Labruguière, Tarn, Wednesday 4th July 2018
Back in the lovely motorhome aire at Labruguière, 4 months and 6 days after we left in freezing temperatures, and it is now so hot I’ve just been to the water tap to have a cold wash! We’ve come back in the hope of finding the bird feeder we left behind back in late February, but alas! it’s disappeared. We have looked in all the trees in the aire just in case someone had moved it, but there is no trace of it. I just hope that whoever took it has put it to good use and birds of all kinds are enjoying a good meal somewhere. Who took it? Was it someone local, the gardener who tends to the hedges and lawn, perhaps? Another motorhomer who has driven far, far away? Did it stay in France or has it gone abroad? One could write a whole story about The Mystery of the Missing Bird Feeder; I could let my imagination run wild…
But that’s enough of that. We were very impressed with the aire at Vézac outside Camping La Plage, right underneath the majestic cliffs and only a few metres from the Dordogne river. Another advantage was that we could use the campsite’s swimming pool, order a baguette at reception and, of course, use the bar/restaurant facilities too (we had a nice pizza), but not their shower/toilet facilities, although there was a shower room by the swimming pool, funny enough!
It was nice and quiet for most of the day, except during the ‘rush hour’ traffic, which seemed to start at around 7.30 a.m. and woke me up every day. Other than that, it was blissfully peaceful.
Beano loved his walks in the plentiful shade and had loads of swims in the river to cool off several times a day and it was lovely to see all the canoes and touring boats full of happy tourists gently gliding up and down stream: it reminded us of our canoe trips with Pepo from Sarlat-la-Caneda, only just up the road, and in Asturias, northern Spain, all those years ago. Happy days!
There was a market on Friday morning at La-Roque-Gageac and we strolled gently, soaking up the lovely views from the footpath and above the village and we bought a few things in the market, including a very pretty hand-painted wicker basket covered with a dome net to serve cheese or fruit and keep the insects at bay.
The village itself is one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France and it certainly deserves the title, what with the stunning setting, the medieval houses and streets and the exotic gardens it is a true delight!
We had been told by our neighbour at the aire in Vézac that the road behind us was very busy on Sunday with loud motorbikes and, this being a pet-hate of mine, we thought it best to leave on Saturday morning and headed south towards Cahors for our next destination at the aire in Luzech on the river Lot that has now been moved away from the car park by campsite and it now feels almost like wild camping, even though there is water and electricity available. We paid 4E for just for the overnight parking at the campsite bar and settled in for the day. There is a wonderful sandy beach by the canoe hire outfit and, of course, we made the most of it, going for several cooling swims during the day, as temperatures have been in their 30sºC for a couple of weeks now. France was playing Argentina in the Football World Cup and Adonis went to the bar to watch the game with the locals, which sounded very jolly and exciting from our pitch. France won and that made the occasion even better.
On Sunday morning, we drove to St-Antonin-Noble-Val, another beautiful village with a very impressive 12th century Town Hall building (Maison des Consuls) by which we had a refreshing beer and an ice-cream in the popular square and lazily watched the world go by in the hot afternoon.
The motorhome aire is free and very large, right by the Aveyron River and, being a Sunday, it was very busy when we arrived with day trippers visiting the famous market and having a picnic in the shade, but they all left at around 7 p.m. and the aire was very quiet after that.
On Monday morning, we drove towards Toulouse and tried the aire at La Magdelaine-sur-Tarn, which was a lovely setting by the lake, but there was a dog on the lose that wouldn’t leave us alone and became a bit of a pain with Beano, so we left after a drink and a dog walk break and tried the aire at Lavaur, which turned out to be just a car park by a school and it was in full-on sun, not a great idea in the heat.
Off we went again after a quick look at Park-4-Night and decided on Damiatte, about 17km further east on the D112, where we found charming Camping Plan d’eau Saint-Charles, with a beautiful man-made lagoon or beach area with very fine white sand that felt almost tropical and where we spent the last 2 days for only 50 euros (Beano costing 3 a day). We had a wonderful shady pitch, as were all the other pitches too, and the facilities were good and spotless. We loved it there and Beano made friends with a little dog in a nearby pitch who kept coming round looking for him to play with. She was a beautiful white Cocker Spaniel called Perla from Barcelona and it was lovely see them play so nicely.
We are on our way to Portiragnes to spend some time with the family, so we are inching forward, as we are only about 100km away. We might stay here tomorrow too, for we are not expected until Friday afternoon.
It is our 21st Wedding Annivesary tomorrow and it will be nice to go out for a meal to celebrate.