Week 498

Sunday, 8th July, 2018

What a gorgeous day in the Dordogne. How many more times can I say that over this month? We went out early before the temperature rose from 26C/79F to 32C/90F. We drove about 5 km to the village/town of Creysse – not to be confused with Cressy – which has a population of 1800 people.

It is right on the banks of the Dordogne and sleepy, green and beautiful. We walked along the river path in the shade of the trees fringing the river bank. Lots of  20ft fig trees here.

The walk was delicious at 9,00 am and, after an hour, we resisted the Boulangerie and drove back to the gite to watch Marr and then enjoy a vigorous 30 mins swim in the pool. We finished just in time to watch The Sunday Politics. It is so lovely to watch the Brextremists squirm and spit because they begin to realise that the best they can expect is BINO (Brexit in Name Only). The Left are moving towards a second vote and potential abandonment of the whole, sorry nonsense. I predicted it but we will continue to hold our breath. For those who think this is all obsessive nonsense – wait to see the effects of a full on Brexit. You will regret being a bystander!

Monday, 9th July, 2018

As the very warm and sunny weather continues, we are beginning to question the schedule we are pushing ourselves through. Even so, we went on a 40 km drive today through the bustling and busy town of Sarlat and cross country to the beautiful, Thirteenth Century, Bastide village of Domme.

Looking down from the ramparts across the Dordogne.

We parked in the carpark at the bottom of hill and got on the miniature train to be taken up to the village. We had a recorded commentary in multiple languages to listen to on the way up which was quite useful.

Domme village

The village itself was beautiful and disappointing in equal measure – beautiful because so many of the original, 700 year old buildings are still standing but disappointing because they have been turned into a tourist theme park.Pécharmant

We took the train back down and drove back to our gite where we swam the dust of the day off in the cool and crystal clear water. Pauline griddled salmon with pesto outside and we ate it with salad. We are tired tonight and are resolved to do much less tomorrow. It is the England match tomorrow and we need to do a shop. Other than that, we will relax, walk, swim and read.

Tuesday, 10th July, 2018

An easier day. Didn’t get up until 7.00 am. Wonderful fresh orange juice, tea and coffee and then out to the mobile fish trailer that comes to the village on Tuesday mornings. We came away having spent €67.00/£59.34 on sword fish steaks, tuna steaks and a side of salmon – enough to give us 4 griddled meals. On to Intermarche for other shopping like duck breasts and chicken and then back for a long swim. With the temperature settling around 30C/86F, we set off for a long walk along the local vineyards. They are vines of the  Pécharmant appellation, a local red wine.

The fields are still green after little rain and under baking sun. The air was alive with the astounding din of unseen choruses of cicadas. At least this evening would be relaxing with a chilled bottle of Pécharmant and a football match in which I am neutral.

Wednesday, 11th July, 2018

A second quiet day at the Gite. We did an early morning swim and a late afternoon swim which, together, amounted to 1.5 kms. We were both shattered after that.

The grounds of this Gite are absolutely delightful. Plum, Fig and Apple trees are interspersed with Blackberry bushes and lots of flowering shrubs. It is so green in direct contrast to our Greek property which we left exactly 4 years ago today.

We are driving over on Friday to visit my cousin, Sue, who has bought, renovated and now entertains guests in a large, village house in the village of Salles- Lavallete. I haven’t seen her for 10 years since Mum’s funeral. It will be fun to catch up.

Thursday, 12th July, 2018

Another lovely, hot and laid-back day. We went out to view a small, Bastide town called Villeréal. Another medieval masterpiece living and breathing in the 21st Century. I’m not sure how many more of these I can take. I certainly couldn’t live in one.

Town Square – Villeréal

They are interesting, some beautiful like the one today which had been seamlessly integrated into modern life but one just knows that living standards are heavily compromised by the buildings and infrastructure. Power, water supply, sewerage disposal, roads, parking all are adjuncts to the structures of 800 years ago. I think the featured cars are fairly modern.

We drove back through fields and fields of sunflowers. They have obviously been staggered sown and are now at various stages of development. I thought I’d take the cliche shot but the sun refused to move round and so did the flowers.

Back at the gite, we did a hard, 30 mins swim, did an hour long walk around the vineyards and then returned for a second swim before griddling swordfish steaks and ate them with salad. It was a truly wonderful meal. I have a feeling we will sleep tonight.

Friday, 13th July, 2018

If you were superstitious, you would have been wary this morning. We are not and weren’t. We did the 50 mile trip through the centres of Bergerac and Ribérac to visit my cousin’s B&B plus Gite in Salles-Lavalette.

Cousin Sue & (Australian) husband, Phi Tuffin.

The journey was fine and we stopped in Ribérac town to walk the market en route to our destination. It was typically bustling and colourful.

Ribérac Market.

Sue & Phil’s house is in a very relaxed village which would lull anyone to sleep. They are lovely people who also rent out bikes to cyclists to explore this wonderful landscape. They are still waiting for Ruth & Kevan to drop in.

Saturday, 14th July, 2018

View from a Gite.

Last night was hot and humid with a fiery sky. Even so, we were tired after a three hour drive and slept like logs. This morning, we have woken up still rather jaded and, as the sun and temperature rise, we have decided to stay at base and relax. Well, not exactly relax because we’ve done a hard swim and will complete our 10,000 paces with a good walk later but we will not need the car today.

View from a Gite.

Smoked Salmon Salad for lunch today plus Wimbledon and the England match. Life could be so much harder!

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