14.07.2008 - 17.07.2008
We’re still at Beynac. The last few days have been scorching (up till now we’ve had some sun, some rain, some clouds. Some of the rain has been mega).
Yesterday we had the most superb day. Coffee and Internet in Beynac – a 10 minute walk along the river, then came back and had a baguette hotdog merguez lunch, lots of reading, relaxing etc with a copy of the Times,. Then we cooked up a BBQ with pork and lamb.
I’ve made a new BBQ – version 2. Version 1 wasn’t drawing so it needed fanning. Version 2 however has none of these limitations, and in the end, turned out hot enough to smelt iron. This resulted in wonderfully seared skewers, and a loss of arm and hand hair.
I’ve also (at last!) managed to procure a 240v to 12v adapter powerful enough to run the fridge. We couldn’t leave it on all the time powered from the car – even with the solar panel we were killing the battery. It has made a HUGE difference. We now have a proper fridge that really chills beer!. It chills food of course too. This makes more of a difference than you think. It gives us the ability to of course drink cold beer (did I mention cold beer?) but more importantly, to Kirstin at least, we can buy real food and plan our meals.
I can’t tell you how sublime yesterday was. Sipping beers, cooking on the BBQ, scorching heat, reading the paper, playing games on my laptop. All set in a lush field by the river Dordogne. Heaven. So much so we wondered why we were actually planning to leave the next day (today). So we haven’t. I’m sitting under a tree typing this, with Entrecote steaks in the fridge and a bottle of chilled rose. We’ll move tomorrow. Probably. No rush.
(I’m nature’s child now)
During supper, at about 8pm I noticed loud “fan” noises coming from near by. Really loud, like a microlite taking off, except the noise never varied. I twigged that it might be a hot air balloon pre-filling with cold air (they use a giant fan to do this) but it was far too loud for that. So I took a wander to the river bank right by us and low and behold, I was right, except it was five balloons, all filling at once! – right across the river in a tiny area. They all took off at once, sometimes baskets nearly hitting the other balloons. A cool sight.
OH, nearly forgot, we went into Sarlat on Bastile day to watch the fireworks. A very very pretty town, and a large one for round here.
There were lots of live bands dotted around the streets with the main attraction in the main square. They were truly awful. Big stage, big lights, big projector and screen. Then a Phil Collins song started, with the video on the big screen. No way! I thought, he can’t be here… Nope. Some French bird that sang like someone on a cruise ship covered a non stop medley of his songs. She was crap, out of time with the video screen and just plain awful. Why would a woman cover Phil Collins songs?? Odd choice.
After laughing and leaving, which a lot of other people seemed to be doing, we wandered up and watched the fireworks. Great show and totally unsafe. No regard for safety distances. Shells were raining down streaks of burning effects into the crowds. Not just little bits either; large trails of burning willow-effects were landing on peoples’ heads. Bear in mind the crown was entirely family based.
Still, no one seemed bothered. The French have such a different way of doing things. It was a real community atmosphere. No pushing or rushing, and each time the show lulled for a few seconds, everyone clapped politely. Mind you, a fat woman with a huge ass sat down, adjusted her rump, then moved back 6 inches and actually sat right on my sandaled foot, totally “eclipsing” it, dead center. It was warm and soft but frightening. She didn’t even flinch when I “withdrew” it.
On another subject, I read on the Internet that the French take their holidays from 15th July to 15th August. So far our camping neighbours have been either retired French couples, Netherlands, German, Dutch or English fogies with caravans. So generally peaceful. Last night, the 15th, a French family in an RV arrived, parked 6 feet from us (in a near empty field) and then proceeded to turn their TV on at 10 in the evening. With all their windows open. .. Like we are camped in a one star site, with no facilities so we can have peace, and we want to hear French TV!?!?! Cretins. We watched a movie on the laptop with our headphones on to drown it out (oh the irony).
At about midnight they all moved about in their camper like elephants, for an hour, with someone coming outside and flashing his torch through our tent, and generally being arses. I loudly made a sarcastic comment about really enjoying being the subject of a searchlight. They quietened down after that, though I suspect it was purely coincidence.
We called them “The Louds”. A term picked up from Pete and Mary which they use to refer to some neighbours they have at their country cabin.
Fortunately, The Louds left this morning so we are all set for another stunning day.
I’m buying a longer extension cable so we can camp further from where the RVs go in future.
Posting from Carcassonne on "stolen" wifi :-)
Oh - here is a movie of our canoe trip!