Labour Weekend newsletter – cycling, walking & calendars

Bonjour tout le monde,
We trust you are enjoying the great weather over the long weekend.  We’ve been sweltering down here in Port Chalmers and getting out into the garden although there are some grey clouds on the horizon …….
The brochures and 2020 prices for our Backroad Discovery cycling and walking holidays are now updated and available as pdf files or printed copies by snail mail, so contact us if you want a self-guided holiday in France.  We’ve dropped some routes and added several new ones, including some “daisy” cycling programes from Chablis, Colmar, Saint Malo and La Rochelle.   These are 3-4 night holidays based at one hotel, so no daily packing, and they can be combined with other lineal routes for a longer cycling holiday.
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We have eight self-guided walking holidays, some of which can be combined – in Alsace that can become a 3 week programme.  In Burgundy we’ve introduced a new walk from Macon, which takes you over gorgeous rolling countryside through vineyards, woodlands and fields, visiting chateaux, a world famous abbey and a prehistoric site with a museum. This is a lovely walking holiday with daily luggage transfers, covering 20-23kms per day, and staying in 3 &4 star hotels.  All dinners are included and, being Burgundy, the wines will be memorable.
The Walking Party are also offering some new walking weeks (fully escorted and all-inclusive) in the Dordogne-Lot (9 May), Massif Central (23 May) and Georgia (3 October)!  We don’t yet have detailed itineraries but the first offers relatively flat walks along the valley and features the strawberry festival in Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne.  The second features the Transhumance festival in Aubrac where the cows are blessed before heading up to the higher pastures, & also includes meals at three Michelin starred restaurants!  The third tour is in Georgia, about which we know little, but James tells us the walk will “concentrate on the cultural elements of Georgia without the mountains (wine, gastronomy, ballet, polyphonic singing, bread making, cave cities, abbeys etc).”   James is currently leading a private group in Umbria but promises to send more details on his return home in November.
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In the meantime we have his 2020 schedule and prices, which are largely unchanged, so get in touch if you would like to indulge yourselves on one of James’ exceptional walking weeks.   The popular St James Way walks are scheduled to start on 6 September (from Le Puy) and 12 September (from Figeac), plus James is again joining up with our favourite barge, the Luciole, for a walking-barging week in Burgundy, along the Nivernais Canal, starting on 31 May.
Our 2020 tour to Scotland-France is on track with all the accommodation secured, including the cabins on the Lord of the Glens.  There has been a lot of interest and some flattering feedback on the unique itinerary.  The dates are 22 September to 11 October when temperatures in Catalonia should be comfortable – it reached 38ºC when we visited in September this year.  The price is 8695 Euros per person, share twin.  Only share twin this year as there are no spare cabins on Lord of the Glens, nor at the hotel in Colintraive, or  the house in Collioure.  The tour is guaranteed departure and we have places for four more people, so please get in touch if you would like a brochure.
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Lastly, the FRANCE 2020 calendars need to be ordered before 8 November, so get back to me asap if you would like a copy.  Now we only take pre-orders and do not order any extra copies for general sale.  Delivery is 3-4 weeks and the price remains at $32 incl. post and packing.
A bientot
Robert & Barbara
BESPOKE FRANCE
Robert Buchanan & Barbara Keen
52 George St, PORT CHALMERS 9023, NZ
ph (64) 03 472 7856,  freephone (NZ) 0800 147 856