Day 35 – Monday 11-08-08
Overnight the rain had returned & the day started wet with the odd bright patch. So after me morning cuppa we both decided that we would spend the day just chilling out. Lucky for me by late morning the day was brightening up & the fishing tackle was out & raring to go. So after another swift cuppa I went exploring on one of the banks of the lake to see what fish were about.
Sonia had decided to stay at home (well we do live in our motorhome) & catch up on some reading.
After negotiating some woodland I found a nice spot to fish which was on the other side of the lake to where we were parked. Shortly after casting into the water more rain came down but at least it was only a very short shower. Shortly after the rain had gone I hooked my 1st fish of the day. By the time I had finished fishing for the day I had bagged another 5 Roach & polly was more than needed to supply me with a very well deserved cuppa. The afternoon & evening had been dry & quite warm but the clouds were once again beginning to arrive in the evening sky. We had another quiet & peaceful night here & I was looking forward to perhaps another day’s fishing.
Day 36 – Tuesday 12-08-08
Overnight not only did we have torrential rain but high winds had also accompanied the rain.
So after a peaceful night’s kip my day of fishing was looking very bleak. After polly was on & getting ready to supply with me morning cuppa the weather was showing no signs of easing up.
By 11 am we had both decided that we might as well move on as the weather was still a mixture of torrential rain & high winds. So no fishing for me to day & a drive to Felletin was on the agenda.
Felletin is a nice little village & worth stopping at just to stretch the legs & of course have a cuppa.
From there we headed for the World’s Tapestry Capital, Aubusson. We found the Aires no: 39 page 165 (if you have the all the aires France book or sat nav co-ordinates N45º.57.407 E002º.10.514 for Google earth). Well what can we say? To get to the aires is probably easier if you’re coming from Gueret or south on the D990 if not then you’re in for some fun. As we came from Felletin we came into Aubusson with the Intermarche supermarket on our left hand side. You then drive past the Tapestry Museum & approach a roundabout; at this roundabout you’ll just about see the motorhome parking sign, if you not just take the 1st exit to your right & then you’ll be faced with a split road.
You have to take the right hand fork as it’s a one way system. When you first look at the road you’ll probably think, they’ve got to be joking. Just as long as you are in a motorhome under 3.5t & under 4.0m high & no more than 3m wide you’ll get through without any problems.
Get through without any problems, well it is a one way street what problems could you have?
We drove up the hill around the narrow bend & then came across some workmen right on the corner. Well I couldn’t get past & there was no pavement to drive on so I had to sit & wait until they came back & moved their barriers & cones as there was the wall of a house sticking out & I couldn’t get around their work stuff. Mind you I will say that the long trail of traffic behind me was pretty patient as they could see the problem ahead. After that was out the way you then come down the hill turn right at the end of the road & you’ll see the aires part way up the hill on your right.
So here we are in the Tapestry Capital of the World & we are taking a look around. Well all we can say is that if you don’t need to go to Aubusson, then don’t. In our opinion it’s the worst place we have been to so far in France. It’s dirty, the pavements are covered in dog mess, Aubusson is just crap. It definitely wasn’t a place for us & in our opinion we thought it was a filthy hole.
We were soon glad to be back in our motorhome & heading for Jarnages. On the way we did briefly stop at Cressat which is a lovely little village & the Aires no: 2 page 156 (if you have the all the aires France book or sat nav co-ordinates N46º.08.382 E002º.06.604 for Google earth).
The aires is just past a large lake with children’s play area & picnic tables but there’s no fishing at the lake. There’s 5 parking places which are nicely laid out.
We arrived at Jarnages Aires no: 50 page 168 (if you have the all the aires France book or sat nav co-ordinates N46º.11.064 E002º.04.870 for Google earth) early evening. It felt great to be parked in a lovely little village with a lovely large lake to look at, peace, quiet & above all the place was clean. Shortly after arriving here polly was on & so was the dinner. After dinner we took a lovely stroll around the lake & through the village & the evening was dry, but windy. At this aires there is a tennis court, fishing lake which a permit is available from the local Tabac at a cost of €6 for the day or €3 for part of the day. The lake from what I can understand is stocked with good size Carp, Trout, Tench & other species. There is also a nice play area for children & some nice picnic spots. In our opinion this aires is well worth stopping at & it was peaceful & quiet at night. There were about 8 of us parked here for the night & the weather was starting to turn once again.
