L’Automne

Autumn is arriving in France, the temperature is dropping and my summer/winter clothing has been swapped between less/more accessible cupboards. Not that it is particularly cold – just no longer in the mid to high twenties – and as I’m making my way slowly back to Calais and the ferry home next week I’ve a feeling the T shirts will soon have to be exchanged for jumpers. I’m already wearing trousers and shoes rather than shorts and sandals.

Have to say I’m looking forward to lots of hugs. And speaking my native tongue and not having to search for the correct word will be great. I’m proud to say tho’ that I’ve been complimented on my “excellent” French and “lack of accent” but I still have to extend my vocabulary. Must work harder!!! Perhaps the Smart One will lend me his pictorial dictionary …

I spent longer than I had planned at my last campsite hence a long drive yesterday. Wakan Tanka, Camping La Bucherie, is next to the tiny hamlet of La Bucherie and is quite simply the most peaceful place I have ever been. I sat (or walked) for hours unable to hear anything other than birds twittering (do they have to have accounts?), insects buzzing and the sounds of chestnuts dropping off the trees. I was able to see the night sky as I haven’t since I was a child, blazing stars, the Milky Way … and I watched the ISS orbiting for several minutes.
I’ve always had a very soft spot for the Dutch, a cousin was rescued and hidden by them after being parachuted into Arnhem in WW2 and the families stayed in touch and holidayed together annually during my childhood. So having made friends with Olga and Bert in Cap d’Agde I now made more Dutch friends, Ans and Ries the owners of this little bit of Dordogne paradise. It was a big culture shock yesterday driving through rush hour Le Mans and now being on a campsite with a busyish road right next door.

Here’s La Belle France in her autumn glory …

🙂 🙂 🙂

I don’t think so …

All Roman/Medieval/Papalpalace heritage sited out so I’ve left Avignon. I’ve reverse planned my route to ensure I’m in Calais for the ferry on the 23rd Oct.
(and also so I don’t have to park anywhere near Calais. I’m not stopping for anything within a 15km radius – don’t care who throws themselves in front of me. I’m not stopping because I don’t know how to lock the cab doors when I’m driving without the internal sensors registering my movements and I really don’t fancy announcing my arrival in Calais with the alarm system screaming. I’ve got such a sophisticated alarm system it goes off as soon as I stick my toe out of bed. Perhaps it’s time to read the manual …

I digress; how unusual.

So. I’ve headed slightly north and a lot west and am now in the Dordogne. One of my longer journeys but so many of the campsites are now closed shorter drives with an overnight stop are not as easy to work out. On the way the heavy cloud around Montpelier had me worried but by the time I reached the desired services on the A75/E11 the sun was out and I managed to get what I wanted …

Le Viaduc de Millau

The tallest, longest bridge in Europe. It took some amazing inventions to get this bridge slung in sections over the gorge, but even so I doubt it will last as long as the Pont du Gard. Both are equally beautiful.

Underneath the arches

Left the motorway immediately after the viaduct and a few kilometres later replied “I don’t think so” to an exhortation to visit “Micropolis – Le cite des insectes”. Given my recent difficulties with one particular species of insect and the approximately 20 itchy bumps that still remain, I felt the invitation was a tad insensitive.

However, I might be slightly tempted to have one last dose of heritage – they have some grottes with prehistoric cave paintings near here – but I’ll bet a few euros they don’t allow photos there either …

🙂 🙂 🙂