Reminder to switch blog site !

Hi Folks, don’t forget to switch over to my new blog site as that is where our adventures are now posted. I know several of you have not yet done so ( Yes Mum that means you ! ) so here is where you need to be:    travelswithcis.wordpress.com

No WWW or @ required, just enter the above wording into your search bar and once the page is up go to the bottom of the page to enter your email and press the “follow” button

See you there

P & J xxx

 

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Time for a Change

Hi Folks

I have just about run out of upload limit on this website, but not to worry, you can still follow our adventures by following us on my new site.

Firstly enter travelswithcis.wordpress.com into your browser address bar which will bring you to our page. No WWW or @ required. Then right at the bottom is the “follow” button which you can press after entering your email. You will then get an email from me every time I post a new report

From that new page you can still access old posts from this page and my previous New York adventures if you want to look back on something.

Any problems then send us a text and we’ll try and sort it. Hope you will continue to follow our travels and like the new blog page.

Catch up with you there

P & J xxx

Scousers, Squirrels & Statues !

Thursday 17 August

Set off from home towards the North West and rendezvoused around 11.00 with our fellow Motorhomers Pete & Nina. You may remember that these guys full time around mainland Europe on a permanent basis but come back to Blighty in the summer months for van MOT and catch up with relatives & friends until their Seratonin levels hit rock bottom and they desperately need a sunshine fix.

This trip is so we can have a look around Liverpool which the three others have never been to. We stay on a site at Formby point which is about 15-20 miles up the coast from Lverpool. The site is mostly fixed Mobile homes and the toilet facilities are fairly basic but very clean and serve the purpose. Of course there is the usual grey waste, water point, chemical disposal etc and it costs £20 a night. The touring pitches are down by the sand dunes with easy access to the sea.

Poseur !

After arrival we get pitched up and Mrs Weather forecast informs us that today is going to be the best day for avoiding rain so we head off into Liverpool by train. The train station is about 20 minutes walk away and then a 15 minute train journey into the city. We get off at Lime Street station and take refreshment in the Weatherspoons attached for a brief respite.

I lead the tourist troupe for a little wander and bring them to the Philarmonic which is a beautiful old traditional pub with wood panelling and stain glass windows and mosaic tiles everywhere. John Lennon is purported to state that the only thing he missed about Liverpool is ” The Phil ”

Scooby Snacks !

We soak up the ambiance here for a while before  moving down towards the city centre passing the bombed out church which is known locally as the ” Bombed Out Church ” strangely enough and we venture to another Weatherspoons because it’s Curry Thursday and that’s what we fancy for tea. All is fine until it’s time to leave and we realise that Pete & Nina have lost their phone. After much emptying of bags and pockets we realise it’s definitely not there. Jane rings the phone and luckily some kind person hears it and hands it into the bar staff back at the Phil. On answering we are assured that it is now safe behind the bar.

So we troll off back up the hill past the bombed out church again and retrieve the phone and then set off back down the hill into the centre again passing the ……… You guessed it ! and head for Central train station stopping for a nightcap on the way.

It is well dark by the time we arrive back into Formby and need the lights from our phones to light up the route back to the campsite as it is through pine trees and dunes but at least it is still dry. Within 20 minutes of arriving home it hammered it down for the rest of the night.

Friday 18 August

We start with a belly buster cooked breakfast ably cooked by Chef Nina before wandering through the dunes down to the sea and walk along there for a couple of miles before leaving the beach and wandering into the pine forestry where there are wild Red Squirrels in  a natural habitat sanctuary administered by the National Trust. On arrival the lady overseeing the National Trust van informs us that it is best to come earlier in the morning as now it is about 2.00 they may have gone to sleep. Walking along the forest tracks however, we are lucky enough to spot several Squirrels and endeavour to catch some decent images of them better than the two very poor ones I took up in Northumberland earlier in the year. This is quite hard as the squirrels don’t stand still enough to pose ( unlike some people I know ! )

Having spent an hour here we head inland and come to Freshfields where there is a micropub called “The Beer Station” with a decent selection of local beers on offer. We of course sample a few before setting off back to the campsite which takes about 45 minutes to reach

Just a quick one thanks !

On arrival we sit out for a while but it is very windy and we eventually give in and take refuge inside. Nina again cooks us a lovely meal of Paella suitably washed down with a keg of Adnams Broadside for the fellas and proseco for the ladies. We keep that up until after midnight when we decide that perhaps we should give the rest of the site some peace. The wind continued the rest of the night banging the flap of the fridge air vent and the blinds on the roof vents causing both of us to have a restless and disturbed night even though we had deployed the secret weapon of the ear plugs.

