It’s Google’s birthday today! 1998-2017. Next year will be the big two oh. Hugh Hefner won’t see it because he died today. Personally I think he’s been dead for a while.
(Note that all the photos in this post are of Nerac because I didn’t think much of Luvaduck.)
There are few things that please a weasel more than cheese (along with beer and sausages, obviously) and while there’s many things you can do with cheese, making ice cream with it is a very new concept for us. At least it was until tonight.
But more about that later.
Yesterday I forgot to mention possibly the most almost disastrous thing that has happened during WA17. I cannot believe I forgot it but forgot it I did. Personally I blame Bev but that is seriously unfair given she had nothing to do with it.
When last in Venice, Anthea had a local artist twist some silly bits of coloured cotton on the top of a baseball cap she happened to have and call it art. She has worn it with loving pride ever since. The thing is, the little nobbly bit on the top makes the perfect grab handle for trees that come a little bit too close to the boat.
This was demonstrated with great skill by John as we putted our way up the River Baise yesterday.
Whenever we reach a low bridge or trees it’s imperative that anyone at the front of the boat yells “BRIDGE” or “TREES” whenever appropriate. It gives most passengers the advantage of getting out of the way if they so choose. Anthea has not been good at hearing these warnings. I don’t know why except maybe she’s just concentrating on pigeon houses a little bit too much.
Anyway, as we putted up the river, there was a sudden yell of “TREE” to which most of us ducked well below any required treeline. Anthea, forgetting she was wearing her cotton topped cap, didn’t duck quite enough and the tree claimed her headgear.
There was great consternation in the boat as John quickly reversed and started heading backwards towards the offending foliage. Miraculously the cap remained in the tree hanging by the strange art on the top – by a thread, literally. And Anthea managed to snatch it back, basically unharmed.
But enough of yesterday…today we set off after John and I went for the usual pastry run (which included an espresso each in the self same sports bar where we had beer yesterday where the chap was still very friendly) before heading back down to the boat as the clock struck 8 dongs of the morning bell.
I spent an inordinate amount of time removing the plague proportions of dead flies from the boat. Darren remarked that the flies were actually only born yesterday so it’s no wonder they didn’t know enough to go somewhere else for the night.
The trip down the river was characterised by some pretty scary locks, particularly when we were going up. Scary though they may have been they were also very pretty – the river is always more attractive than the canal, I must say. They were also extremely narrow. Most of them looked like the boat would hardly fit…widthways.
Still, we managed to reach our destination of Nerac shortly before the lunching time and went for a walk.
Actually the entrance into Nerac from the river was quite amazing. The book we have describes it as unforgetable and it is pretty good. Whether I’ll remember it remains to be seen. I’ve not been particularly good so far this trip.
There was a couple of quite pretty churches – one on one bank, the other on the other – that were built sometime in the 19th century. There was some seriously good stained glass work and one of them had two very impresive rose windows. The first one had an interesting Joan (dressed as a simple peasant rather than the usual warrior) and the other had some Old Testament stories in glass…which is odd because I thought Catholics didn’t consider the Old Testament that much.
After the churches we found a delightful hostelry whereupon we devoured a couple of glasses of Leffe each. It was the perfect remedy for too much walking and not enough drinking.
And then, finally, lunch on the boat, in the sun.
There was the hint of a walk to the royal garden but everyone was sleepy and just sort of lazed around until it was time for dinner.
We had made a booking for 7:30 for the amazing Le Vert Galant in the morning – we just happened to bump into the old lady that works there as we passed by – and, given it was just a few hundred feet away, we left at 7:30.
Along with the most extraordinarily bewildering menu we had a lady in a wheelchair come and explain the food to us. The meals come with ice cream, she told us. Savoury and sweet ice cream depending on the meal, she told us.
While they had recipes for 128 ice creams they only had slots in the kitchen for 84, she told us. She’d been experimenting with ice cream since she was eight, she told us.
She told us lots of stuff then went and told the other two boating parties also sitting on the terrace with us.
Most of us decided to begin with an ice cream starter. Mine was camembert and unbelievably amazing. John had goats cheese. For reasons known only to her, Anthea had prune juice. That’s not ice cream, mind, but just a glass of prune juice.
For my main I had a chorizo laden slice of thin bread with cheese and other delights with a tomato and basil sorbet. And I finished the meal with a single scoop of rose ice cream.
For dessert Darren had pistachio and lavender ice creams. He liked the pistachio but thought the lavender rather odd. In fact he thought it was like eating laundry detergent. I’m not sure if that was a complaint or merely an observation.
As usual I took a photo of my meal because it looked so good.
Everyone agreed that it was a most incredible meal. In fact, for one of the few times, all weasels were silent during a meal as each one of us experienced our own form of food nirvana.
God, it was good!