Hiking Around Bordeaux, Episode 144
Who hasn’t daydreamed about hiking or biking through the French countryside? Stephanie, Dawn, Krista and Barb made it come true and in late September 2016 flew to France to do some hiking around Bordeaux. They used a tour company that sold them maps and arranged for accommodations, breakfast and dinner, as well as arranged for their luggage to be transported to their next stop every day. They would rather not name the company, so we’ll keep that vague on purpose. All they had to do is walk. And get lost. But they had a fun time all the same and they explain all about their adventure in today’s episode.
This episode is for anyone who wants to have an active vacation in France, and if you like this episode, you should also listen to Episode 52, Cycling in France with Marion Clignet and Episode 40 on Saint-Émilion, Episode 44 on Bordeaux. For more information on the specifics of what Stephanie and Dawn did, please take a look at their travel blog.
Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.
Episode Highlights with Time Stamps
- [9’47” ] Start of hiking around Bordeaux interview
- [11’50] You don’t need to be an athlete to do this, but you do need to prepare
- [12′] Special equipment required: hiking boots
- [13’30”] What’s the longest hike you did in one day?
- [14’26”] How this trip got planned
- [15’10”] How did your tour work? What was provided by the company?
- [17′] Getting lost a lot!
- [18’32”] Getting a ride from a stranger to get to the wine tasting
- [22’20”] The types of terrain they hiked through
- [23’11”] Dinners and accommodations were planed and luggage was transported from place to place
- [23’40”] Meeting a seasoned walking Scottish couple who knew about Randonnée Maps and kilometer counters
- [26’30] GR stands for Grande Randonnée
- [27’39] Doing this without GPS coordinates sounds crazy nowadays!
- [28′] What did they enjoy the most and the least about their experience hiking around Bordeaux? Active vacation which is great when you’re eating French food.
- [29’37”] There are different brokers all selling the same tours
- [30′] Do you need to buy a tour? Couldn’t you organize this whole thing by yourself?
- [30’52”] Other hiker gave them precious tips about when stores close etc., the tour company hadn’t warned them!
- [33′] For people who want to do this by themselves, look for GR maps and IGN maps
- [34’34”] Meeting people in tiny little towns, seeing how people live and enjoying the culture was great: you can’t do that from a tour bus!
- [35’58”] No mosquitoes, really?
- [38′] Dawn speaks French, the others do not. The French came in handy especially at restaurants
- [39’45”] Outstanding accommodations and dinner at the Barsac Castle, Paul and Ginette were wonderful, the salt-water swimming pool was great too
- [41′] All the places they stopped: Bordeaux, Saint-Émilion, Saint-Martin-de-Lerm, Caudrot, Saint Macaire (beautiful hike between Caudrot and Saint-Macaire), Sauterne and Barsac
- [43’17”] Review of the Musée du Vin in Bordeaux
- [44’58”] Review of L’Entrecôte restaurant in Bordeaux
- [47’47”] Annie’s guess on what’s in the Entrecôte sauce
- [49’32”] How to beat the crowd at L’Entrecôte (and many other French restaurants!)
- [49’49”] Wine every day on this tour?
- [51’52”] Most French villages will have a public restroom, usually where old men gather to play Pétanque
- [52’55”] Luggage or carry-on?
- [54’38”] Heated towel bars in France
- [55’15”] What are packing cubes?
- [56’27”] Did you feel safe doing this as women?
- [59′] French Tip of the Week “Tu ne peux pas changer la tête avec laquelle tu es né(e), mais pas besoin de faire cette tête !”
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