Day 37 – Wednesday 13-08-08
Once again high winds & rain overnight returned to plague us. After a seemingly peaceful night watching the rain falling & drinking me morning cuppa we decided it was time to move on. If the weather had been reasonable perhaps a day’s fishing was looking good but the rods had to stay packed away as more torrential rain fell from the sky. We headed for Montlucon as we needed a bit of shopping & it was on the way to our day’s destination of Neris Les Bains.
On the outskirts of Montlucon we found a nice lake to stop at & have a cuppa before heading into town. Once the cuppa was out the way we stopped at McDonalds to use their Wi-Fi to update the blog & catch up on some other bits & pieces. While parked there we saw 3 birds of prey circling & we managed to get a few photos of them, but they were not that clear. Montlucon is quite an interesting town but we soon moved on & headed for the thermal spa town of Neris Les Bains, Aires no: 93 page 178 (if you have the all the aires France book or sat nav co-ordinates N46º.17.201 E002º.39.144 for Google earth). The aires is well sign posted & all you do is follow the signs Camping du Lac & the aires is situated in front of the camp site. The parking here is very spacious & each parking area is separated by a nice hedge. There is a small toilet block with shower, sink & mirror & its’ nice & clean. To park outside on the aires is €3 per night up to a maximum of 3 nights & to park inside the camp site its’ about €12 - €15 per night. Just outside the camp site there is a new hotel being built which has a fascinating design on its’ roof. Once settled in our parking spot for the night & a quick cuppa it was time to take a look around this thermal spa town.
Our 1st stop was the local tourism office that was very helpful but only had one piece of info written in English. After there we walked through the lovely gardens to the theatre & casino before heading in to see what the thermal centre had to offer. Well what can I say? After looking at their treatment list & noticing the prices the 1st thing that came to mind was its’ expensive for what it is.
We all look at things in a different way & I think I’ll stick to me healthy diet of fags & booze.
We then headed for the town centre, mmm. Its’ a square on the hill & there’s a magnificent church to look at & the remains of some Roman tombs. But that’s it, that’s the town centre just a few shops, plenty of hotels, a few bars & restaurants. The main part of this lovely place is the thermal health centre. Now if you’re into walking there are plenty of lovely walks here & there is a lake you can fish for the cost of €10 per day & after looking at the lake I didn’t think it was worth it. We had a good walk around the lake & could see the old viaduct & water mill. However the lake is only really fishable from one side & that’s on the side where the public foot path is. So that’s why I didn’t think it was worth buying a day ticket to fish there. There are tennis courts & a nice size swimming pool in the parks & the theatre puts on some great shows as well as opera.
We thought Neris Les Bains was a lovely little place & the church is a must to see. As for the rest of the place, unless your looking to off load a good wedge of that hard earned dosh on some healthy feel good treatments then apart from the theatre that’s it. We enjoyed our stay here & we are glad to have seen the town especially as it had such a lovely church to look at.
One last thing in the old town square you’ll see the market service point with its electrical points & fresh running water & it all is still in working order.
Day 38 – Thursday 14-08-08
After a peaceful night’s kip polly was whistling away & it was time for me morning cuppa.
The day started dry but cloudy & by 9am we left Neris Les Bains heading for St.Eloy Les Mines.
We stopped of at Montaigut for a quick cuppa, well I had been driving for about half an hour, so I think I had earned me cuppa. After polly was packed away we proceeded to St.Eloy.
Approaching St.Eloy we noticed one of those places where you do you washing. So we pulled over & once again after being a bit slack on the hand washing we thought we had better get the washing done as we were shortly to meet our friends at their home in Pionsat. After a trouble free time at the laverie we headed for Pionsat. When we arrived in Pionsat shortly after mid-day our friend Rod was there to meet us & guide us back to his house which is just outside Pionsat in a lovely little hamlet.
After arriving at his house Caroline made us a lovely lunch & as the two boys were busy playing, it was time for a catch up on what we had all been doing.
It was great to sit down & have a natter with friends & we could all speak & understand each other.
Rod & Caroline’s home in France is just terrific. The property has a lot of character as well as potential & it was a great place to chill out for a couple of days.