Saturday 19 August

Bit of a slow start due to the restless sleep but after showering and breakfasting we set off once again into Liverpool. We do the tourist trail, down along Pier Head where the Three Graces are. These consist of the Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool building. All of them were closed but I carry out a risk assessment of the latter and know the security guards who allowed us in to have a quick look at the beautiful interior with the staircase, dome  and stained glass windows. Thanks fellas !

I prefer the fluffy handcuffs !

From there we wander through to the Albert Dock and see the Clipper boats which are about to set off on a round the world race tomorrow with the first stop being in Uruguay.

We then set off into the city centre passing the big shopping centre of Liverpool One and spotting the girl wandering around with a full head of rollers in her hair ready for her evening out. Why would you wander around a city in rollers ! Perhaps that’s where the Bay City Rollers got their name !

We end up at a favourite pub of mine called the Ship & Mitre which always has a full guest list of beers and has has some sort of beer festival from one country or another when I have previously visited. Not so today but I had a very nice Honey Porter and Pete had an IPA followed by a Kwak which is a very nice Belgium beer. The ladies had a soft drink believe it or not !

We ordered food here with Nina wanting a Scouse which is a type of stew and where the Liverpudlians get their nickname from. Unfortunately they did not have that so she had something else instead. I ordered a burger with Stilton cheese on it. I was told they’d run out of cheese so he sent someone out for it and my dinner would be delayed if that’s what I still wanted to eat. I was happy to oblige, however the chef came up shortly after and said it would be too much wait so he returned my money and gave me a free burger with cheddar. Thanks very much.!

We then sauntered down to the area where the Cavern club was situated in the sixties and where the Beatles got their first break. Unfortunately despite the numerous fake Cavern lookie likes that are there now, the original has long gone, although there is a poster up telling people about it in the old entrance door.

Shes’s not Lonely now !

Help. I’m stuck !

We decided then to catch the train over to Birkenhead and look back over the city on the other side of the Mersey and popping into another little pub before catching the train back to Formby.

I thought it’s supposed to be Yellow !

Sunday 20 August

We begin the day with some bacon butties this time cooked by Jane and after breakfast head off back to the train station and visit Crosby where there are a hundred life size iron figures positioned on the beach which can be seen when the tide is out. These are called ” Another Place ” and were produced by Anthony Gormley who designed and built the Angel of the North which is a huge metal statue situated just off the A1 near Newcastle.

We get off the train at a stop called Hall Road and walk down to the beach and eventually through to Crosby stopping to see the statues. We were also lucky enough to see the round the world clippers coming out of the Mersey into the sea, setting off on their global race, next stop Uruguay 6500 miles away.

The weather was beautiful again and we enjoyed our stroll along the sea front finally ending up in Crosby town centre where we came upon another micropub called “The Corner Post” where again we had a cracking selection of local beers to slake our thirsts accompanied by some extremely hot chilli peanuts ! We also met Michael Conteh, the brother of the boxer John Conteh who is sadly suffering from mental health problems when he came in the pub singing Land of Hope & Glory.

From the pub we walked up to the train station back to Formby and popped into the ” Railway ” pub for a last one before walking the 25 minutes back to the site where a very nice dinner was prepared and served by Madame Chef Jane. We ate outside until it became too cool and finished off the night inside the warm bosom of “Cis”

Monday 21 August

After breakfast and packing up we returned home wishing Bon Voyage to our weekend companions who are remaining in the UK for another month but we won’t be seeing them again as we are both working and then setting off on our next adventure to Holland & Germany. So watch this space and catch up with us soon

P & J xxxx

Adventures with a Narcoleptic !

Wednesday 9 August

Set off today to Banbury where we parked up on an industrial estate in Banbury just 10 minutes from the train station. This trip I am accompanied by my old Scottish mate Glyn McSnoozy who I have known for nearly 40 years having worked with him on Green watch at West Bridgford fire station when we were both freshly out of training school. The reason for this jolly jaunt is that we are visiting the Great British Beer Festival and then the Cropredy Music Festival which is about 6 miles from Banbury.

The beer festival is at Olympia in London and we catch the train from Banbury into Marylebone station arriving just after 12.00. The weather is awful and has been raining even before setting off from home and is still hammering down on our arrival. Because it’s so wet, I chose an old pair of rugged shoes which I have probably not worn for a couple of years but think they will be more waterproof than my current all rounders.

