Saturday, September 20, 2014

Holiday - Domaine de Peyrecaty, Belves, France (Day 3)

It was another very warm night  that included a short visit by the resident mossie in the early hours attempting to interrupt our alcohol-infused sleeping pattern. It’s amazing how useful a folded map can be when the need arises! SPLAT! and back to sleep!

We re-awoke around 7am, and after switching on the Tablet, learned that Scotland had voted to stay within the Union. Heady stuff, and according to Radio 4, a lot of Scots are in a state of depression this morning, rather than a state of their own. No doubt there’s still much to be discussed - but not by us!

20140919_103827
The View from our Room

Anyway, on with lighter stuff! It was lazy morning, whilst Steve and Helen attended to work matters, Ann and I continued to catch-up with our reading. Then, late morning, the four of us headed to the rather tongue-twisty Les Jardins Suspendus de Marqueyssac, about a 30 minute drive from base-camp. It’s a privately owned woodland area that has, in recent times, been completely renovated for the sole pleasure of its visitors.

P1030479
Impressive, or what?

As any schoolboy knows: ‘jardins’ translates from French to English as ‘gardens’ , but on arrival, it became immediately obvious that it was less a garden paradise and more a rugged woodland area! Combine these features with my general unfitness, steep inclines, wrong footwear, 30+ temperatures with extreme humidity - and we had the makings of disaster!
Surprised smile

P1030480

P1030468

P1030467

P1030469

Still, what we exerted in physical energy, was more than made-up for by the stunning views across the Dordogne, as we got near the top. Breathless and breath-taking in equal measure!!!
Winking smile

P1030470

P1030471

P1030473

P1030475

P1030476

P1030477

P1030478

P1030465

And when we weren’t admiring the view, we were marvelling at the tremendous amount of work that had gone into transforming this forgotten wilderness into a magical woodland area. To add to the magical quality of the walk, there were a series of large paintings depicting fairies, wood nymphs and unicorns at regular intervals.

P1030472

P1030474 

The walk brought us full-circle back to the Restaurant (thankfully!), and we were soon sitting down at the only remaining outside table. We soon found out why it was vacant - it was like sitting with our backs to an oven. Luckily, we then spotted some additional tables away from the main eating area and so we quickly swapped! Having secured our seating, the next priority was food and drink. It was a basic menu, but it didn’t matter much as we were all starving!

The service was swift, and the food delicious - Damn! I even had a salad!!! - together with the obligatory glass of wine and a bottle of Perrier.

Then it was back to the car, and to base-camp, where we spent the rest of the afternoon chilling-out and planning what to do with our last full day here tomorrow. After studying the map in detail, it looks like we’ll head south along the Belves road and visit Villefranche-du-Perigord and then onto the Castle at Bonaguil.

We ate-in tonight courtesy of Helen’s excellent cooking - homemade chick-pea and salmon curry, and Steve’s Ice-cream brownies - and we also managed to sample (extensively!) some more wine too! It would have been rude not to!!!!

20140919_202342
Eating-in err, outside!

Bonne-nuit at 10pm!