Day 39 to 40 Friday 15 -08-08 to Saturday 16-08-08
After a very peaceful night’s kip & me morning brew it was time for a quick trip to the supermarket with Rod, as today was Assumption day which is a Bank Holiday in France.
The afternoon was spent chilling out & helping out with a little painting on the barn before Caroline had prepared for us all a wonderful evening meal. We had another great evening & we all enjoyed the warm evening sitting outside eating, drinking & talking.
Saturday was a cloudy but dry day & it was the day we discovered we had a gas problem on the motorhome. On checking the motorhome over in preparation of us getting back on the road we discovered that the gas on the hob was burning a very low flame & if you put 2 rings on it would go out. After investigating the gas locker, cylinders etc we decided we need to head for Aubiere which is south of Cleremont Ferrand as there is a Knaus dealer there.
Saturday evening was our last night staying at our friend’s house in France & we would like to say a big thanks to Rod, Caroline & the boys for letting us stop over. We had a fantastic time whilst we were there. We both hope your visions evolve & become your reality.
Day 41 – Sunday 17-08-08
Today started cloudy with sunny spells & by mid morning it was time to leave our friend’s & get back on the road as we wanted to be in Aubiere 1st thing Monday morning to get our gas problem looked at. After leaving Pionsat we headed for St.Remy De Blot Aires no: 29 page 178 (if you have the all the aires France book or sat nav co-ordinates N46º.04.624 E002º.55.894 for Google earth).
We had a very scenic drive to the isolated hilltop village of St.Remy & the views are terrific.
Apart from a lovely church & the great views there is nothing else to see at St.Remy De Blot.
The service point was out of order but there are toilets & a play area adjacent to the Mairie (town hall). After a cuppa (good job we bought a spare gas stove with us) & a walk around St.Remy we decided to head for St.Pardoux, Aires no: 1 page 156 (if you have the all the aires France book or sat nav co-ordinates N46º.03.624 E002º.59.710 for Google earth). When you take the road heading towards this aires it’s a quite narrow road & when you turn onto the track heading for the aires it’s a single track road without any passing places. You then go down a hill & you can see the aires on your right, at the bottom of the hill you turn right over the bridge & you then drive around the lake to the service point. The service point is all in working order & there are 4 parking bays there. However the 2 middle bays are quite tricky to get in to as the wooden posts around the service point make it a bit tricky. As we were the only ones there we didn’t have any problems parking.
St.Pardoux is a very rural place with a good size lake. There were signs saying no fishing but there were a few people fishing there & I think you need a permit to fish the lake. Whilst walking around the lake I saw some good size Carp & I believe there are also some good size Pike in the lake.
We saw plenty of birds of prey whilst we were there & if you want an out of the way place to stop which is going to be very peaceful & quiet then this is an ideal place to stop at.
After a few more cuppas & dinner we decided to move on a bit as we wanted to be in Aubiere 1st thing Monday morning. After leaving St.Pardoux we stopped at St.Bonnet-Pres-Riom, Aires no: 9 page 158 (if you have the all the aires France book or sat nav co-ordinates N45º.55.648 E003º.06.809 for Google earth). As we were travelling south the sign post to this aires was just around a corner & we nearly missed it, but we didn’t. Now if you’re a light sleeper or don’t have any ear plugs then I wouldn’t stop here unless you were really tired or you just wanted to stop.
The parking here is right behind the local church & the bells ring 2 or 3 times an hour every hour there is. It was a bit noisy up to around 11pm with taxi drivers & local youths stopping there. We never had any problems whilst parked here & there were 7 of us parked there over night.
Lucky for me I’m a very heavy sleeper & the church bells didn’t keep me awake but as for Sonia well she woke every half hour along with the church bells. Anyway it did us for an overnight stop.
Day 42 – Monday 18-08-08
The day started bright & sunny & after me morning brew it was time to head for Aubiere to hopefully get our gas problem fixed. Well we arrived in Aubiere shortly after 9am, found the street where the dealer was located & what do we do now? The dealer was no longer in business & we still needed our problem fixed. After making a few enquires I decided to give Richard a call at Gaslow. As usual he was more than helpful & diagnosed our problem as a failing regulator. All I had to do was find a regulator, fix it myself, check for any leaks & that should be that.
