Yesterday morning arrived and sure, even warmer than the day before. With a bottle of water in the backpack and money for in case we left to Champagne Rousseaux, the meeting place for the group. We had to wait a while for the group to arrive as they were delayed by thick fog on the road. When they got off the bus they looked like quite a 'op en wakker' group of people, geared with hiking boots and walking sticks. I had my doubt whether our tekkies would be fine and wondering where did I put my walking stick...We are joining a group of pro's here!
We already had breakfast and didn't want more coffee or cake (on a table that comprised a wine barrel with a top), even though the friendly group of people offered us some. My mom, who started with French classes a few months ago, was a bit nervous about all the French, but tried to catch some words here and there.
Finally, we got going, the first part of the route through the vineyards.
It was very humid after all the rain, so quite hazy
On our way to our neighbour village, Verzy
The walk delivered some surprises as I discovered that Veuve Cliquot's house has a beautiful garden that one does not see from the road.
Walking along their wall at the back of their property before we got a peep through a gate
After a short walk through Verzy we were in the forest, following steep muddy paths
The uphill becoming a bit too much for my mom (and a few other ladies)
Fortunately the part in the Faux Verzy (see the tree in the background then you know what is a faux) was flat. We were laughing afterwards as the one guy was very enthusiastic when he heard we are South Africans and asked my mom in a very broken English where does she lives in SA. And told us he went to SA and Namibia two years ago. And drank wonderful wine. The type that we don't have in France. 'Pinotage?' I've asked him. With enthusiasm he confirmed that is the wine. He was talking 'dat die spoeg spat', waving his hand in front of my mother, who was walking in the middle, describing his wonderful trip while we were fearing that he will hit her in the face. He rejoined me with a friend later on, talking about Italy, as it turned out that they are busy learning Italian. My mom walked ahead of us, perhaps afraid of being slapped in the face, and was approached by another French who really wanted to talk to her. He was so disappointed that he cannot speak English or German (as if she can speak German!) and she cannot speak French!
The bus took us from the Faux to a restaurant in Verzy. However, they were full and couldn't accommodate me and my mom as well, so we bought pastries and Orangina at the boulanger who was still open, to our relieve (here everything normally closes between 12 and 2!). The sweltering heat as we start climbing the steep streets of Verzy towards the garden with its picnic benches made me doubt if we'll make it to Verzenay. Fortunately the young man who occupied the only picnic table in the shade realised he needs to make place for us to have our snack. The shade and the sugar gave us the required energy to continue our road, on a very muddy road in the forest to Verzenay.
It was the first time that I saw water flowing at this spot!
We were relieved when reaching Verzenay, completely exhausted after a walk of about 7 km, very up hill and down hill and in humid heat!