Day One !

We walked to the train station in Banbury and spent an hour on the train before setting off from Marylebone when everything was hunky dory. Within 10 minutes of sloshing through the puddles I notice something is awry ! The stitching on my right shoe where the sole is connected to the upper has split slightly and there is about a 3 inch gap ! But oh no it doesn’t end there ! Another 25 yards and the front part of my sole completely detaches leaving me with a heel and a inner sole. Another 1/4 of a mile  and the inner sole comes away followed shortly by the heel completely, leaving me walking on a flimsy porous piece of fabric which was thankfully still connected to the upper.

So there I am hopping around the soggy streets of London and  so we had to think quickly on our feet ( see what I did there ! ) we suss out that there is a shoe shop near and failing that Oxford street is a little further. We set off and unfortunately ” The Little Shoe Shop” was for ladies with small feet which didn’t quite match my requirements, so Oxford Street it was then ! Walking another half mile led to the other shoe deciding to come out in sympathy with the right one and you guessed it the front part of the sole decided to come off that one as well.

So there I am now with no shoes on so to speak, luckily it wasn’t much further to Oxford street and we came up to Primark where I bought a new pair of shoes and a pack of 5 pairs of socks for £30. After paying for them I removed the soggy socks I had on and replaced them with a new pair and put on my new shoes, finding the nearest bin to ditch the remains of the objects formerly known as shoes !

Having been delayed by our impromptu detour we set off again for Olympia and arrived around 1.40 and by this time we were in desperate need of a beer. Luckily there was about 1000 to choose from. Around 2.30 my neighbour and friend Phil came to join us from Nottingham with his son Chris and the rest of the afternoon/ early evening was spent in convivial conversation liberally sprinkled with libation.

Around 6.45 we all left the festival , Phil & Chris going to catch their train back home whilst Glyn & I caught the various tubes to return us near to Marylebone  station where we ventured into the Weatherspoons at Baker Street for something to eat before catching the 9.10 train back to Banbury and arriving back at “Cis” around 10.20. Phil & Chris didn’t fair as well, as their train broke down on the journey home resulting in a switch of trains and missing their last bus home and eventually getting home just before Thursday began. Chris compounded his misery by losing  a bag on the way having left it on the first train.

Thursday 10 August

Up early this morning and away to the Cropredy music festival joining to queue to get onto the site by 6.30. We got onto our camping field about 7.30 which was quite a long journey to cover about 6 miles.

Once settled in we did the necessary ablutions and had breakfast before having a slow start and heading off for a gander around the village for a while as the festival doesn’t kick off the music until 4.00 today. Having looked at the pretty naff stalls unless Tie Die is your thing, we settled upon the Red Lion pub where we took up our position in the Graveyard opposite with another hundred folk. Luckily we had brought our collapsible seats and we sat out in the glorious sunshine for a couple of hours until it was time to return and pack the rusksacks before queuing to get in and grab our position in the event field and await the start of the music.

Just a small one for Glyn !

There are 20,000 people expected and is a sold out show for Fairport Conventions 50 years in the business. Young Indie band they are not !

Today’s artists began with an acoustic set by Fairport themselves followed by Feast of Fiddles, Show of Hands, The Trevor Horn Band and finally Divine Comedy. Most were fairly average with the worst being Divine Comedy who in our opinion were pretty dire although speaking to others, they loved them. The best of the day were the Trevor Horn band who were excellent. You may of not heard of him but he is very well known in the industry and was the big glasses man in the Buggles who sang Video Killed the Radio Stars. He also played the music in Frankie Goes to Holliwood. One of his band is Lol Creme of Godley and Creme and 10 CC. Excellent and well worth catching them if they come to a town near you.

Having given up on the Divine Comedy we took our gear back to the camping field and wandered into the village to the other pub the Brasenose Arms, for a few before last orders and then time for bed said Zeberdee !

Friday 11 August

After showers and breakfast it was back to queueing to get in for the second day’s event which started today at 12.00. The lineup today began with a young couple called Josie Duncan & Pablo Lafuente who were excellent. In fact all of the bands today were a step up from yesterday’s fayre ( except Trevor Horn ). Next was the Gerry Colvin band, Quill, Gigspanner, CC Smugglers, the Pierce Brothers, Petula Clark ( yes you read that right ) and Richard Thompson.

