20th January 2010 Sainte Cyprien to Monbazillac

20 01 2010

After a rainy night we got up and went for a decent walk in Sainte Cyprien, up behind the chapel that sits on the hill and through the narrow pathways with houses arranged in no order whatsoever. We hung around for a while, me filling our water tank with water from the outlet via a watering can and Lorna preparing our lunch of Heinz tomato soup and bread. Then we drove to Soirac en Perigord to see the man about the computer. As I thought, the hard drive was completely FUBAR! So we took it away, with me resigned to having no laptop for the remainder of our six month trek. Lorna does have a laptop but the screen is so small it makes it difficult to edit photos on, plus it has no photo editing software on it.

So, I have potentially lost all the original copies of photos taken so far, all of my music back up, my point of interest files for the sat nav and some instructions for our gas system. Of course it may be possible to recover some of these but I doubt it. Great! Thanks Hewlett Packard for a great reliable product!

I decided to see if there was any chance of getting the laptop to a repair centre in France, thinking that if there was one South of us I could take it there myself on our way. A friend in the UK provided telephone numbers for me which was much appreciated but to be frank, Hewlett Packard customer service was awful. I tried to explain my situation to the ‘person’ on the other end of the line, explaining in great but concise detail that I was in France with a UK bought machine, under warranty, that needed urgent repair, was there somewhere I could take it? All I got back was PC World, Dixons or Currys. I explained again that those shops do not exist in France and that as they sell macines there, there must be a repair centre. PC World, Dixons or Currys was all that I got back, the person no doubt in Bangladesh, was simply didn’t have the knowledge to help and eventually put the phone down on me.

Thanks again Hewlett Packard, great service, great product……does anyone sense sarcasm and frustration here?

So, the upshot is that I shall continue to use the WordPress app on my iTouch to blog each day and upload from the iTouch whenever I get an Internet connection, but I am unable to edit and get my photos online. This now means that I shall have to fill up a CF card with photos, manually cataloguing them as I go, then buy a new CF card, storing the full ones for editing when I get back to the UK in June. Hardly ideal that is it? If anyone has any better suggestions please let me know!!

Off the computer subject for the moment.

We drove from Soirac en Perigord toward Bergerac and then took a slight detour to Monbazillac where we used a France Passion site for the first time.

We pulled up at what appeared to be a small warehouse bang in the middle of fields and fields of grape vines. Not long after a very friendly chap arrived and explained to Lorna where we should park, where the disposal points were and then invited us for aperatifs at 6pm.

The aperatifs turned into a bit of a wine tasting session and we tried the owners full range of wines. The father of the owner of the vineyard, Fabrice Camus, spoke only in French but I understand more than I can speak so I gathered that the wine has makes there, with his son, is not sold in any supermarkets but only from his vineyard.

It had the feel of a little cottage industry. Four generations of his family had grown grapes and made wine in the same place and the wines were really nice, I didn’t care for the red much but the white and rose were excellent, especially the rose which I am drinking as I type this.

He was saying, whilst showing us photos of barbeques with up to 15 motorhomes parked on his land, that he has had five motorhomes himself, and in the main season he has loads of motorhomers turning up.

Obviously a very proud man and rightly so.




3 responses

21 01 2010

You’ve painted a great picture of that excellent night at the vinyard – no photos required! Good luck with getting some useable workaround for the laptop.

21 01 2010
David Turner

Sorry all is not going completely to plan – I’ll bet you’re thanking your lucky stars for Lorna’s linguistic skills. I hope that you’re able to come up with satisfactory solution to the laptop problem but, so long as you’ve got your iTouch and CF cards you’ll muddle through. Have a glass of wine…

21 01 2010

hey steve. that computer shit is awful. only a suggestion, but how about sending it back to the uk to me repairs carried out and sent back to a pick up point for you. havent got a clue what that might involve but i’d do whatever i could from this end mate…

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