White Cows!

April 12 – Chateau du Lude

We had a bit of a difficult time today. It seemed like our timing was off, and everywhere we wanted to see was closed.

We got to Saumur too early, but we just took a couple of pictures from the outside.

We drove to Chateau Brissac, and we’re really excited about this one, but the gate was closed. We couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t open.


Then we drove to Chateau Serrant, which is a red one in the book, but when we got there we discovered that it’s only open Wednesday through Sunday, and today is Tuesday.

So then we went to Chateau du Lude, but we got there right about 1 pm, and it was closed until 2. That was ok, though, because we had to eat lunch. It took a while, but we found a place that was open.

Heidi got more goat cheese toasts and salad, and I got tomatoes, a leek tart, and a brownie.

The chateau is still a private residence, so they only allow us inside on guided tours, and we’re not allowed to take any pictures. It was really great on the inside, though. I liked it a lot.

The pictures outside are good, too.

Then we drove all the way back past Tours to Blois. We spent a lot of time driving in the car today, and the weather was really nice, so it was really a pleasant drive.

As we were driving along somewhere, Heidi started exclaiming, “White cows! White cows! Betsey, it’s white cows!” Apparently that meant, “Stop! I want to take a picture!” She thought that I would be just as impressed as she was, but I have seen white cows before. We spent the rest of the day looking for more white cows that she could take pictures of. Before we finally found some, we saw white horses, goats, sheep, and cats. And white cars.


So while the day was a bit of a bust in the chateau department, we did see some white cows.

We had an adventure trying to find our hotel, and then trying to find parking. We had to park several blocks away and walk to the hotel to find out where to park. We have to park at the chateau and then walk. We almost got hit in the garage by a lady backing up. She didn’t see us at all and I had to honk. I was panicked a bit and wasn’t able to back up fast enough. She did stop before hitting us, though.

Driving in the cities is not my favorite thing.

We found a place to eat quickly so we could just get back to the hotel for a rest. Heidi got a goat cheese burger and I got some mushroom pasta.

We have a plan for the next few days, so hopefully it works out and things aren’t closed!



Add yours →

  1. Ooh, I like the stairs by the flowers! Pretty!



  2. Hi Betsy
    I have been so inspired by your blog that I have planned my own camino from Le Puy in September.
    Glad you and your friend are having fun in France.
    I found your blog through your sister on2peasrefugees
    Love all your photos, are you using anything special on your iphone for them?
    Can you advise me about how you get unlimited data in France?
    Many thanks


    • How absolutely wonderful!! Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions. I would love to give any advice I can. I am so thrilled for you! The Le Puy route is so wonderful. How far are you planning on going?

      All of my photos are with my iPhone 6 Plus. I also use a wireless Bluetooth keyboard for blogging. Much easier for typing and doesn’t weigh that much.

      I currently have about 18,000 pictures on my phone, but some of those are duplicates. In order to post on my blog, I resize all of my pictures that I upload. I use a free app called simple resize. The picture quality is still good, but the file size is greatly reduced.

      I also highly recommend getting a Charles Schwab online checking account for your money. ATMs give the best exchange rate and the Schwab account refunds all foreign transaction fees AND ATM fees. So you don’t have to worry about finding an ATM that’s in your network. One of the ATMS I used in Le Puy charged 14E extra and it was all refunded.

      I have T-Mobile as my phone carrier. They have a plan that gives unlimited data in Europe and 20 cents a minute for phone calls. I don’t remember the name of the plan, but I just called them to make sure I had the right one.

      The data isn’t great and doesn’t always work, but the gps always works, even when the data isn’t great. Gps isn’t essential on the Camino, but it does help sometimes navigating through some of the bigger cities. When I learned how to use it I never worried about getting lost.

      Some people recommend taking an unlocked phone (and if you have T-mobile you have unlocked phones) and getting a local SIM card with Orange or another carrier. You can buy prepaid sims that have data on them, and then reload as you use it. I decided not to do this, since I had data with T-mobile and could just use wifi anyway most of the time. Also,I never used my phone that much for phone calls. Whenever I asked one of the gite hosts to help me make a reservation, they always used their own phones. And since T-mobile was 20 cents a minute, I knew I wouldn’t be making $20 worth of calls. I probably used my phone less than 5 times in France. And when you are on wifi and can make a wifi call, that’s completely free. You just have to make sure that it really is on wifi and not data, and you can do that by turning the data off. I did that to call home.


      • Hi Betsy

        Thank you so much for your detailed reply.

        I have an unlocked iphone 6s so hopefully my pics will look of similar quality to yours.

        I have taken a month off work – September – and will just see how far I get, I don’t think I will reach SJPP.
        I am not very fit and overweight so my plan is to walk what I can manage each day and see where I get to rather than over stretch myself.

        I am in the UK so it is easy for me to get to Le Puy.

        How long are you in France for?
        If I can help with anything let me know.
        Keep in touch


      • I shall have to look into this checking account! That sounds useful.


  3. PS the cows are called Charolais


  4. Haha, Heidi really does like goat cheese….she’s having it for every meal! It is amazing for sure!


  5. Loved the pictures and the cows. Betsey, it might be a good idea to tell Clare about resting her feet once a week or so, especially if she’s not used to walking.


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