Day Two !

Angel spreads her Wings

Not quite the van I am used to !

The highlight again was the Pierce Brothers from Melbourne who were brilliant as they had been last year. Petula Clark is 84 and her voice is understandably not what it used to be but the many ex Hippies in the audience appreciated her efforts.

Today we had a light rain for about an hour at 5 ish but getting under our rain ponchos soon kept us dry and then the sun came out and we were back on form again.

Two music fans !

The most popular marquee

We stuck with the programme today until finish when we returned to “Cis” and hit the sack again.

Saturday 12 August

Today’s events kicked off again at 12.00 and began with Ashley Hutchings ( formerly Fairport Convention ) and Morris On which were Morris dancing orientated and didn’t really do it for me. The rest of today’s line up was: Judy Dyble ( pretty awful and needs to realise her voice has gone ! ), Plainsong ( good ) Cats in Space ( 70’s style rockers. Good ) Marillion ( good ) Dougie McLean ( excellent) and finishing with farewell from Fairport Convention with a host of guests, some from today’s artists and also Ralph Mactell.

Day Three !

Largest Morris Dance in the World !

He’s awake now !

All in all a good day with some lovely sunshine and no rain . Good weather, Good Music, Good Beer and of course Good company with my mate Glyn, although he may have a different slant on things ! What more could you want ?

Festival Headgear !

Sunday 13 August

So return to Home day and after ablutions and breakfast it was time to head off, unfortunately “Cis” loved it so much here, she didn’t want to leave. When it came to starting the engine the battery decided not to provide enough juice to do it. Bummer ! This resulted into a nice offer of a jump start from one of our neighbours being gratefully accepted and then we were under starters orders and go ! Arriving home around 11.15

That’s it for now folks but don’t worry Jane & I are going on another adventure in less than a weeks time, so check in again soon

Take care Pat X

Life is but a Circus !

Friday 14 July

Happy Bastille Day

Well here we are with the final instalment of our latest French escapades. It is very brief and unfortunately includes no photos

Continuing our ever northbound journey, we set off for a favourite stop of ours at Hardelot Plage where they have got two good free Aires with access to the little village on the coast. We often stop here and have a nice meal on our last night before the final hours drive to Calais the following morning to catch the ferry.

On the way here we come into the small town of Etaples which looks very nice but is rammed. Being a kind gentleman, I let out of a junction what I believe to be an articulated Lorry. When it pulled out I then realised it was a circus troupe pulling 3 more large trailers. In Australia the road trains are not that long and you wouldn’t be allowed to drive them through small towns along the coast !

We stop for more provisions to take home at the supermarket and allow the circus vehicles to move on . As we are driving towards Hardelot we see the signs saying Circus at Hardelot Plage beginning tomorrow 15 July. When we arrive at our Aire we find that this is where they are having the Big Top and there are camels, horses, donkeys etc chained along the road ( No Tigers ! )

I don’t want to appear prejudiced but I am not happy sharing an Aire with a large circus troupe and associated animals. We decide to move on up to try another Aire in Wissant near Calais. Would you believe it, the same dates there is another circus here for the same weekend and the Aire is absolutely Chokka.

We decide to backtrack a little and forego the Aires to go to a campsite we have used before in a place called Guines. It is quite expensive here but we decide it isn’t worth keep driving along to find somewhere we can pitch up for the night.

Having bit the bullet and paid 34 Euros for the night, we find the bar and chill for a couple of beers having a brief chat  with a couple from Staffordshire. We bump in to them a while later and of all the people we know who can rattle on incessantly  ( Yes you know who you are ! ) these guys can beat you hands down. They are market traders in Hanley and I bet they sell a bomb. They Hardly draw breath but are such fun to talk to. I exchange some pink toilet rinse  for a bottle of rip off perfume smell alike! Bargain !

The restaurant here is very good and we have an excellent three course meal for 21 Euros each. Having enjoyed our last day we have an early night as we are up before 6.00 to catch the ferry tomorrow and set off for home with scheduled arrival at lunchtime.

That’s it for now folks. I am away with “Cis” in August with my Scottish mate Glyn at Cropredy music festival and then Jane & I go to Formby near Liverpool later on the month with our friends Pete & Nina and their Motorhome. Catch up with you guys later. Hope you are enjoying the blog and the photos

TTFN

P & J xx

Lazing around at Lyons La Foret !

