Day Ten – Drive to Rion/ominous van noises

Although our ferry home wasn’t until Friday, we both woke full of self pity, feeling as though our holiday was over. From this point, we would be trying to drive around four hours a day, as we make our way back up to Dieppe. Not a prospect either of us was looking forward to. After last summer, we decided it would be better to break the drive up and try to stop off and fit in a bit of site seeing, or if we were lucky a small walk. Our main problem was that we had been spoilt for choice in the Pyrenees, and most central walks just didn’t appeal in comparison. We chose to drive to a medieval village called Rion, not far from Bordeaux.Before we set off Willow had decided that she was prepared to attempt to wash her hair again. This time she was ready, and had bungee cords to stop the bucket falling over. This shower was a lot drier than the previous attempt.We set off along the same road which we had driven down at the weekend. We didn’t get far before we both looked t each other with concern. We could hearing a horrible noise, which sounding like metal being chewed up, coming from the rear of the van. We pulled over to inspect the engine and rear wheels. Nothing looked broken and so we drove a little bit further down the road. Whatever it was, it didn’t sound healthy. I volunteered to sit in the back of the van with the engine cover removed, giving me a view of the engine from the back of the van. After a further few minutes, I was still uncertain of the cause, and so we swapped and Willow had a go. Willow believed the noise was coming from the rear wheels and so we pulled over, jacked the van up and had a closer look. There was nothing visible still, but Willow suspected that it is either a torsion bar, CV joint or a bush issue, causing metal to rub together when we drive over uneven surfaces. There was not much else we could do, so we carried on. With Ruby fully functional but screaming whenever the road got bumpy, we made good time and arrived in Rion around 3pm. Today’s stop was more of a quick stretch of the legs, as the village was rather small. It did have some lovely architecture though.Once we had viewed all that there was to be seen (not much), we decided to get on our bikes and ride down to the main river.Again, there wasn’t much to see on he bikes, so he bike ride didn’t last long. We parked Ruby up for one final picture and then drove off again.From Rion, we drove northwards for about another hour, stopping off next to a lake, in what we hoped would be a quiet spot for the evening.For supper, we made a comforting recipe which involved leeks, apples, chestnuts and blue cheese crumble toppimg. It didn’t look much, but it was delicious!We had been planning on making brownies all week, but never really got round to it. Tonight we made sure we did. We experimented and added some kinder Buenos to the mix.Tomorrow we would be driving further north, towards Angers. We were aiming at doing a slightly bigger walk as we were both already becoming a tad restless due to a lack of walking.

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