Start point: school drop off.

Fifteen minute mark.

This is on the narrow street between the Château d’Amboise and the Clos Lucé. Up these steps you get to the plateau behind the château. You know, the place where Caesar’s Butte is.

I’m pleased to say I didn’t meet any hunters.

However, on the way back…


…more basket cases or buffoons in balloons, whichever…

Seriously, you’d have to be crazy to go up in one of those things. Cooped up like a chicken in a basket with a bunch of reckless and foolhardy tourists, some enormous propane tanks and a huge great burner hanging underneath a flimsy cloth envelope just begging to be engulfed in flames and send you plummeting to be impaled on that big spike on the top of the chapel.

One almost landed in our garden a few years ago. We were having breakfast and heard the burners going. We stepped out and saw the thing literally twenty meters away coming in very fast over the garden. The basket hit the top of our walnut tree, breaking a big branch, while we ran to the bottom of the garden to see if there would be any survivors.

The basket hit the ground and almost toppled over. The pilot hopped out and ran over to reassure us (yeah, right…) and apologise for breaking our tree. He told us he purposefully ran into the tree to slow down. Enough said.

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