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Saturday, 28 May 2011

Good holidays





Waking up without the alarm is the first treat of being on holiday and in the Blue Bus it is easy to enjoy our first mug of tea while gradually waking up, as the kettle is almost within arms reach of the beds.

Here in Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne, after washing a few clothes out and emptying the waste tank of the toilet, we popped into the town to buy bread and had a leisurely breakfast back at the camp site in the sunshine.

We slipped in to our cycling shorts and after a couple of hours are ready to set off on the days cycle ride; Saturday was Argentat and back, a 50 kms ride along the Dordogne, returning on the opposite bank, Sunday was to Carennac, only around 35 kms.

We feel like we have been the stars in a French cycling advert; highlights of the last two days included:
  • Standing on the different bridges over the Dordogne watching scores of House Martins catching insects on the wing and having time to watch the Crag Martins swoop in and feed their young, who were using the very ornate carvings on the doorway of the church in Carennac as useful resting posts as they learned to fly.
  • Stopping to inhale the scent from the many fields of walnut trees.
  • Chatting to an amiable French man about dams and water, who made no allowance for our poor language skills and understanding about one word in three.
  • Eating ice creams in a cafe in Argentat with a view over the river to egg-shell blue shuttered stone houses with balconies laden with red geraniums.
  • Cycling through tiny villages of pretty houses, all built from local stone, with wooden shutters, attic windows in the roof and deep pink roses growing around the door.
  • Surrounded by fields of wheat, watching the Black Kites circle slowly overhead.
  • Stumbling upon a Brocante, a French car boot sale; we resisted buying any of the stuff, including old metal tractor seats and chipped Pernod jugs.
On Saturday evening we found a bar in town to watch Manchester United be beaten very convincingly by Barcelona.

On Sunday it was hot enough to use the camp site swimming pool before planning the next few days; its time to move on and it is forecast to be sunny around the Loire, so we'll point the Blue Bus in that direction.

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