04/30/2017 Betsy 1Comment

Leaving Bellepaca with a sleeping Lady V, we decided to drive to the Canaveral National Seashore and visit Eldora. By then V will have at least an hour’s nap. The last time I visited Eldora was in the 1990’s and it was being restored. I had come in by boat, while fishing in the lagoon, came ashore, walked up to the house and was accosted by a net of mosquitos. We turned around, ran back to the boat, dove in and pushed off from shore. This place can be brutal in the summer. However, with the stiff breezes off the water,…

04/30/2017 Betsy

Any day with Victoria is a GREAT DAY and today we took her to her first “shearing day” at our friend’s Alpaca Farm, Bellepaca, in Oak Hill.  The last time I took her down there she was less than impressed clinging to my neck while their dog ran around our feet, but we decided to try again! Bellepaca Farm The overcast skies with threat/promise of rain moderated our 90 degree temperatures and the wind was blowing about 15 kts so it wasn’t a bad day at all!  Bellepaca Farm is located about two-three miles from the ICW in Oak Hill and…

04/05/2017 Betsy

It’s our last night on board and we’re back at the Chef’s Dinner.  Dave is surprised by a birthday cake and the staff joined in with the celebration.  Even the Captain came out to wish him a happy birthday. The boat started moving a little while later as the Captain slowly cruised down the Gironde to view Bordeaux at night.   Good night Bordeaux!  We’ll see you at 6:30 AM when we leave for the airport.  It was a great week! Blessings!  

04/05/2017 Betsy

We are!  It’s April 5th and our last day on the cruise.  We are back at the docks in Bordeaux and spent a wonderful, wonderful morning and lunch learning how to cook!  Cannot wait to get the recipes! We were greeted with a French treat and coffee and then into the cooking school of this restaurant. The tables had everything we needed to cook our recipes. A syrup of sugar and water was simmering on the stove Our first recipe was dessert. Egg yolks beaten with fine ground coconut and whole eggs the hot simple syrup and other ingredients for…

04/04/2017 Betsy

April 4th – Where has the week gone!  Today is a visit to the marketplace in Libourne.  Libourne is another bastide city with the market square the center of commerce and the walls built around the town. This town is located on the Dordogne Rivers and is regarded as the “little sister” to Bordeaux.  The port became important for the Isle River Valley where goods could be boarded ships and transported out to sea. King Edward I founded the town on the confluence of the two rivers in 1266. The town square features the town hall.  Shopping was a pleasure…

04/04/2017 Betsy

April 3rd – On our way down the River it was total fog,,,,but as we neared our destination the skies cleared up.- Blue skies at last! Collective sigh of relief when we walked out and the warmth hit our faces and sunlight blurred our eyes. Opportunities for all kinds of tours including bicycle touring! We were heading to Libourne for sightseeing and wine drinking! This is the right bank of the Gironde with limestone cliffs, clay and quarries versus the left bank with marshes and gravel! Makes it a perfect setting for growing Merlot so this is a huge Merlot…

04/03/2017 Betsy

APRIL 2 – BLAYE FORTRESS Aquitaine Region is a large region reaching from the Pyrenees Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean bordering Spain. Human settlement dates back to prehistoric times. Blaye north of Bordeaux sits on the right bank of the Gironde estuary and served as an important stronghold during the wars with the English and French in the 17th Century. In mild to driving rain sprinkled with sunshine, we walked to the Citadel of Blaye . Blaye was the stronghold for the Aquitaine region so this fortification became very important during King Louis XIV reign. Work on the citadel began in…

04/03/2017 Betsy

April 1st!  It’s raining! Then it’s not! Then it is! If you don’t like the weather wait a minute. Today we are in Medoc region where the Chateaus of the great Bordeaux wines are located. There are 11,400 acres of declared vineyards in this region. The Gironde Estuary is the lifeblood to this region. In the 17th century the Dutch merchants began a drainage project to convert the marshland into usable vineyards which enable large estates to form along the Gironde. Bordeaux wine regions of Margaux, Saint-Julien, Pauillac and Saint-Estephe took shape and became one of the most prosperous regions…

04/02/2017 Betsy

March 31, 2017:  Back on the bus we arrived at Chateau Guiraud where they produce organic Sauternes.  We learned all about the organic production of these grapes and the uniqueness of the region where Sauternes are produced.  Nowhere else in the world do these wines come from. I considered Sauternes as a dessert wine but learned it goes very well with foe gras and other dishes that have a citrus element.  It would not go well with chocolate. The vineyards are surrounded by bushes and trees to draw the insects that will kill the bad insects on the vines.  This…

04/01/2017 Betsy

Back to the boat for lunch and then we were off again for a trip to Chateau Fort de Roquetaillade an extremely interesting place because descendants have lived in this Chateau for 700 years! A quick trip to the Ladies Room we found some interesting stuff parked in the garage!  And old car and carriage!! Currently three generations reside here and are working hard to make money to maintain the Chateau that has been in their family for so long. We were not allowed to take pictures inside.  This fortress was built by King Edward I, home of the same…