Overton’s visit to La Murette 2009

During the week we are transported by two mini buses and fed breakfast, picnic lunch and evening meal, and the cost to us is our flights which we try to book by February to get the best deal, we flew into Geneva last year.

The party that made the trip to France in 2009 included several new faces from the village. They will all tell you they had a wonderful and varied visit, the whole week packed with amazing food, drink and trips. These included a welcome bar, a barbeque with over 50 villagers from La Murette, a visit and wine tasting session at a vineyard, a mountain stroll with picnic, a hair raising expedition to 'GO APE' - a tree climbing experience for the active and the kids, for the others a leisurely cruise with buffet lunch on a vast lake which took over 2 hours to navigate in wonderful sunny conditions.

We visited a silk worm museum and an illuminating insight to the 'Lumiere Brothers' museum in Lyon; they were amongst the first pioneers in film making. We then had a few shopping /cafe hours in the centre of Lyon. The final day was spent at a grand lake where we had the luxury of sitting and reading or participating in canoeing, kayaking and swimming alongside the joys of eating and drinking. There were several evenings at home where friends just relax with food and wine and the kids play. The village is similar to Overton with a footy pitch and tennis courts.

The highlight of the week came when we visited a very up-market restaurant. We were served a delightful seven course meal with wine, very grand for some of us who are used to a good curry on a Saturday night!!!!

One evening we went to the home of Anne and Aimee Cholet, just outside of La Murette. They prepared a hog roast which included two whole pigs and a deep fat fryer! The kids were thrilled to be having chips. During the evening the children performed a bi-lingual show, the ages of the children ranging from 4 to16.

 

The 2009 travellers to La Murette were

  • Karen and Nick Harrison
  • Jack and Beth Harrison
  • Diane and Chloe Malam
  • Catherine and George Starkey
  • Glynis and Alan Farley
  • Geoff and Georgina Mason
  • Kathryn Crockford
  • Lynn and John Sankey
  • Samantha and Poppy Bateman
  • Tony and Shelagh Kokic
  • Cameron, Alex and Frazer Kokic
  • Stephen Sorfleet

Any one of us will be willing to chat to you about the group.

Georgina’s Account  of the Mason’s Cycling Trip to La Murette 2009

Geoff and I arrived back from France on Friday evening after a very good trip. (Sorry to hear that bad weather at Geneva delayed the group's return flight until a very unsociable hour of the morning) I'm not exactly missing the bike and the daily routine but it was a very successful trip with no major mishaps though seven punctures was a bit out of order. Normally one might expect a couple. Geoff's explanation was the weight on his back wheel which was indeed considerable. He carried a bigger tent than the minute one we'd used on the Madrid trip but it was well worth it for the extra (just enough for two just in case anyone is visualising a marquee) space. 

We cycled 1740 kilometres in the end (we had 1200 on the t shirts which represents a more or less direct line between the villages). Because we were a bit ahead of schedule we added a detour into the Massif Central. On the return we got the train to Tours (on the Loire) and cycled the last 340kms to Le Havre. 

We stayed one night in a Youth Hostel, one with friends in Wiltshire (thanks to Mike and Meg for the fantastic welcome and delicious meals), five nights in hotels, seven in La Murette and fifteen in the tent. Hotels in France are amazing value. The cheapest was 47 euros for the room (not including breakfast). However, as cyclists need a fuller breakfast than the French normally eat the system suited us well. Like a couple of horses we tucked into our troughs of oats, fruit and other bits and pieces which powered us for the morning's riding.

Geoff did a great job choosing our route nearly always on small quiet roads and he spent time every evening fine-tuning it, choosing river valleys where possible to make things a bit easier. Carrying bags adds considerably to the effort required especially up hills but at least the load wasn't on our backs like a couple of other cyclists we met. Carrying weight on the bike rather than on one's person is much more efficient. However because of the lack of carriers on pared-down mountain bikes (the least amount possible of stuff that could catch mud) you do see people struggling with the load on their poor backs. By the time we got to the Massif Central I was much fitter and managed the hills much more easily than I'd done at the start. Drivers are still amazingly considerate towards cyclists and most gave us a wide berth. 

Our Twinning partners in La Murette gave us a great welcome. We were presented with a Tour de France umbrella and Geoff's birthday cake had cyclist figures as decoration. Some people are even considering cycling up here maybe next year. 
We had a marvellous week with the usual packed and varied programme of interesting activities and visits. It was a great delight to renew old acquaintances, to make new friends and to get to know everyone in the Overton group. A big thank you to Cath and George, who carried a suitcase of our more respectable clothes, and to Sheila for taking the gift. Congratulations to Catharine who was the star of the Accrobranche (treewalking and zip wires through the forest). 

Consider going for a cycle ride sometime soon; it really is a great way to see the countryside.