Slowing down.

After a few days of putting in the miles, we have slowed down again.  Today we managed the huge distance of around 60kms.  We left our campsite in Rocamadour (Roc Amadour = I love rock) after a night of steady rain.  We did not go far before we came across lovely villages, fields, and more importantly places where you can try the local delights. Walled fields, acres and acres of Oak forests and of course this being late autumn, the colours are just beautiful.

The small walled fields were all in precise squares.  We learnt subsequently that the layout for them had been determined in Roman times, supposedly,  and they had not changed since.

vines 3In each of the fields a single crop was being grown.  In this one it was grapes which had been pruned.  The red strip at the top is an adjacent field of vines which had not been pruned and show the late autumn vine leaf colour.

vinesAnother view of the same field

pigsIn this field were pigs, and in fact in several adjacent fields there were more pigs.  Free range too!!!

openingTo enter the fields from the road there were openings as in this photo. 

goatsThese guys were perched here to advertise the farm as a producer of Rocamadour chevre cheeses (see later)

 

hutIn this field there is a small building with an entrance from adjacent fields.  What for?  Not sure.

As we travelled we were passing through large areas of Oak forest.  All looking very good in Autumn colours.

oak forest

On the way, around about La Cave we spotted this lovely looking chateau

near la cave 1

near la cave 2and then noted that it was precariously perched above the river and road and in fact appeared to be overhanging the edge.

We were heading for Sarlat, with the intention of looking around there before heading on our way.  But we only got as far as Souillac when we came to a bit of a halt.  We headed off to the information centre and found one of the most helpful, knowledgeable and pleasant assistants we have come across.  Armed with a pile of information, we were now a tad confused as to where we should be going and what we should be doing, there was so much choice! Of course we arrived  in town on a Monday and just before lunch time so most things were closed.  We found our way to a wee cafe that was advertising local produce, as well as free wifi.  How could we resist?      

Lunch consisted of a platter with Rocamadour AOC goats cheese served warm on toasted bread, 2 slices of Fois Gras on toasted bread (but a different bread), Duck Rillette pate on toasted French bread with sun dried tomatoes, 3 slices of smoked maigret duck breast, a small dish of a sweet onion marmalade, all delightfully plated up on salad leaves with fresh walnuts, fresh tomatoes and a truffle dressing.  Oh my goodness, heaven.

By this time we had hoped that some of the shops selling Fois Gras, local wines and other delights would be open, but no, they were not. 

souillacNarrow street in Souillac

dogsAnd at least attempts are being made to reduce the dog problem here.

Bernice headed off to a bar to see if she could get wifi for the iPad (it failed at the last place) whilst Roy went off to get the van and bring it into a car park in town.  Whilst at the bar, we met an Australian couple who were looking at buying a property in the region, as they had been on a cycle tour of the region earlier in the year and had returned as they had fallen in love with the place.  It was nice to chat with some fellow Antipodeans.

Back to the van and to sit down with all our information and make a plan.  We now have a (sort of) plan set down for the next few days including visiting lots of food and wine places, and as well, a visit to the Vezere Valley, the home of prehistoric caves including the Lascaux Caves.

Armed with a plan we headed off to Sarlat for the night, but we had just got going when we came across a place to buy Fois Gras, Duck Confit and truffles!  We had to stop here.

GODARDThe stop off point for supplies!!

Back into the van and off again.

geeseThese geese were spotted on the way to Sarlat

Eventually we made it to Sarlat right on dusk, found our parking spot for the night in the company of half a dozen others and settled in for the night.

We would have made it a lot further if we chose not to stop every 5 minutes to either enjoy the scenery or to look at something specific, but hey, that’s what holidays are for, aren’t they?

Oh, and we looove getting messages,  keep up it up, its nice to know we are being followed.

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