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PouzaugesPousaugesforestwalkPouzaugesroof 

 Toujours Pouzauges – from Gail Gillespie who stayed in our house at the end of June

After a day spent on the Ile de Re sunning ourselves, dodging jelly fish the size of dinner plates and feasting on moules and frites, we made our way to Pouzauges. It’s an easy 1.5 hours drive in our rented Citroen through lush farm land dotted with white cows. The village sits on one of the highest hills in the area rising above the Vendee. We follow our directions to centre ville and have no trouble finding the terraced house on the high side of the village square. We have a hot shower and give the washing machine a run for its money before heading out.


It’s Saturday and confetti still lies in front of l’Eglise Saint-Jacques, from a wedding earlier in the day. Across the square, Le Poulbet Pizzeria is very busy and we score one of the last tables outside. After the obligatory kir royale, we order the local specialty, Pizza Vendee - a ham and cheese thin pizza which comes with salad verte ontop and a glass of local vin blanc. The staff are very friendly and forgiving of my rudimentary French. I love dining outside in summer when it’s light until 10pm. We are tempted by the dessert menu and give in to crepes with chocolate sauce before the short wander home.

The first morning, I can’t sleep - have become accustomed to early morning wakenings after having spent the last 6 nights in the middle of big cities, the most recent being Bordeaux to the south. I wander 5 minutes up the road to Vieux.Chateau which was built in the 12th century on a granite promontory. It is cool, about 15 degrees and the dew is still clinging to the earth. I walk around and enjoy the calm. Later that morning, we decide to christen the brand new ball that Sharon and David have left for guests. We head up to the chateau for soccer in the park. It’s a closely contested game with me going down in the last minute. In my defense, my goal posts (old oak trees) were much further apart and uphill!

Before we arrived, I had plans to visit nearby Nantes and the coast on day trips. But I am now content to sleep in, read and ponder which pastry I will have at the boulangerie and walk around town. Feeling guilty and with the fromage and vin rouge taking their toll, we take a stroll up the Bois de la Folie, a lush forest 5 minutes away and spend the afternoon at the excellent aquatic centre.

On our last day, I lie in the wrought iron bed in the little house I have come to see as my own and wonder will we be back? I hope so, but that depends on whether Sharon and David find out how much washing we did while we were there! 

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