It’s Friday evening 20th May 2016 and we’re still dawdling through the Dordogne. After breakfast we couldn’t resist a quiet walk along the river before leaving St Leon-sur-Vézère; the photo above was just one of the lovely buildings visible through the trees on the river bank. All we had planned for today were short runs in Vince to a number of little villages where we could stop for coffee, then lunch, then more coffee, then cake, then… well you get the idea.
Before we’d even set off we had to put the brakes on when Sophie arrived. Sophie is a wandering hairdresser who has converted an old VW camper into a mobile salon. She’s very new-age and the van comes equipped with a little dog and small toddler! As Gill has been laughing at me for days saying I look like Bouffant Bob from Emmerdale, I knocked on her door to see if she could tackle the near-impossible job of making me look presentable once more. To her credit she rose to the challenge – bye bye Bouffant Bob, hello Kool Ken… I say, ding-dong!
Our first port of call was La Roque Saint Christophe on a quiet stretch of the Vézère river. Its claim to fame are the steep chalky cliffs which were home to prehistoric man, and where much evidence of habitation has been found including tools, artefacts and cave paintings. The surrounding roads were a bit hairy as you can see from the photo – we’re definitely going to have to put Vince on a diet.
From there we drove to Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil (why can’t the French use simple names like Bury, or Leeds?) and found a car park reserved for motorhomes – excellent. Les Eyzies also had towering rock faces on one side of the main street with houses built directly into the cliff. They looked almost like part of the rock face themselves. We visited a museum of prehistory and learned lots about the overlap between Neanderthal Man and Cro-Magnon man who lived side by side for thousands of years before Neanderthal Man mysteriously died out. The museum housed a modern art exhibition by Agata Kawa called Humanimalité – where human bodies with all their naughty bits out are fused with animal heads and weird mathematical shapes, much to the amusement of the dozens of schoolchildren there for a visit. I can’t be doing with all that stuff – give me a Monet or a Van Gogh any day! Below is a (clean) sample – I don’t want the porn police all over our blog…
Our third destination was La Roque Gageac, sited on a bend in the river with the requisite château on the hill and the rock face with houses built in – are you getting a feel for the Dordogne yet? This was a shorter visit as we inadvertently broke the ticket machine at the car park – oops – but it did mean we stayed for free. There were hordes of elderly French folks being processed on to and off the river boats so after a quick coffee break we beat a hasty retreat to tonight’s camp site in Sarlat-la-Canéda (which has nothing to do with Canada apparently). We read that the temperature here will be around 28° tomorrow so we’ve booked two nights to get the washing done! There’s a market in the morning too so we hope to see the old medieval part of the town and pick up some bargains at the same time. I’ll let you know how we get on 🙂