Wednesday 12 July

We got up at 7.00 this morning and set off towards our next place nice & early as the weather forecast said it was going to be pants and guess what, it was correct! We did a supermarket & breakfast stop en route beginning to stock up with La Vin Rouge to take home to last us the year ( Yes folks it does actually last us more than a fortnight when we get home !! )

Our final stop for the day is at Lyons La Foret which is a beautiful village believe it or not situated in the middle of a large forest. If you ever get the chance to come here it is stunning and very accessible from Calais being a few hours away particularly for those not driving a 5 tonne beast like mine and can afford the tolls !

The campsite here is a municipal one ( St Paul ) but very nice having a good mix between static homes and pitches for caravans & motorhomes. And although it is now peak season was less than 50 Euros for two nights including electricity and free access to the municipal swimming pool. The facilities are fairly basic but ok with plenty of hot water in the showers and provided loo roll which is not always the case in France !

We pitch up and have a cuppa because it is still raining and after an hour, the rain stops and although it is not brilliant sunshine it is still warm and we get some blue sky though the clouds.

We venture up into the town and have a good wander around before settling in the market place for a drink outside the main bar for the square. By now the rain has passed and we enjoy the fresh air and occasional sunshine whilst having a beer.

The forest around the village was a former royal hunting area and had at one time a fortified castle in the middle which was completely destroyed with very little evidence it was here.

I spied a good book called” The official guide to the most beautiful villages in France “ in the tourist information centre which we just have to buy to help with planning future itineraries.

After wandering around for a while more we return back to “Cis” and look at our new purchase and I get the opportunity to update the blog in regards to where we have been since Beynac.

Thursday 13 July

I went out for probably the last early morning sortie on my bike this morning cycling up to Fleury La Foret and the Chateau nearby although that was closed that early in the morning. On my return to Lyons La Foret I continued cycling around the extremes of the village before returning to the campsite for breakfast.

The Police are investigating a report about missing Tradesmen !

Snow White had found the house the Seven Dwarves lived in !

After breakfast and showers we had another walk into the village with me showing Jane some of the bits I had discovered earlier. It was one of the three market days but the Fishmongers, Fruit stall, Meat stall and Clothing stall were the markets entirety and paled a little in comparison to Bingham.

We had lunch at the same cafe we had used yesterday when there had been three couples including us the whole lunchtime. Today the market place was full at the open air tables so market days are the times to come for people watching and atmosphere.

Following on from lunch we return to “Cis” when I am able to post this next instalment of the blog. The rest of the afternoon we plan to just chill and have French Cheese & Biscuits/Bread for tea and not venture far.

Tomorrow we travel up to Hardelot Plage which is about an hour away from Calais for our final day before we return on Saturday to the UK. I will finish off the rest of the blog hopefully over the weekend from home.

Ouch, Mind That *=#~+&% Wall !

Sunday 9 July

We had a leisurely start this morning kicked off with a couple of Bacon Butties, pity the Baguette used for the bread was as tough as old Nag Nails ! By the time we had packed up, showered, posted the Blog and said our farewells it was 12.00 just in time to not incur any further days cost.

We had a steady drive up over the hills again and passing through a small town with a Sunday market we were behind a young lad driving his fathers car with father inside. Because of the market, parking was atrocious and the road we all wanted to travel along would only allow a single direction of traffic to pass. I stopped well back but the lad decides to go and ends up with a forward & reversing manoeuvre with cars coming the other way. One of his reverses  ended up with him scraping big time his Dads car along the wall of a house. He continued another 30 yards to get through the road and pulled up to examine the damage. Now that the road was clear, we continued down the gap. Dad and Son were by now  out of the car and we could hear the row that was going off well before we passed them. It’s a good job I don’t understand French that well because I’m sure there were a few expletives amongst the vitriol thrown at poor laddo ! I’m writing this 3 days later and I’m sure he’s still getting a severe tabholing from his father. ( for my out of town followers, this means getting a right ear bashing ! )

We had been recommended Bourdeilles as a place to visit and found the aire easily after negotiating the numerous rather large rock formations which stick out in the road and forced a rather nervous motorhome driver into the oncoming traffic. ( If everyone stuck to the correct way of driving on the Left side of the road, this wouldn’t have been a problem ! ). IThe Aire is only a large Grass field but there are the usual dumping/water facilities although they have an extra charge. We paid 6 Euros which if you compare with our first night where all facilities plus electric was only 5 Euros, it was a bit of a rip off.

