I had decided that this trip was going to be a solitary one. I’ve not been approached by anyone who wasn’t after something, and the people I’ve approached have either recoiled in horror at this massive Welsh man or thought I was after something.

So last night came as a pleasant surprise. As Ted Simon says traveling on your own means that you are easily approachable, and as you travel around the world you find yourself in situations that would never occur if you were in a group. Up to this point I’ve only seen the negative side of that, but the last but one night before I get home I meet Raymond.

Raymond adopted me as I finished my meal at a wonderful little bar in La Couronne, he talked to me in broken English about his life, his love of wine and his time in the French Foreign Legion. I ate it up. What a wonderful man, full of color and history. Finally he invited me back to his house to drink some ‘real’ wine, not the wonderful wonderful glass already sitting on the table I’d enjoyed with my meal.

We got back to his place which contained, amongst other things, a full suite of armor, a full size bar, and a store of wine that would make many Lord of the Manor’s hang their head in shame at their multi million pound collections. As he opened a bottle I found my heart beat quicken as I realised I was going to drink a glass of 150 wine…. Raymond knows the chap who owns the vineyard and keeps a stock in, as you do.

Wow, if anyone ever tells you that cheap wine tastes the same as expensive wine slap them around the head and tell them not to be so stupid. Come to Bordeaux and drink the cheap wine here,  then try the good stuff and by God you’ll nearly cry with delight.

Last night was wonderful, I was taught about wine by a Frenchman from the Bordeaux region who has spent his life in the Foreign Legion and growing the vines that make this nectar.

I couldn’t persuade him to sell  me a bottle but he has given me the address of the vineyard and the owners name, I may make a detour home. He did however give me a World War 2 (early) French Army helmet to go with my British one, I tried very hard not to take it but pushed it as far as I could before it become a problem that I wasn’t taking it.

Raymond, thank you, what a wonderful evening.