Chateaux & Sancerre Wine Festival Tour 17 – 22 May 2013

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The view from our hotel the first evening – the stunning Chateau at Chambord. We did have some sunshine!
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“Thanks again for yet another wonderful holiday!!!! Roads like rivers and liquid sunshine did nothing to dampen the great spirit of yet another wonderful Bike Normandy holiday. Every time we have met old friends and made some lovely new ones and this tour was no exception. The pace and the sights were excellent and the accommodation and food was its usual high standard, which shows how much research you put into ensuring that people get the best. If someone is looking for a motorbike tour that has a nice balance of distance coupled with lovely scenery and great hotels then this is a great tour to do. Oh, and the Wine Festival – well that was great too, Hic, Hic!!”
Barry & Lindy Jackson (5th Tour), Triumph Sprint GT
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“Thanks very much for organising the Chateaux Tour, it was yet again another excellent bike tour. This is now the second tour we have done with yourselves where the weather has tried to dampen our enjoyment – but you guys brush it off and make the tour just as much fun as if the sun was shining. Really enjoyed the relaxing nature of the tour, the Chateaux, and the Wine Festival was much better than I thought it was going to be. The hotels were as usual very good – clean, hot showers and the 1st and last had beautiful scenery. Not a lot of mileage but what there was was on some excellent roads that only you guys seem to find. Again, thanks for the tour and already looking at which one to book next”
Dave & Traci Wakefield (6th Tour), Triumph Explorer
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Dinner our first night at Chambord
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Julie, Tracey, Mike & Steve at dinner                  Janet & Rodney at breakfast before we visit the Chateau 
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“The Sancerre & Chateaux trip was just excellent! From a girl’s perspective and pillion the balance between riding the fabulous roads and sightseeing was perfect. The pace wasn’t as fast as some of the other tours we have done and to start a morning in your non-bike clothing gives the tour a more relaxed feel. Waking up a little later, enjoying a tasty breakfast followed by a leisurely stroll to the most breath-taking chateaux made you really feel you could appreciate your surroundings for longer. And Oh My God the wine festival!! To wander around a cave with your glass sampling the most delicious wines, that’s what I call heaven. The people were so accommodating and I even discovered a red wine I actually liked. My 2 bottles even made it home in one piece! Thank you both for the surprise wine, cheese & sausage tasters, it really made it a fun, memorable experience. We visited the Wine Museum in the morning before the festival, a real eye-opener discovering all the wine-makers secrets and why each one tastes so different. With a very large sample to taste and a souvenir glass to take away it was definitely worth the 7 euros entry. I would recommend this tour to anyone who is a newby to Bike Normandy or a man trying to persuade his other-half to try a biking holiday like this for the first time as you guys have got the balance just right and it gives you a taste for the more adventurous tours that everyone should try. I think I talked everyone into the Black Forest Gateau Tour so hope you get loads of bookings!! [we have!] Oh, I haven’t mentioned the hotels, well what can I say, one of my rooms was pink – sorry for my excited outburst Jen but I loved it !! Every time we travel with you the rooms have been lovely but this time they seemed extra special, this shows how much effort you put in, either that or we just have exquisite taste in hotels! If you do the Rhine in Flames we may be up for it! Take care”
Sue Dunn & Martin Askem, BMW GS
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“Just a few lines to thank you both (and John & Rita) for another lovely trip. The Chateaux were truly spectacular and the rides breathtaking. As always you looked after the group impeccably and nothing was too much trouble. We hope to see you very soon [since booked on the Black Forest Tour 2014!]”
Steve Bold & Julie Muir, Suzuki V-Strom 650
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“Thank you for a great week on the Chateaux Tour, great roads, amazing Chateaux and great company, we had a brilliant time and will see you next year on the Black Forest Tour”
Mike Sanders & Tracey Reading, Kawasaki ZX1000SX
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Dave & Traci alongside the famous double-spiral staircase inside Chambord Chateau
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Barry & Lindy
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“Many thanks for all the hard work and effort you put into this year’s Wine Festival Tour. I had a fantastic time and thoroughly enjoyed every part of it, especially the sweeping roads you took us on! This was my first European Bike Trip and did not know what to expect, both of you and all the group made me feel included and welcome and I would have no hesitation in recommending the Tour to anyone else. I have today transferred the deposit for the 2014 Black Forest & Vosges Mountains Tour to reserve my place…Once again many thanks to you both”
Brian Hallett, Honda Deauville 700 
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Always a morning briefing before we set off under our own horse power !