The little village has, you guessed it a Chateau, and the ruins of a previous castle and medieval walls. It was very pretty and worth a stop. We had a good look around stopping in a very quaint, typical French restaurant/bar for a swift half before chilling beside “Cis” for the afternoon & evening having a very nice Shrimp Cannelloni for tea.

Could do with a tidy up !

We watched this bloke spend 15 minutes levelling his Van !

 

Monday 10 July

Leaving Bourdeilles behind we continue North reaching the town of Aregenton Sur Creuse which is very busy as it seems to be a major cross route to everywhere.

On arriving in the town I found the route to the Aire but was confronted with two signs; one said prohibited above 3.4 Metres ( no problem, we are only 3.1 Metres ) the other said prohibited above 3.5 Tonnes ( 1 ½ tonnes too heavy ! ) I stopped “Cis” and ran up the road to check out how the land lied. There was a bridge under the railway but I could see no problem with the weight so I drove down and parked up. ( Naughty Naughty !, need to watch out for the French Letter in the Post. [No not that type of French Letter ! you perv ].) The Aire is just a large gravel car park for the sports centre with no facilities. There was an open toilet block but I didn’t venture into it.

After parking up we had our usual Perambulation around the town but the clouds were becoming darker. There were  a few nice views but we daren’t venture far because of fear of rain.We had a Tapas meal in a small restaurant/bar which was ok but not the best. Having eaten it we just managed to get back to the Aire before it Mega hammered it down. The car park was awash and we had two or three torrential thunderstorms throughout the evening but we were nice and dry inside.

Tuesday 11 July

The Boulangerie girl came round with her bread van in the morning which was a nice touch and saved having to go into town for some.

By now the swimming pool, er sorry ! car park, had dried out sufficiently to be able to drive away from and we set off to our next stop of Chateaudun some 3 hours further North. On arrival we found the Aire to be very small and not a lot of room to park “Cis” in. It had the usual dumping/water facilities including a rudimentary toilet ( Hole in the ground Ladies ! ) and the Chateau and park at the bottom looked worth a further exploration. We had a cup of tea and decided to head a few miles further North to see the next Aire at Marboue. When we came to it we weren’t allowed to turn left and the way signposted to get to it looked a little too tight for a 9 metre van. We continued further North for a few more miles and came to Bonneval.

Chateaudun. bit of a squeeze !

Quelle Surprise ! Bonneval is a very beautiful little town with canals passing through the centre and everywhere is covered with flowers. The Aire is on a general car park but again has normal facilities (Free) and also has 3 toilets. The toilets unfortunately were locked though which I think was a sign of respect for George Michael ! come on guys he’s been dead months now !

We parked up and went for another walk around finding a nice little open air bar to have a cold Affligem. As it was lunchtime, as usual the shops were all shut which Jane says is a deliberate ploy to keep her from spending any money. Result !

Having wandered around for an hour or two we returned to “Cis” and spent the afternoon with Jane reading the paper and myself processing my photos and writing the notes for the blog ready to post hopefully tomorrow when we reach a campsite.

Hills, Heat, and yet more Hills !

Friday 7 July

This morning I cycled up to the small village of Cazenac a few miles behind Beynac. Which is all uphill through the forest on a little road, but was worth the effort as I got a very nice view of a couple of Hot Air Balloons behind Baynec Chateau. The return trip was great because I could freewheel virtually all the way down again.

Today the temperature has reached 36 degrees C ! We’re melting ! Apart from sitting under the canopy in the shade back at “Cis” we have been swimming in the pool all day trying to grab as much shade as possible. This campsite is brilliant but for one fault and that there are not enough sun parasols around the pool side. It certainly wasn’t a day for climbing the hill up to Beynac village again.

We have tea at home today rather than get changed and go out. It’s too hot to mess around so after showering we just chill with a glass of wine. Unfortunately the wine has been inside “Cis” all day and it would be very favourable at Christmas and you wanted warmed Mulled wine but even in the cool of the evening ( 27 degrees ) it was almost ( I did  say almost ! ) too warm to drink. But being the true troopers that we are we persevered.

We gave it until 11.15 to call  it a night and it had cooled down outside, and both had seemed to have avoided the biting things, although I did burn my finger on the Mozzie coil ( Patrick you can be such a Muppet sometimes ! )  so we tried to settle down to what was probably still 30 degrees inside ( I know Pete , stop moaning ! ) to attempt the nights sleep.

