Do you know where the Pilat regional park is ? It’s a natural park located between St-Etienne and Annonay, South of the Loire County, nearby Ardèche and Isère.
The Loire tourism office and the Pilat one were organising, with the igers St Etienne community, a day trip to discover and visit the Pilat area, with a few tasting included. All of this was organised for the instagram community (my account here )
I’ve been to these kind of events in the past (a fantastic Blueberry harvest in Forez, and a great snow day), and these 2 experience were awesome !
And for this new event, the theme was : MOPED !!!!
I’ve always dreamt to ride a moped and own one but never did (being epileptic when I was a kid, of course, I wasn’t allowed to 🙁 ) So when I saw that that day trip would be about riding a moped and explore the area, I was so excited, and made sure I would be available for this event. 🙂
I live 2 hours drive away from the Pilat, but really, to meet a group of instagramers, travelers and curious people like me, it was ohhhh soooo worthhhh it ! I’ve spent the day meeting people, discovering places, learning new things and tasting yummy food, and in between this, riding a moped to go from here to there. HELL YEAH, I’ve loved it !
And as usual, the organisers were just really good at planning that day : everyminute was awesome !
If only every tourism bureau could work as well and promote as well their territories just like they do, the rural world and small business will appreciate !
So thanks again for this awesome day and bravo for your amazing work !
Between my desire to really enjoy the day, and my will to take pretty photos I’ve decided to try to do both : I’ll enjoy the day and chill, but will not take 20 pounds of photo gear with me, but only my small camera and only work with my 50mm lense (ok I took another cheap one too). Visiting the Pilat park, but most of all enjoy the sun on my face, the wind in my hair, and enjoy the view first…. and then, take photos…
I really suggest you try this experience, go and visit the Pilat. Memories are to be lived to exist… photos is just a way to remind you of them.
So, are you ready ? Grab your helmet, and LET’S GOOOOOOOOOOO !!!!
Exploring the Pilat on a vintage moped !
Early morning, we grabbed our vintage moped at L’Echappées Brelles , in Bourg Argental (their Facebook), and after a short lesson to learn how to deal with these old ladies, we were ready to ride ! (these vintage moped are older than me ! )
Let’s go to Les Bonbons de Julien, a candy maker in Bourg Argental too, for a little visit of their kitchen, and of course, a tasting ! ( their Facebook page here)
Oh since I am a wedding photographer, and you may be a couple about to get married : you’ll find in that shop a huge bunch of yummy candies and colorful treat for your guest, or for your decoration (candy bar anyone ?)
These are locally made, natural without any chemical colors or whatever bad chemical things you’ll find in supermarket. These candies here are local and natural, and YUMMY !
The Candy chef was really great at explaining things, I guess he was also pretty awesome with kids, regarding the way he behaved and explained everything. It was great to have him tell us about his work and how candy were made, I really recommend a visit. (to learn, to see and to taste…. and smell too because the smell there was delicious !) 🙂
And seeing how stripes on berlingot were made,
C’était ptêtre moins drôle pour lui par contre, d’être entouré par notre équipe de paparazzis 🙂
And then, something magic happened : I FINALLY get to understand how stick were put in lollypops ! (that’s this old machine’s job !)
Another childhood wonder that found its answer that day 🙂
Some funny photos before we hit the road again !
And then, we rode our vintage moped to Ferme du Prince, in Colombier.
The road goes up the hill, and I just notice that you need to pedal the moped if you want it to keep working (and my cardio went up the hill too !) 🙂
Laughing my guts out everytime someone passed me, and looking at the smile of the car drivers who saw us was worth the experience too ! 🙂
So it was the perfect timing for me to jump off my moped and give it to another driver, and seat in a car to take photos, pretending I’m a famous Tour de France journalist 🙂 (at least I tried ! 🙂 )
The landscape was beautiful, and so was the road 🙂
ferme du Prince is a farm that raise “highland cattle” and pigs for delicatessen.
I love deli ! When I was living in USA that’s the thing I missed the most -with bread. Since I’ve been living in Central france, I’ve mange to meet more local producer, farmers, and understand now what kind of junk food they sell in supermarket, under the name of delicatessen. It has nothing to do anymore with the original taste.