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The group outside the Chateau at Cheverny
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“Thanks once again for a brilliant week! It was such a treat to ride such wonderful roads with such great company. It’s obvious how much effort you both put in to make everything run so smoothly and it’s very much appreciated. The number of people who come time and again is a testament to that. Next thing is to look on your website to figure out which tour to do next! Thanks to John & Rita who also did a fantastic job. Thanks once again”
Steve – BMW F800ST and Wendy Henrys – Moto Guzzi Breva 750
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Gordon wonders if this could be his new body armour! Brian in the armoury room.
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“I thoroughly enjoyed my first trip with you and I think you can safely say that you have another repeat customer. I really could not fault it – good hotels, good food, good company and great roads. (I had some fun on the way home…800 miles in France with no probs and 125 in England and it all goes to pot!) Thanks again for a great trip which fully lived up to expectations. See you again next year I hope”
Gordon Heggie, Triumph Tiger 800
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Our three wise monkeys !                                                                 Tracey & Mike
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The gorgeous Wisteria behind the Chateau
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“Many thanks John & Jen for another great tour. We had a brilliant time. The Chateaux were very impressive as were the hotels. The Sancerre Wine Festival was well worth a visit. Well organised, well run, excellent. Hope to be back next year [since booked on the Black Forest Tour 2014]. Thanks again”
Stuart & Val Heath, Suzuki Bandit 1200
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Lunch at Cheverny before the heavens opened !!
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“My thanks to you both and tail enders John & Rita for a most enjoyable tour. Excellent roads, hotels, food, company. All superbly led and organised. Did exactly what it said on the tin.
See you next year, all the very best and again, many thanks”
Keith Bowen, BMW F650GS
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“Many thanks for a great tour. I had a really good time and it was very well organised. I can’t wait to return next year on the Black Forest Tour. Thanks again”
David Wooliscroft, Suzuki Bandit 1200
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Dinner at Sancerre.                                                                Gordon, Sue, Keith, Lyn and Brian
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Drinks after dinner in the hotel lounge.                                John (G), Barry & Lindy
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The Bike Normandy T-shirt & sweat-shirt shop opens for business ! Gordon and then Lindy provide the fashion show ! 
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Our next visit – the Wine Festival inside the “Cave” at Sancerre
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Jim & Dorothy                                                       Janet & Rodney sample the Sancerre Red Wine
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Brian with Stuart & Val                                                          Lyn & Ted with Sue & Martin
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We stock up on wine, cheese & sausage for an impromptu party !
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Lindy & Barry                                                     John & just how many glasses has Rita had ???
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Steve & Wendy                                                      Val, Stuart behind Mike, Tracey, Dave, Julie & Steve
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Sue insists that no-one tells Jen the result of the Moto GP !                     Martin & Sue
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The girls still knocking back the wine !  Sue, Jen, Traci & Lyn.                     Breakfast at Sancerre
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There’s really no point sheltering from the rain – we’re going to get wet !
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Time for a cake stop – is this a Chateaux or a Gateaux Tour ?
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The van becomes a helmet store.          Barry takes this high-viz lark seriously – even his nose becomes reflective !
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Our next stop is the fabulous Chateau at Chenonceau
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Inside the Chateau – and for those who couldn’t find the kitchens…
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The gorgeous flower displays upstairs in the Chateau
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Jim – what can we say? Only that Doug [see review Monte Carlo Tour 2012] now has competition !
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Drinks at Amboise
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Pizza in Amboise                                                                                Breakfast in Amboise
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We visit the Chateau & Park of Clos Luce – Rita & John – Lyn & Ted
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Tapestry inside the Chateau and outside we discover a rare species of camouflage biker…
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Sue & Martin                                                            Gordon demonstrates the Archimedes Screw
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Inside the first Tank
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We’ll never let you run out of fuel                         Keith gives Gordon a hand to take off his waterproofs!
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Drinks before dinner on our last night at Bagnoles de l’Orne
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Speeches during dinner at the Casino
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Breakfast at Bagnoles de l’Orne
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Sunshine at last !!!  The view over the lake from our hotel
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Our final briefing before heading back to the port – and the bike made it this time!! [see WW2 2012 review!]
 
A fabulous tour, another great bunch of people provided fun throughout – despite the rain !!
Good riding by everyone – we look forward to seeing many of you again on future tours.
Thanks to all, John & Jen.