat and my wheel and tyre were restored to being as good as new.
I have to say the “old gal” has really surpassed herself with her bike repair skills – and the “old git” has been immensely impressed – saying that she had more than earned her colours as Chief Engineer!
So after a celebratory soft drink – to mark the latest repairs – we headed off in lovely warm sunshine back into the vineyards for our last sojourn of the trip.
A lovely flat route over the paths which criss-cross the vineyards and into the pretty wine village of Aloxe-Corton. As the self-guide “bible” said there were lost of tastings on offer in the village caves, but we headed to the magnificent Chateau Corton-Andre – with its glazed-tile roof – on the outskirts of the village.
The “old git” and the “old gal” parked me under a cool, leafy tree and headed into the cellar of the château for a tasting of the finest wines Aloxe-Corton could offer.
The “old git” in the cellar at Chateau Corton-Andre – vintage wines everywhere!
Next they had a very educational tasting – with the differences being clearly highlighted as they climbed up from the village label, to the premier cur, to the grand cru.
Two things of note here – the person describing the tasting pointed out that the price of a bottle wasn’t what was important – it was the taste in the bottle. Basically, if you liked the wine, you would buy it – whatever the price. Not sure the “old git” agreed with him, especially when the grand cru bottles were usually priced around the 100 euro mark!
The second thing was that as we switched from tasting red to white – the taster “washed” out the remnants of the red wine in their glasses with what he called cheap white wine. “Its the only thing it is good for – washing up!” he said. The “old gal’s” ears pricked up and she promised to do all the washing up from now on – but only if she could use white wine to do it!
Back out into the sunshine and the “old gal” decided she had to pose on the steps of the château, so she could show everyone “her new house!” It really was a magnificent building – with ornate plaster work and paintwork.
The “old gal” shows off her “new house”!
After a lovely restful stop, we pedalled off again back into the vineyards – and after a few miles we stopped for our last picnic. This time it was a mini-picnic involving some bruschetta bread and some left over fromage. And some fantastic quarter bottles of Cremant that the “old git” had procured at the tasting – which they had to classily sook through straws!
Cheers – The “old git” and the “old gal” showing their class sooking Cremant through straws!
The “old farts” t-shirts were on full view today – and again were receiving a lot of laughs from locals who were enjoying the joke.
A quick check to see my rear wheel was still in one piece – and it was – and we headed back for the final run, tandeming back into the hotel in Beaune for journey’s end.
After 180 gruelling miles over six days, up and down hills, all three of us were pleased to see the hotel – which meant the journey was finally at an end.
Euphoria was the overwhelming feeling of the “old git” and the “old gal” – mixed with a general knackerdness.
But also a tremendous satisfaction that they had achieved journey’s end and completed all parts of the route!
Happiness is journey’s end for the “old git”, the “old gal” and of course me the “old lady.”
I was parked up in the cycle rack of the hotel’s courtyard and the dynamic duo headed off to celebrate their efforts with a bottle of the best Cremant fizz.
A most welcome shower followed before the happy duo headed out on the town of Beaune for a celebration meal. This time they selected a traditional Burgundian restaurant – recommended by the hotel – which promised local delights.
It was truly a gastronomic feast to end the tour, with the “old git” plucking up courage to have his first taste of escargots – in a snail and mushroom casolet. And very tasty it was – with the snails cut into small pieces and tasting like chicken. The “old gal” tasted the dish too and heartily approved, although she enjoyed some local duck pate for starter.
Two gorgeous succulent steaks sitting on a bed of melted Epoisse followed – real melt-in-your-mouth stuff, before a very scrumptious cheese course. It included a local La Nuit d’Or which was a real treat. And the meal finished with a cassis sorbet – another local delicacy as Crème de Cassis is one of the locally made products.
Back to the hotel and a quick check that I was ok – my puncture repair had held brilliantly – before retiring for the last sleep of the tour.
Tomorrow we were all heading north in the car for a stop off in the Champagne region – near a lake in the Troyes area – to meet up with good friends Ann and Jack for a week’s rest.
And after the intensity of the last week – that was a welcome prospect.
But job done – tour completed – and the last word on the Burgundy adventure goes to the “old gal” who said: “Never again will I complain about Millport being mildly undulating!”