So here, no additional ingredients. This is pure, this is natural, this is hand-made, and very local.
And this is extraordinary good !
Tasting was mandatory, and visiting the fields with the cows and later on with the pigs, was a must, in order to discover how passionate these people are with their work, and their animals. No extra fancy things, just simple and good (and that’s exactly how I like things !) 🙂
Once again, after this visit I think I’m going to have a hard time to buy deli at the grocery store from big brands… Local producers can do this so much better.
So I had to bring some souvenir in my bag 😉
And then, an hilarious thing happened : on our way to the pigsty, me in a car, at the end of the moped group, our group or riders was far from each other, and the last one didn’t see the right turn the others did and kept driving to the wrong direction.
“Should we follow him and try to let him know it’s the wrong direction, or will he see, at some point, that he’s trying to reach a group in front that is not in front ?” 🙂
We decided to follow him, laughing so hard, and trying to honk intensively to make him understadn “hey there, it’s not this way, come back to us, we go the other way !” 🙂
But nope, he didn hear us, too focused on the road and the pretty landscape. In the end, it took us 5 big minutes, until he noticed us, when he stopped at a crossroad. An attempt to escape that failed, well played but try again Mister 🙂
We laughed so much at this ! But I totally can relate to his feeling of freedom and being so in love with the surrounding landscape… that’s how I felt again as soon as I sat back on my vintage ride ! 🙂
Ok now, do you want to see the pigs ?
Once again, that was interesting to learn about how they are raised, because indeed, since we eat some food, I think it’s important to know where it comes from, and learn from the worker and career people have doing this kind of job. 🙂
And that was only the beginning of the day ! Amazing !
Hop, let’s jump on our vintage moped again, a smile up to my ears, a beautiful weather, and an amazing view.
It was even more enjoyable since this time, the road went down the hills ! 🙂
On our way to ferme des Grillons for lunch, but on our way, we laughed, we tried to pass in front of each other, and we took photos of course !
The road is diving, between woods, and view points, to pretty houses, I love to drive and driving a moped, now I know it, is even more enjoyable ! 🙂
Tears on my eyes, but only because of the wind 😉
La ferme des Grillons is a guest house table d’hote. Local food, from their garden and field, delicious !
They also produce crickets (“grillon” in French). They were on the meny but as much as I love to travel and curious to learn and see things, when it comes to food, I’m not an adventurer. So I skipped my turn. 🙂
A few minutes to enjoy the fresh air outside, and have a look at the place and decoration, and then, hop on the road again ! 🙂
and that will be our last stop of our trip in Pilat, Domaine Farjon, is a vineyard, and we, of course, visit the place and taste the wines ! (Facebook page here )
With a very pretty view on Pilat and the “3 dents” (3 teeth) 🙂
On our way back, we stopped in the vines to have a look at the view… that’s the end of the day and the sun feels warm on our face, delightful !
Malleval, a pretty village down the hill
And here are already the last kilometers ! The sun goes down, and we are on our way back to Bourg Argental, a smile on our face (and flies too ! 🙂 )
An awesome day, in a landscape that was equally awesome. That’s these kind of trips that makes me love a bit more what I do and who I am : curious to discover and explore new places, to meet new people and to learn and share this experience and this trip here and there.
I now have the feeling I know a bit more the Pilat area after such a lovely day, and I just can’t wait to be back there (and WANT to drive a vintage moped again !). That experience was way above my expectations and a vintage moped is really an awesome way to visit a new place : easy, no intense activity required (but a little bit of effort still, sometimes, let’s be honest here), funny, and not dangerous, well depends how you drive though 🙂
That’s something I really hope to do again someday, and will definitely look forward, when visiting a new area.
I can’t wait to be back in the Pilat Park too, that’s for sure !
You can have a look at the photos taken by other participants on their facebook or instagram account here :
Pilat parc régional, Loire Tourisme / En_Instantané / Jcg48 / Amiga de la foto / Blandinette 42 /Leszed / Remybobphotography / Georges Magand / Dine4285 / Mummumvf