After driving around Aubiere & a few other places we tried to get a replacement & we were even refused the sale of a regulator as the guy tried to explain that it was not possible to fix.
Well by mid afternoon we were both getting frustrated & needed a solution. So we sat down, had a brew & then went to the local E.Leclerc supermarket where we bought more spare cylinders for the portable gas stove, a large camping gaz cylinder, plenty of food & most important alcohol & chocolate. By late afternoon we left Clermont Ferrand heading for wherever we would end up.
We took a very scenic drive & ended up at the France passion site Le Mont Dore 63240 page 296.
The site is at Lac de Guery & it’s a hotel, bar & restaurant. The owner came out to greet us, he was very pleasant & he spoke English. He guided us to the parking area which you have to reverse into by the side of the lake. I immediately enquired about fishing the lake & for €6 I had my day ticket to fish the Trout Lake in the morning. The lake is also stocked with Carp, Pike & Zander.
The area around the lake was great, plenty of walking, cycling etc & in the distance you could see the ski slopes. We did see some people rock climbing & at an altitude of 1,250m we were feeling high. After dinner & a few drinks we were still debating on how to get the gas regulator fixed but for now the job in hand was to get some kip as I was up early to fish the lake.
Day 43 – Thursday 19-08-08
The alarm was ringing at 6am; it was time for a quick cuppa & then of to see what the lake had to offer me. By 6.30 I was heading for the spot I had picked out to see if the Trout were feeding there. By now there were already quite a few people fishing & the Trout were rising along with a few Carp on the top of the water. By 6.45 my line hit the water & I waited in anticipation. The day had started very misty & there was the threat of rain in the distance. By 7.15 I had hooked my 1st fish; it was a decent size Roach, not the trout I was after. I moved into a shallow pool & could see some rises on the water; surely this could be where I catch me dinner. Well every 30 minutes for the next 2 hours I hooked into fish & they were all Roach. The weather was deteriorating & all of a sudden cloud came over the lake & you couldn’t see more than 2 feet in front of you. I had moved a few times & even though I could hear the Trout jumping I didn’t catch one. By late morning the heavens had opened up & I thought it was time to move on; after all we still needed the gas problem fixed.
By late morning we bid our host a hearty au revoir & headed for a scenic drive to an aires we had stayed at before Marcillac-La-Croisille. By now we were both thinking that we may have to go back to Bordeaux & see if Aquitaine Evasion can once again help us with our problem (they were the ones who fixed our door when we had our last problem). When we arrived at Marcillac-La-Croisille the place was deserted, it was like a ghost lake, no activity like before on our previous visits here.
Polly was whistling away & a brew was on the way. As we were both feeling frustrated about the gas problem we done the next best thing. We set up a pan on the outside stove, cooked some chips, had a few drinks & ate some tasty chocolate. It’s all good healthy stuff & it makes you feel good.
The chips were a bit of a disaster but at least I could even have a chip butty with me cup of tea.
Day 44 – Wednesday 20-08-08
After a peaceful night’s kip & the usual morning cuppa we were heading for Bordeaux only stopping on the way if we came across any motorhome dealers or marine places who could possibly take a look at our gas & fix the regulator. Well after reaching Perigueux & having another person tell us that our problem couldn’t be fixed we jumped onto the motorway to Bordeaux.
We arrived at Aquitaine Evasion at 2.30pm & by 3.30 we were leaving with a fully working gas system. At 1st they didn’t think they could help us but the guy who fixed our door came to the rescue, he just happened to have the correct regulator for our motorhome & it was soon fitted, tested & all was in perfect working order. What a sigh of relief that was & it had only cost us €30 to have it fixed. We did give the guy a tip just like before as he had once again carried out a brilliant job.
So now we are already to once again set off, so where to now?
After a quick cuppa & update on the web courtesy of McDonalds we left Bordeaux around 4.30 heading for Caumont-Sur-Garonne. After negotiating the now busy traffic & stopping for a cuppa at Cadillac we were back on the road. Now in the aires book Caumont-Sur-Garonne is described as well worth the effort to go there. As we were getting closer I spotted something, it’s only got 2 parking spots. Well we might as well take a look as we are this close. Now on approach to Caumont-Sur-Garonne the road is a bit narrow & you have a tricky little bridge to negotiate. The road is marked with a 16t weight limit without any width or height restrictions. When we approached the aires we could see more than 2 motorhomes parked there & we were approaching this tricky canal bridge. Now the only thing I can say about this bridge is approach it with caution & it probably can take a vehicle up to 8ft 6 wide. It does look narrow & it’s easy to negotiate.
