Jill, I've put off responding to your post, thinking I was finally going to file my trip report. We were on this tour May 1 - 13 of this year. We followed it with about 3 weeks of travel on our own, and another RSE tour, so we only got home about 12 days ago. I allow myself at least a week of recovery time, 10 days if possible.
But this year has been, ... ummm, ... more challenging than usual, so I'm woefully behind in my reporting. I do think maybe this afternoon I can start my trip reports. Of course, I thought that two days ago, and then yesterday... Each day has brought more surprises and setbacks.
Nothing majorly bad, but...
However, I will say that I did enjoy this tour very much. I'm reviewing my notes, and hope to have something interesting or useful to say.
Hotels? They were all fine; there was something to like about each of them. Our favorite was probably the Diderot in Chinon, small, intimate, with great owners and lovely breakfasts.
Favorite tour meal? Probably the cassoulet in Carcassonne, at Le Patio.
Regrets? I wish I had done the canoe trip and walked across the Pont du Gard. We opted out of the bridge walk thinking the climb up and down would have been too hard for us, but in retrospect, we could have done it.
Other favorites? The cave painting tour was great, with a wonderful local guide who had many insights about the process. He raised points that we're still pondering.
Hope this helps, at least a bit. I truly will try to get my tour report filed in the next day or two.