The Voyages of de Villehardouin - Cruising French Waterways

The Voyages of de Villehardouin - Cruising French Waterways

Author: Valerie Helps

Publisher: Vanguard Press

ISBN: 178465454X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 286

View: 310

Not many in late middle age realise their dream of living on a canal boat and exploring the waterways of France. Even fewer anticipate the problems that might confront them on their adventure into 'the unknown'. Valerie and Geoffrey buy their boat which they christen "de Villehardouin" and set off on the Canal du Midi, drawing and writing about their journey as they meander along the two hundred year old canal. They revel in the slow pace as they enter a world of welcoming ports, canalside markets, ancient sites and chateaux, delicate wildflowers and, in the Camargue, medieval jousting and pink flamingos. The various regional cuisines introduce them to gastronomic delights and memorable wines. Tackling the mighty Rhône River with its awesome deep locks in their small boat presents a challenge. Valerie and Geoffrey accept this with their usual humour. Once the Rhône is conquered, they find time to enjoy the ever-changing scenery of the canals as the dream unfolds.

The Silent Towers Speak

The Silent Towers Speak

Author: Valerie Helps

Publisher: Vanguard Press

ISBN: 1784659770

Category: Peloponnesus (Greece : Peninsula)

Page: 287

View: 113

THE SILENT TOWERS SPEAK - Secrets of the Deep Mani ARTWORK VALERIE HELPS AND GEOFFREY BULL The Silent Towers Speak is Valerie's third illustrated book. It tells of her exciting life exploring a remote region of the southern Peloponnese with her partner, Geoffrey. This book, based on her journals, was written before she left Greece for France to cruise the French waterways on their canal boat; their story, The Voyages of de Villehardouin, was published in 2018. This was followed by A Third of a Pond published in 2020, describing their idyllic life in rural France and the restoration of a two-hundred-year-old farmhouse with its neglected garden. Join Valerie in the remote and barren region of the Deep Mani - a land of savage history where fleeing Spartans in the eighteenth century built their fortified villages and soaring feudal towers in the southernmost part of the Peloponnese. Valerie and Geoffrey find the harbour in Homer's mythological Odyssey where Ulysses loses twelve of his fleet to the cannibalistic Laestrygonian giants, locate crumbling Frankish castles and Nestor's Palace, enjoy an evening at the ancient theatre of Epidaurus, swim in the Messenian Gulf and live life to the full.