Writer and blogger Will Hatton recently visited our beautiful Chateau Chamborigaud. He’s kindly taken the time to write us a blog about his experiences – when he finally got there, that is…
This couldn’t be right. Surely I had turned the wrong way? The drive had been a nightmare, my brain was frazzled and my eyes sore. This was the first time I had ever driven on the ‘right’ side of the road and I had made more than a couple of mistakes. My girlfriend stirred. Anxious not to awaken the sleeping dragon, for she was still pretty angry at me for getting us lost, I continued down the narrow track hewn into the landscape. I just had to hope I was going the right way, as even a 1,000 point turn here would be nearly impossible.
We crawled through the forest, the trees slowly peeling back to reveal a truly stunning site. Manicured hedges lined a gravelly path up to the ancient oak door of the castle to end all castles. Fountains tinkled gently in the grounds, leaping cherubs keeping a watchful eye over the emerald green lawns and a truly enticing swimming pool. Towers spiralled into the sky like outstretched fingers, curved windows offered tantalising glimpses into the interior.
I parked and was instantly met by the kindly caretaker, Rodney, who showed me inside. We walked through a massive kitchen and past a bonafide suit of armour into the main living room. It was huge and decked out with plush furniture, a flashy chandelier and velvet cushions. We followed Rodney up a spiralling tower staircase to the top floor where we were shown to an incredible bedroom with the biggest bathroom I have ever seen.
Rodney left us and we set to exploring the castle like a couple of kids; discovering half a dozen hidden rooms in an unoccupied wing of the building. We took to the grounds, poured a couple of glasses of wine and sat by the pool soaking up the last rays of the sun.
The next day, we followed Rodney’s advice and set to exploring the local area. We drove past quaint shops and through tiny villages, snacking on tasty meals and enjoying some of the local wines. We passed rolling hills, ancient churches and sprawling farm buildings; all beautiful and seemingly frozen in time.
The french countryside stretched away in the distance, unlike anything I have seen before. I have hiked through the Nepalese himalayas, cut a path through the Amazon rainforest and conquered numerous mountains and yet… there truly is something special about Southern France. It is quiet, peaceful, and lost in time.
And staying in a castle?
Well… it doesnt get much better than that! Even us adventurers need a holiday every now and again!
About Will Hatton: Writer and photographer. Adventurer and vagabond. Master of the handstand pushup. Conqueror of mountains, survivor of deserts and crusader for cheap escapades. Will is an avid hitch-hiker, couch-surfer and bargain-seeker. He is a devout follower of the High Temple of Backpackistan and the proud inventor of the man-hug. Will blogs over at The Broke Backpacker about his adventures around the world, you can follow him on Facebook and on Twitter or, if you’re really friendly, hunt him down on the road for a cheeky pint.