ESU Treasure Hunt

Colin and Dorothy Morison

We both so enjoyed our first experience of Terence’s Treasure Hunt last year, we just knew we were going to have a stimulating and fun afternoon when we gathered in the car park at Super‑U in Corzé on Saturday 10 September. Yet again, Terence succeeded in producing a stimulating and challenging course.

Thirty-seven people in 11 cars in teams of 2, 3, or 4 set out from the car park in excellent Treasure Hunt weather. There was a really good mix of French and English, with Italy, Canada and America represented too - forgive me if I have missed any other nationalities. Although the start and finish points were separated by only 6 kilometres, our clues took us through three villages and hamlets full of architectural delights, such as the Château du Verger undergoing a splendid restoration; history recorded on plaques in and around churches or chapels; a ferry and a dolmen; all in the most unexpected places. The terrain de Boudré looked exceptionally interesting and deserves another visit as does the museum in the Château at Villevêque. The clues sometimes surprise one as the answers range from a musket on a weather-cock to numbers on an old car registration plate. There was only one answer that we didn't debate and that was one we got wrong: I spotted a sage bush inside the gate of the Chapel St. Julien at La Roche-Foulques so I convinced the team that it fulfilled the criteria of the clue. I had ignored the fact that it was not exactly at the entry so totally missed the artichoke!

All the teams met up sometimes which is reassuring as you know you can't be far wrong and shows how well planned the Treasure Hunt is. Terence ensures that adequate parking is available at all clue points and whilst some involve a short walk it is never too far and the car will not inconvenience other road users or be in a dangerous spot.

Amazingly we all finished in time and headed the short distance to the Restaurant de la Guinguette du Moulin de la Boire in Soucelles. We had drinks outside on the terrace whilst marking began and then went inside for the meal. The restaurant building was really interesting with views out over the millstream to the Château that had been our final clue. We had musical entertainment and then the winners were announced. The winning team comprised three French members, François, his father Jacques, Séverine, and British member, Pauline. François, Jacques and Séverine are all relatively new members and it was Séverine’s first experience of an ESU meeting so the result could be classed as beginner’s luck!

They each received a bottle of Saumur brut, as did Terence, as a thank you for the time taken researching the course and preparing the clues.

Thanks also should go to the ESU committee for their work: typing, checking and all the other admin jobs that mean they cannot take part. And I think we probably all prefer taking part, enjoying the fun and experiencing new sights.