So here we were now at Aires no: 50 page 16 (if you have the all the aires France book or sat nav co-ordinates N44º.26.506 E000º.10.781 for Google earth). The service point is to the left of the parking area & the best way to park is to reverse into the bays. This place is also a canal service point where sometimes boats moor up & collect water & go on electric hook up. There are 5 parking bays all with a view over the canal & the services are €1 for water & €1 for electric which lasts for an hour & a half. To empty your toilet cassette there is a round drain hole by the front of the service point, just lift up the drain cover & empty your toilet cassette down it.
All the parking bays are generously spaced with the exception of one which is a bit narrower than the others. Along the canal part there is 2 service points for water & electric so you could fill up from your parking bay. This place is definitely well worth the effort to get to & you’ll see why.
Days 45 – 49 Thursday 21-08-08 to Monday 25-08-08 resting at Caumont-Sur-Garonne
After a very peaceful night’s kip polly was whistling away & the 1st cuppa of the day was soon being drunk. The day started bright & sunny & stayed that way all day becoming rather hot.
Well after our recent events & the worries of how to get the gas problem rectified we were both feeling a little bit drained. This aires is a jewel in the crown, it’s right on a canal, very peaceful & there is some lovely walks & wildlife in the area, plus of course I can go fishing.
So we decided to chill out, relax, recharge our own batteries & just do nothing. So we spent the day doing just that, nothing. In the evening we saw 2 beavers coming down the canal & they went in search of food just across from where we parked. There are quite a few owls around here at night & they get quite near to the aires. After a relaxing peaceful day it was time for a cuppa, then bed.
Overnight we had torrential rain & our 2nd day here started cloudy but by late morning it was warm & sunny. We had a good sort out & changed things around in the motorhome & we then tried out our Remoska. If you haven’t heard of a Remoska it’s an all in one electric cooking pot made in Czechoslovakia & Lakeland are a main distributor of them in the UK.
With a Remoska you can cook all sorts of things & since buying ours in March we still hadn’t used it. So hooking us up onto the electric that’s available here we decided to cook some red onion & bacon and then pour in 5 beaten eggs to make an omelette. Amazing, the flavours from the onions & bacon were not only retained but the omelette raised & was light, fluffy & very tasty.
We are definelty impressed with the Remoska & we will be using it whenever possible.
Once again in the evening there we the beavers on the canal & the owls busy hooting away at night.
Our 3rd day here started as usual with me morning brew & the weather was bright & sunny.
We walked into the small village here & there is only one shop to get your provisions. The guy who runs the store with his wife speaks English, so that was handy. As expected the prices were a little more than you would pay at the supermarkets but for the peace quiet & scenery here it’s well worth paying the extra coppers.
I had been watching the canal over the past couple of days & I knew there were plenty of fish here so in the afternoon I went fishing & caught 10 good size Roach & they were all put back to swim for another day. I have noticed that the French mainly eat what they catch & there are plenty of freshwater fish on the menus at the restaurants. Once again in the evening the beavers came swimming down the canal, but tonight there were 3 of them. As usual the owls were busy hooting away & the evening was once again peaceful & quiet.
Our 4th day here started much the same, morning brew, walking & then fishing.
If you follow the canal towpath on the aires side & leave the aires behind you there are 2 graveyards with plenty of good bamboo growing behind. There is a little bridge behind the cemetery that leads to some open fields. We have only seen a few birds of prey while here & we did see our 1st fox whilst here. There is a forest to walk through the other side of the canal & there are plenty of people riding cycles around the area. After a good walk I went fishing in the afternoon & caught more Roach which 2 of them were around the 12oz mark. We had a nice lazy evening & there were only 2 of us parked here along with 2 boats which had moored up for the night.
Our 5th day here started just as before, with me morning brew & the day was cloudy but dry.
We spent the day just relaxing & preparing to once again get on the open road.
