Let's start with last night - we pottered into the village of Coudes to the Hotel de la Poste, which was advertised in our Formule 1 hotel. Downstairs it looked rather busy, but there was plenty of space in the restaurant above. We all had an excellent meal - more like an "elephant sufficiency" - with real food cooked to order (though Meld had to smuggle some of the "Fromages Auvergnats" out in her handbag!).
After our feast we took a little stroll around the village before driving back. The girls were a bit worried by some "chavs" hanging around by the bridge over the river Allier, though I think they were probably more scared of Kim's squealing. The Place Francois Mitterand around the church was a peaceful haven, just metres off the A75 motorway.
And so, back to the hotel and bed. We made a reasonably early start, and drove back into the village for bread and pains-aux-raisins, and stopped or a photo of the gardens and the bridge over river that joins the Allier here.
And then we were back on the motorway and heading north. There was still a northerly wind, but much less strong, so the fuel consumption was still somewhat depressed (that might be because I was cruising faster too). We paused at Ferté St Aubin (where we visited the chateau 2 years ago) for diesel, then stopped for lunch north of Orleans. The picnic table consisted of a low table with 2 seats and a high table with a stool and a misericord to perch on! The temperature had risen from 15 to 19°C but that is still chilly after steady 30 plus for 2½ weeks. And it rained (a little)!
Then we headed north again, leaving the motorway before the main toll station at St Arnoud and going via the backroads to Bures-sur-Yvette - though the Forest of Rambouillet, a pleasant winding down after the rush of the motorway.
After a cup of tea (or two) with Martin & Ketty, and a chat, we went for a walk round by the old railway. A tree had suffered in the recent thunderstorm.
We crossed the restored railway bridge...
... along the old track ...
... through the tunnel ...
... and out into daylight again.
And so, after one of Ketty's fine dinners, it's time for showers and bed.