Venturing south

We spend part of our year in the Charente in France, endlessly renovating a tumble-down barn we bought some time ago. This trip we decided to actually take a holiday, so hitched up the old caravan we use as a respite from the building work, and headed a couple of hours south into the Dordogne.

The lovely Le Paradis campsite, just outside Saint Léon sur Vézère, was almost deserted this far into the autumn term. our-little-corner-of-paradiseThis is Cyril, looking a bit forlorn about being tied up.

a-pool-of-ones-ownThe water was a little nippy, but I had the whole pool to myself!

flowers-at-le-paradisLe Paradis lived up to its name, and many of the plants were still going strong at the beginning of October.

lovely-plant-at-le-paradisNo idea what this is, but it was impressive.


pool-planting-in-dordogneHard to believe we were in central France and not somewhere tropical.

bamboo-tunnel-at-le-paradisFabulous bamboo tunnel.

big-bamboo-at-le-paradisAnd an even more impressive bamboo grove down by the river.

perigueux-cathedralSaturday we drove into Périgueux to go to the market and ogle its amazing cathedral.

last-stop-perigueux-roundaboutI was also rather taken by this locomotive parked up by a local roundabout.

dordogne-humourI couldn’t help being amused by this building firm.

all-aboardcyril-and-chateauThe next day we ventured out in a couple of kayaks, taking a dog apiece. We left number three, Mrs Perkins, back in the caravan – the last kayak trip we took her on, she kept throwing herself into the river out of sheer desperation. Cyril and Stan, on the other hand, only tried to drown themselves a couple of times.

stan-on-the-prowheading-downstreamIt was the most gorgeous day, but Cyril and Stan seemed less than convinced this was the best way to spend it.

under-the-treesweird-place-on-the-vezereNo idea what this was, but I was the only one brave enough to paddle inside.

an-island-of-our-ownWe even discovered an island of our own, right in the middle of the Vézère river.

dejeuner-sur-lherbeTen minutes downstream we came across the French riverside cafe of our dreams, Le Déjeuner sur L’Herbe at Saint Léon sur Vézère. It did feel a bit like being in a Manet painting, and the food was delicious.

saladdog-under-the-tableCyril was clearly hoping something would fall off the table.

dordogne-post-boxThe next day we were all achy and exhausted, so took it easy with a bit of light sight-seeing and another stop at the riverside cafe before heading back to the building site we call home. Loved this postbox near Lascaux!