Friday 10th June After a freezing cold night, although the sky was super clear and the stars so bright, we woke to a dry morning. So as the sun slowly came up from behind the mountains the tent had chance to dry out before we packed it up. The ground sheets got a good wash with the camp car wash hose and dried out while we showered and changed after all the mud cleaning. We certainly left our mark.. In the mud, don’t think they’ll be able to use that pitch for a while.
The weather remind fine although getting increasingly cloudy as the day went on, until our arrival in Lyon. Not the most exciting of days as it was motorway all the way, lots of traffic hold ups but a great dinner this evening.
Saturday 11th June
Clermont Ferrand has always been a sign on a destination board on the motorways which we have avoided as a large city. Today we needed to top up our wifi data so ventured into the city en route to our camp in the Dordogne and were pleasantly surprised. Easy to find the city centre, following the tall dark cathedral spires! We found a lovely old centre, marchè in progress! Small curving old streets full of character, lively market stalls full of fresh produce. Wandering round all the aromas of differing sources swirling surrounding us, I was reminded of Raymond Blanc telling how he started his culinary career and can fully understand now what he meant. Amr was definitely affected by the aromas, and keeping him away from the restaurants all around was a tough job! Note to self, make sure we don’t stop in towns at lunch time!! My suggestion of a picnic en route was welcomed, so a freshly rotisserie do chicken was purchased, fat red cherries, then a hunt for bread resulted in finding a long queue outside the Boulanger, always a good sign, we joined it and came out with the lightest and sweetest smelling loaf, so we were all set, just needing to get back on the road and find a suitable picnic spot.
We found one not far out of town, surrounded by trees and fairly quiet, our only company only a family of French people enjoying also their picnic. Delicious chicken played a supporting role to the best bread we have ever eaten. The cherries topped of the lunch perfectly, then on our way again.
The campsite is hidden away in the woods, huge site with four swimming pools, kids will have a great time here on all the water slides and chutes! We made do with a walk round the camp, discovering a fishing lake, rules are don’t kill the fish!!
Sunday 12th June
Checking out the list of local markets I found one nearby which we have been to before when in the area, plan was easy. The market is an unusual one in that it’s held on a Sunday. Very popular with locals and tourists alike, there were sounds of French, German, Australians, Americans and of course British all around us. The produce generally from small local producers all fresh, not conforming to EU rules about size, shape, colour etc which is what I love about this country, and wonder why on earth England is the only country in the EU that actually sticks to the stupid rules!! Not a reason for an exit vote! The Dordogne is famous for its ducks, truffles and of course fois gras. So I got my truffle fix in a Brie with truffle, Amr got his with magret de canard, or duck breast, for once missing the fois gras, but I’m sure he won’t leave the area without feasting on it at least once, Ramadan or no Ramadan!!On return to camp more domestic chores in the shape of working out how to find and use the washing machines, Amr is having to learn how to live without ironing his shirts, doesn’t come easy but I keep reminding him he’s a traveller now not a tourist😂😂
Having changed our plans and location drastically due to the weather, we needed to work out how we intend to spend the rest of our time here in France as opposed to being in the Black Forest in Germany. So we are now going up to the Loire when we finish here, then a few nights in Normandy a hotel in Le Touqet, trying to find Poirot!! before we end up in Brugges before getting the ferry home. Sad to be thinking of going home but we still have nearly three weeks yet to enjoy, and it looks like the rain may stop some time before then!!