Saturday 8 July

This mornings run out on the Steel Machine was to Daglan which strangely enough was not up a hill with a Chateau overlooking it, but it was still very pretty. Whilst there were some old parts of the village there was some tastefully modernised and revamped places too. The beauty of this trip was that 90% of it was on a cycleway or on very small roads with zilch traffic. The other good thing this morning was that at 7.00 it was cloudy and cool, perfect.

On my return and after breakfast we unfortunately had to move pitches as the one we were on had been reserved from today ( I did know on our arrival but kept fingers crossed for a cancellation ! )

the new spot was only 100 yards away and only took 20 minutes to move and reset the awning, carpet, elecs etc.

After that the sun was breaking through and the day was turning into another scorcher so we hit the pool again to keep cool. Jane was hanging out with her new pal Alfie and I read my book with regular dips to refresh the parts other beers cannot reach !

Archie on Baywatch duty !

View from the Pool !

Just after lunchtime my new friend Stephen had to nip out in his hire car to fetch some essentials for his youngest Archie and agreed to drop me off on the way  in the beautiful old village ( yet again atop another hill ! ) of Domme which has a stunning view over the Dordogne and is very picturesque.

After an hour taking a few photos up there and a quick beer to refresh ourselves from the by now ever increasing oppressive heat we returned to the site where I needed to hit the cool of the pool again.

Our M.O  for the evening is cooking a nice steak on the camp kitchen and chilling with a beer or glass of wine ( Not too many ! ) before our planned leave tomorrow morning to Bordeilles which we have been recommended. If we can’t get in the Aire there then we will try Brantome a few miles further North as we begin our journey towards Calais, albeit it will take a week to get there.

We were joined later by Steven & Anne and Boys ( sorry Guys, got the correct spelling this time ) for a few glasses of wine and sociable company before hitting the sack around midnight

This will be the last post for a while as I don’t know when I’ll get WIFI again, so catch you later

Cometh the Corner, Cometh the Chateau !

Wednesday 5 July

We set off from St Cirq before 9.00 and Mrs Sat Nag decided to throw a wobbler ! She sent me up the mountain road past the hilltop town but after a mile I decided against it as there was some mighty tight bends and very thin roads. Luckily there was a big coach park at the very top of the hill which allowed me to turn around and go back past the town. I think I must have entered the coordinates wrong as the nearer we headed to Cahors the longer it was telling me the journey would take. Jane took over with the map until I could reprogramme it.

The journey out of St Cirq along the river Lot is a memorable one as well, as there are sheer cliffs alongside the road with tunnels dug out of it as well as overhangs as low as 2.8 metres if you stick to the right of the road. “Cis” is 3.1 metres which meant that a lot of time I was driving on the wrong side of the road away from the cliff.  We had a few occasions when we had a tight squeeze alongside lorries coming the other way.

When we reached Cahors it was time to fill up with Diesel as well as provisions for the fridge. We spotted a LeClerc supermarket and took up 4 bays in their carpark. After our shop and loading up, we resumed our journey. Mrs Sat Nag again started acting up when she kept switching off every time I tried to turn her on which again resulted in Jane navigating by map. It’s a good job Jane is an excellent navigator. Well done partner ! ( Any body want to buy a second hand Sat Nav, one careful owner !! )

So we’ve left the Lot behind and now descend on to the Dordogne when we finally reach our destination just after 1.00 and settled onto a pitch. The campsite is Le Capeyrou and is at Beynac et Cazenac just below the castle on top of the rock alongside the river Dordogne. I think we have a thing for little towns and villages up on top of hills !

After sorting ourselves out ( and putting Sat Nag on deep charge for the next four days ) we had a nice cold beer in the garden of the lovely bar. Then we ( Jane ) did the washing and then we hit the pool ! Man it was brilliant ! Today is about 32 degrees C again and it was fantastic to cool off in the water. I think that pool and me are going to become inseparable friends !

After spending the afternoon by the pool we returned to ” Cis” and spent the evening in the shade and had some French cheeses and bread or biscuits with a little French wine. I prepared a few photos in readiness to post the next Blog instalment tomorrow

Thursday 6 July

Went off on my bike for a brisk cycle around the area and literally there is a Chateau around every  bend of the river Dordogne. What a beautiful area.

Greenhouse for sale cheap. Must provide own Glass !

Giz us a Hug !

After breakfast we climbed the steep hill up to the top of Beynac where yet another Chateau is perched on top of a huge rock face. Whilst it was warm today it wasn’t as hot as yesterday and so was easily managed.

