Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Cycling, walking, chilling

Wednesday 9 May 2018 - Day 66

We’re still chilling out at Camping Beau Rivage by the Dordogne.  It’s been good for both of us to put down roots and do not much for a few days, particularly allowing Cathy to recover from the insect bites around her eyes.  She no longer looks like she’s been 5 rounds with Muhammad Ali! 

Yesterday I went for a bike ride around some of the villages and cycles lanes, while Cathy spent some time cleaning the van, changing bedding and sorting out.  It sounds like she got the bum deal, but she really does like me out of the way when she does her ‘van slavery’!  I took the road right out of the campsite, cycling along the D703, firstly through the village of Montfort, with its imposing castle on the rocks above the river, no doubt once belonging to Simon De Montfort, who was a ‘grande fromage’ in this area.  Following the road above the river, I carried on to the next village before reversing my route and taking the bridge across the river up the winding roads to the village of Domme.  This is another medieval fortified village on top of the cliffs above the valley, with narrow streets and half-timbered houses, surrounded by high stone walls and easily defendable gate houses.  It’s clearly made the most of the tourist trade and was busy on what is a public holiday in France - the anniversary of VE Day.  Through all the villages, the war memorials were the focus for ceremonies and they all had wreaths and bouquets, with many of the old boys wearing their medals and berets.  I hope they enjoyed the lunch - they certainly seemed to be!  

Down from Domme, I was back on the D703 past the campsite and onwards into the village of La Roque Gageac.  This beautiful village, on the banks of the Dordogne and built winding up and sometimes into the cliff face, is a favourite stop of ours and, given the public holiday, was very busy.  I cycled through and carried on to Tournepique, where I stopped to buy some bread and replenished with a can of orangina and a snickers bar.  Just outside the village I picked up one of the many cycle paths in France, well away from the main road, and cycled along through myriad walnut tree forests to reach the very peaceful village of Daglan, deep in the Perigord Nord countryside.  Another quintessential French village, the local bistro/cafe was doing steady business and I sat on the opposite side for a drink of water, just chilling out.  My return route took me along the main roads back to the campsite.  A really enjoyable 40 mile ride that helped me clear my head.  We enjoyed our pork, vegetables and potato dinner (cooked in the Remoska) and spent the evening watching some TV series on the laptop.

Today we didn’t wake up until 1000, which meant I didn’t have a chance to pick up Cathy’s pre-ordered croissants before the campsite shop closed!  Still, we had some bread left from yesterday which toasted well.  It was a bit drizzly first thing but eventually it dried and we had a good walk (about 6 miles) around the country lanes, past lots more walnut trees, wild meadows and farms.  We even saw an otter floating around in a lake. There were also some lovely old, remote homes.  It’s so peaceful walking around the lanes here.  Tonight’s dinner is a curry, again cooked in the ever-useful Remoska, then perhaps a bit more TV series watching, while we have electric hook up (and we’ll charge up all the gadgetry overnight).  We’re moving on tomorrow, with only a few days before we start a week’s house sit near Bourganeuf, not far from Limoges.  

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