We had to think about heading home now as we had a 90th birthday party to attend.
We decided to include Champagnac - la - Riviere on our return as we had discovered that fellow blogger Dippingatoe Sue was living there. Although we'd never met her we felt we knew her well as we had followed her blog for over year and she had inspired us to follow her example and sell up and head off on the road. (www.theworldismylobster.me.uk - best read right from the start) She carries a disability scooter on board, drives the largest American van allowed on our roads and her trusty companion is her Great Dane puppy Phoebe. Her blog had suddenly gone quiet and I was worried and found out she was not well and had just stopped at a French campsite for a number of months.
We tracked her down to Parc Verger, an English run campsite in Champagnac la Riviere in the Limousin area.
So we set off, ready for a long trip and after ten minutes had our tiny remote mountain road blocked by a long lorry that had jacknifed across the road.
There was no other way we could go so we watched the various gyrations of this ten ton truck trying to extricate himself looking like a caterpillar that can't get out of an ants' nest. After about half an hour (which included getting the digger he was carrying to scrape away earth from the side of the road) he managed to do a very slow 90 degrees and finally tundled off past us shooting us a Gallic shrugging gesture with his eye brows.
Finally we got to Parc Verger campsite and had a lovely welcome from the owners Franc and Lisa and of course Sue. It is a very unusual campsite in that everyone is English and all kinds of English food is sold in the shop. Being right in the centre of France I guess it has got quite a following as it is pretty much en route for the Brits going south and they often carry food over for them. We camped in a spot which had this lovely neighbour right next door:
It's a lovely start to the day to say hello to a goat.
The campsite is near an old railway track which has been converted to a popular hiking and biking trail called the voie vert so we had lots of walks and bike rides with Sue and Phoebe.
One thing we have noticed on all our French bike rides was how polite and charming the French children are. They have all been taught to say 'Bonjour madame' and they take great pride in doing so. There was one little boy of about two who watched us approach eagerly and then called out 'Bonjour madame monsieur' with a big grin. I realised we don't teach our English children to greet people they don't know on a walk or the street and I wished we did.
We explored the local town (Oradour-sur-Veyres) and there we met and chatted at length to a water colourist who had a studio and was also English. She teaches water colour painting and inspired me to buy the materials and have a bash while I'm travelling - a peaceful therapeutic hobby.
After four days of speaking English and enjoying long evenings in the van with Sue we knew it was time to leave and were waved off by everyone in the campsite! I know we will be back and I know we will meet Sue again. The first of many friendships on the road.
You need to be logged in to comment