We had a good wander around the little lanes and it is certainly worth a stop and explore around this old town if you are ever in the area. We will certainly  be back ( Just like Arnie ! )

Getting a Window Cleaner here is a Bitch !

Ariel view of our campsite

After exploring for an hour or two we descended ( always the better part of any hill ! ) back down to the river level and had a drink in a very nice little bar/ restaurant opposite the campsite.

We returned to the site and then swam and sat around the pool for the afternoon albeit by now it was very cloudy but still very warm. Finishing off the afternoon after showering we went back to the bar we had been in previously and had a lovely meal cooked by the Dutch owners who gave me a few tips for where to go in September when we plan to visit Holland ( Keep your eyes peeled for that one )

On our return to the site we bumped into a Scottish couple Stephen and Ann and their two kids Alfie & Archie, who we had spoken to around the pool yesterday. They were up for a beer so we spent a very nice evening with those guys until it was time to hit the sack.

Lounging by the Lot !

Sunday 2 July

There may be Trouble ahead !

Bidding farewell to Villeneuve Les Beziers we set off North back along the Free motorway where we were buffeted around due to the ever present wind for several miles until we reached the Millau bridge, where unbelievably it began to recede. Very shortly after that we turned off the motorway and headed West towards the river Lot. Instead of the wind we had to suffer very heavy and wet mist which made visibility very bad and was quite a strenuous drive concentrating where the next bend was coming up. This continued until we reached Rodez where it finally lifted and allowed us to continue the next 50 miles in clear visibility until we reached our destination.

St Cirq Lapopie, which as many of you may remember is where we have been a number of times and is one of our favourite places in France. It is built on a huge rock overlooking the river Lot valley with sheer cliffs for much of the terrain.

We park up on the aire and stroll down the river for a short while before chilling outside “Cis” where the cloud broke up a little giving us brief glimpses of blue sky and sunshine. This is forecast for the next few days so fingers crossed ! We stay inside for tea and the rest of the evening contemplating our next move tomorrow.

Monday 3 July

This morning was quite overcast so we decided to go for a bike ride. We cycled along the river Lot and came upon a boat lock at a place called Ginal. There wasn’t anything here except a walkway that has been hewn into the vertical rock face which allows you to continue walking for about 1/2 kilometre before the river moves away from the cliff and returns to a normal path and then opens out into a flat pasture bringing us to the village of Bouzies. Here you can go on boat trips which take you along the river passing St Cirq Lapopie.

We had a wander around the village with me getting told off for wanting to take photos of a rusty old rail bridge and eventually ending up on a terrace of a hotel overlooking the river and their swimming pool. Here we refreshed ourselves with a nice cold beer ( very apt in a village called Bouzies ! ) before returning back to the Aire.

The 08.17 to Cahors is a little late !

Wood you believe it !

By this time the sun was fully out so we chose to stay the afternoon by “Cis” enjoying the sunshine and relaxing. We had tea here and apart from me nipping off for an hour to take a few photos sat outside until about 10.15 when the nibbling things forced us inside to take refuge in bed

Tuesday 4 July

We woke up this morning to a real thick mist and we couldn’t even see St Cirq where we have planned to walk up the very steep hill and have lunch. Undeterred we set off around 10.30 and took a steady hike up the hill. By now the mist had gone and it was the making of a extremely hot day topping out around 32 degrees C which we don’t see a lot of in dear old Blighty. Us Brits are never happy with the weather. Too Hot !, Too Cold !, Too Wet !, Who’s been sleeping in my bed !

After wandering around for an hour we need a cold beer and choosing a very nice shady patio area in a lovely  Restaurant, we opted for a nice glass of Leffe. This was followed by another, and by that time it was Lunchtime. I had a very nice Cassoulet and Jane had a warm Rocamadour cheese salad. Both of which were delicious. 2 1/2 hours later after acting like real French folk we came out to a roasting afternoon. Good job it was all downhill on the way back!

On our return to the Aire we did absolutely flap all as it was too hot to move. I opened every vent and window and put out the awning to grab as much shade as possible. We both had cold showers later but it was still a very uncomfortable night in terms of sleeping. My good friends Pete & Nina have been suffering 40 degrees down in Spain in their Motorhome. How could you guys stand it !

Tomorrow we are planning to go to a campsite which has a swimming pool. I don’t think I’ll leave it all day !