Today is going to be an uneventful day because I am leaving Amboise and driving to Brantôme for the next leg of my road trip through France. I have nearly 180 miles of mostly D-roads ahead and according to the SatNav it should take me about four hours to get there.

Time to pack and take a few photographs for my honest hotel review of this beautiful manor house which was my home for the past couple of days. Before that though, I need to say my goodbyes to Isabelle – the lady who is in charge here and who is the best hostess I have ever come across.

MORE: Le Manoir Saint Thomas in Amboise – an honest hotel review

This is my fifth day driving through France and I need to vent my confusion/frustration over French speed limits. They seem to change for no obvious reasons and they vary quite a bit too. Not to mention the fact that driving on these roads is much slower than driving on the equivalent roads in the UK. Not sure why that is because the roads here are in much better condition than those back home.

So, if you are French or know anything about French speed limits, please feel free to leave a comment and enlighten me.

Crying my eyes out, wishing I was with my partner

Back on with today and here’s what I wrote in my diary:

I had a good cry along the way as the scenery 50 miles from Brantôme brought back memories of past holidays and driving though these very spots with my partner. I knew I was going to have a breakdown and, in a way, that was the reason for this trip but that doesn’t make it any better and easier to overcome. It highlighted the fact that I will never get over my partner’s death. Not in a hurry, anyway.

I felt empty and alone. Isolated too in my little bubble of a world. Driving round each bend (and there were many of them), I had the urge to be dead and reunited with my partner again. Strange feeling given that I thought I dealt with these emotions a while ago. I guess they will come and go.

As soon as I saw the sign for Brantôme, I felt really apprehensive and quite scared being here on my own. The drive to the hotel, which is less than a couple of minutes, felt very strange. My partner took me to this town on our first holiday to France. We were renting a gite nearby and this was our “discovery”. I remember it so well!

I would give everything to experience that again! I remember that we parked out of the town centre and walked. We then went and had coffee here, at Le Moulin de l’Abbaye! This time, I decided to stay here for a few nights and relive these special memories albeit on my own.

MORE: Le Moulin de l’Abbaye in Brantôme, France – an honest hotel review

A soon as I checked in and settled, I went for an evening walk round town. It was very peaceful and very different from how I remembered it. After that I ordered room service for supper – a platter with a selection of local delicacies and a cold beer. It was an appetising selection of cured meats, salad, gherkins and delicious bread bites.

That’s about it for Day 5 of my road trip through France. I am excited about tomorrow and can’t wait to take you with me. Until then, I leave you with a Google Map of my journey from Amboise to Brantôme:

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