In our opinion this is the best place we have stopped at so far. It has everything we like, water, nature & plenty of peace & quiet. I know this place isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but its well worth a visit & it’s a great place to chill out & watch the world go by.
Day 50 – Tuesday 26-08-08
After another relaxing & peaceful night watching the beavers on the canal & listening to the owls hooting away we’re getting ready to get back on the road. After me morning cuppa & servicing the motorhome it’s time for us to finally drag ourselves away from Caumont Sur Garonne. It’s going to be a tough day thinking of the wonderful place we have left behind, but there’s a long open road ahead of us along with the unknown & unseen pastures.
We headed for St-Sylvestre-Sur-Lot Aires no: 68 page 20 (if you have the all the aires France book or sat nav co-ordinates N44º.23.765 E000º.48.331 for Google earth). We stopped on the way to fill up with LPG & diesel & to have a cuppa of course. Well it’s thirsty work travelling along these long roads with not much traffic on & I do have to keep an eye out for birds of prey, so I think I deserve all my tea breaks. Without diesel the motorhome doesn’t work & without me cuppa I don’t either, so that’s settled we’ll stop & drink to my health whenever we can.
We arrived in St-Sylvestre-Sur-Lot late morning & our 1st stop was the local Intermarche to stock up on fresh fruit & vegetables. Plus we needed to buy the good things in life, tobacco, alcohol & most important chocolate. After stocking up it was time to put polly on & have a well deserved cuppa & of course a healthy banana followed by chocolate mousse with cream whipped on top.
We keep telling you, it’s a hard life out here on the road, so we need some comforts.
The service point for the aires at St-Sylvestre-Sur-Lot is adjacent to the Intermarche fuel station & the parking area is to the far left of this road, the opposite end to where the campsite is. The parking area is a type of circle & probably there’s room for about 10 – 12 motorhomes. It’s right next to the Lot River & its quiet picturesque with a small port across the river.
After our well deserved break we took the scenic route to Maurox. This place is a small village in the middle of nowhere & we stopped at the Aires no: 50 page 238. Now this aires is listed without sat nav co-ordinates & I logged it as N44º27.114 Eº001.02.872. I suppose it depends on which way you come into Maurox but the way we came in was through the village, past the La Poste on our right & Mairie on our left & if you look over to your right you’ll see a type of woodland area encircled by a brick wall, well that’s the aires, it is sign posted. This place is also a public picnic site with a new brick built building where you can use the built in barbeque & there are sinks to wash up in. There are a few picnic benches & it looks like there are more planned. There is also a children’s play area & the good thing is there is plenty of shade.
Now to the aires bit. The service point is outside the toilet block, there is a drain for your grey water & your toilet cassette gets emptied down the inside toilet. There is also a sink here & the outside water tap requires a large tap hose adaptor. The parking is sloping but there are a few spots where you can get pretty level. It is adjacent to the main road, but it’s pretty quiet there. The village has a good Tourist Information Office, Hotel, only a couple of shops & a couple of restaurants.
We took advantage of the hot afternoon here & we gave the motorhome a good clean inside & out.
We parked here overnight & were the only ones parked there. It was very peaceful & very quiet.
Day 51 – Wednesday 27-08-08
After a very relaxed & peaceful night’s kip polly was whistling away & me morning cuppa was on its way. We left Maurox shortly after 9am & took a very scenic route to Albas Aires no: 93 page 249 (if you have the all the aires France book or sat nav co-ordinates N44º.28.488 E001º.13.965 for Google earth). When I say scenic we mean scenic. We were way up in the hills driving along some very narrow winding roads & we descended down into Albas. That’s one thing we have discovered whilst here, if you come off the main roads & take the D or C roads it can be very scenic but also very interesting. We crossed a river bridge that looks massive when you’re approaching it, but when you turn to go over it you only have about 3 – 4 inches either side of you, but the weight limit is 16t. So you have to be able to get over it otherwise a lorry of that weight couldn’t.
I sometimes look across to look at Sonia’s face when we’re going through these tight places or these high up cliffs & I think sometimes the blood is draining out of her, she looks scared, lol.
So here we are at Albas, lovely little village & the aires is right next to a Hydro Electrical Dam.
The service point is just before the entrance to the campsite & there is a large parking area here, probably enough room for a good 30 motorhomes if everyone was to park sensibly.
