So, we’ve been in France more than a week already. The time has shot past. We love France as it is sooooo motorhome friendly. We had a couple of days of relaxation before we were due to arrive at our next Helpx. We headed straight for the Pays de la Loire region as that is the area we’ll be volunteering in until the middle of October. We parked up in a little aire just a stones throw from the river Mayenne in the little village of Grez-Neuville just twenty kilometres north west of Angers.
The aire was free, the sun was out and with a cycle path along the river in either direction it was the perfect place to wind down after our few months working at the campsite.
We have visited the Pays de la Loire region several times over the years and really like it. Away from the cities it’s a tranquil place to be.
We took a leisurely bike ride north along the river in the direction of Château-Gontier.
Within minutes of starting our cycle we were waylaid by these guys.
Oh, how happy was I to get some hands on donkey time again. There must have been about twenty or so of them. The couple that own them make and sell soaps, shampoo and cremes from the milk of the donkeys.
We first came across this breed of donkey, les baudet du Poitou, when we were visiting the Ile de Ré in 2016. They are an endangered breed and the couple, when they created their business, chose the Piotou to help to save the breed.
Anyway, as the title of this blog post hints at we are back at Chateau de Jalesnes for a few weeks.
Some of the long term readers may remember we spent a few weeks here in May 2016. It was the second Helpx of our trip and we’ve been meaning to come back again but have never quite fitted it in. Well, now we are back and we are really pleased to be here. It’s like we have never been away.
There have been some further improvements and the chateau now has about seventeen apartments and is becoming established as a popular wedding venue. A couple of years ago it was featured on the Channel 4 series ‘Escape to the Chateau’.
We were fortunate to be a part of the last wedding of this season over the weekend. An English couple commandeered the whole chateau for the weekend with just over one hundred guests.
The chateau can accommodate fifty or so guests so some were staying in the local area. It was a lot of work.
Rooms to prepare, lawns to mow, bars to be set up, chairs and tables to be put out blah blah blah.
Alex (a helper from Brazil) and Tim manned the bar on Friday and Saturday night.
Everything went according to plan and it was great to be involved. A three minute deluge of rain in between the cheeses and the dessert where everyone got soaked didn’t seem to matter and I expect everyone will remember it for a long time to come!
We finally got into bed at 4.00am on the Saturday night. It’s the latest I’d been to bed in a couple of decades that’s for sure!