So its time to put polly on & look at the dam & the river around us. As we both love water this place was great, rushing weir, calm waters, twisting river & of course the bright hot sunshine. I could stay here, drink me tea do a bit of fishing & sleep sound as a pan. One problem, Sonia is a light sleeper & the noise from the dam would probably keep her awake most of the night. So we just had a few cuppas, a walk around the village & chilled out here until late afternoon.
We left Albas & headed for Cahors. We already had a map of Cahors but thought we would check out the Aires no: 81 page 246 (if you have the all the aires France book or sat nav co-ordinates N44º.26.420 E001º.26.468 for Google earth). The aires is pretty straight forward to find just as long as you follow the directions parking St.George or Rodez. The aires is the same entrance as the car park except you turn left as there is a 2 metre height barrier in front of you for the car park only.
The aires only has 3 parking bays & they were taken up so it’s of to find a campsite for us to stay on. If you leave the aires & go back to the roundabout before the river bridge, take the 1st exit sign posted Rodez & go straight on up the hill. You’ll come to a set of traffic lights, turn left go under the bridge & up to the roundabout, take 1st exit & carry on to the end of the road & there is a campsite called Riviere de Cabessut there. Well we want to take a good look around Cahors & as the aires was full we needed somewhere to stay. They do speak a little English on the campsite & there is a swimming pool, showers, washing facilities, electric hook up, bar & free Wi-Fi here.
The pitches are nice & spacious & some have lovely shade around them. As were on electric it was time to get the Remoska out & conjure up another one of my cordon bleu dishes. This time I put a little olive oil in the Remoska, turned it on & left it for about 10 minutes. I then put in some mince, cooked that off and then drained it. Then I added, courgettes, red & white onions, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes & bolognaise sauce. Then I left it for about half an hour stirring it occasionally & hey presto you have one very tasty dish. Served with fresh French bread & washed down with pelforth beer & for afters another one of those delicious chocolate mousses, what else could you want for a perfect evening meal.
Tomorrow we are going into Cahors to take a good look around & as there is an Irish Pub here, have a guess were we will be tomorrow night?
Well its time for one final cuppa before I hit the sack & get another good night’s kip.
Day 52 – Thursday 28-08-08
After a peaceful night’s kip polly was whistling away at 7.30 this morning. After a few quick cuppas it was time to head into the centre of Cahors. We left the campsite shortly before 9am expecting a long walk into Cahors. As we approached the Stade L.Desprats & the car parking area on the right we noticed a bus stop. After making some enquiry a French woman told us there was a shuttle bus from the car parks into the centre of Cahors & all shuttle buses are free. That’s right, all shuttle buses are free. So they want you to park out of town just like in the UK except there shuttle buses are free. They certainly do know how to get things pretty damn right here in France.
So shortly after 9am we were in the centre of Cahors. Our 1st stop was the Tourist Information Office that didn’t have any info on events in English apart from the ones we had already collected from other TI sites. We headed for the south bank towards the Pont Valentre. We had a lovely walk along by the river & there are some fascinating little gardens here which are specially designed for the disabled & the blind with all information given in French, English & brail, how smart is that?
The gardens encourage you to touch & feel the different plants & even eat their produce. In our opinion the south bank of the Cahors was the part we enjoyed the most & our visit to the Pont Valentre was interesting as it’s by a dam. From there we walked back into the centre & down to the east bank, which once again was pleasant. We walked all the way to the Irish Pub & it was shut.
So we walked back towards Cahors centre & Sonia managed to get her hair done. The people in the salon were very friendly & fitted her in there & then. She had her hair washed, cut & blow dried for the amazing price of €22. Now she looks even more beautiful than before & she feels great.
We then stopped off for a large cappuccino & beer, once again the price was good €4.50 = £3.73p.
Late in the afternoon it was getting very hot so we decided to get the bus back to where we started from, take the short walk back to the campsite & chill out for the rest of the day.
I’m sure to some that Cahors is a fascinating place but to us it was just another city, we were glad we came here & saw it for ourselves. As usual the people were very friendly & helpful.
Tonight I’m going to cook a type of vegetable miss-mash in the Remoska, sit down have a few beers & some well earned chocolate.
In the morning we are going to leave Cahors & take the scenic route heading for Cajarac.
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