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  • Day55

    Now at Châlus

    September 22 in France ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    A beautiful day’s walk, about 18 kms. But to finish yesterday, we had a lovely dinner with Martine and Alain. We agreed to speak French and they were very kind and spoke clearly and we had a good conversation! And good food - not gourmet, but very satisfying…(their daughter is a chef in Toulouse)…we had sausages made with the local beef, rice, salad, cheese and dessert…perfect, and by 8pm we were starving! They asked where we were staying tonight and when we named the hotel in Chalus they sort of smiled and raised their eyebrows…they wouldn’t exactly say anything, but we knew to expect something a little down market…or weird…

    So we set off about 9, and it was cool, about 12°, and a little foggy but clear sky. It was beautiful and rather mystical for the first half hour. It soon cleared into a cloudless day, but not too hot, just perfect. So we just walked on, through picture postcard countryside in every direction. We’d have gradual long ascents and gradual long descents in the rolling hills, mostly walking on minor country roads with barely a car or even a tractor. Passed through pretty small hamlets and towns, and we just saying it would be nice to walk off the road through trees and that is exactly what happened…we were taken up into the most beautiful forests, with enormous trees. I’ve never seen oaks so tall. It is obviously a timber land, and we heard a chainsaw in the distance…when we were in the high land we could see forever.

    Then after several kms of tree tunnels we came out into civilisation again and were almost at Chalus. Easily found the hotel, on a fairly main road, and sort of a highway diner. We thought maybe our hosts last night just thought it wasn’t very classy and kept an open mind, and the host here welcomed us and expected us and had the bags. We had a beer first, then came up to our room.

    So this is quite a contrast …! Rather a weird network of rooms, but we found no 3. It has a shower cubicle standing like a telephone booth in one corner, a basin beside it and no visible toilet. We had seen a door with a big WC at the end of the corridor and thought oh well…but upon investigation and opening the door in the feature photograph wall of a waterfall we found our own toilet! (I thought it was a cupboard with coat hangers as there isn’t one). Travel broadens the mind, but I may take the precaution of sleeping in my silk sheet just in case of bedbugs…probably perfectly fine, but I’d hate to itch for the rest of the walk! Dinner here tonight will be fine - probably pizza the best option! Tomorrow an easy less than 20 km walk to La Coquille where we stay in a hotel again, but part of a chain which we have found very good…

    I have to thank people for their kind comments about my hat. I am still grieving and mystified as it was somewhere in that house - I walked in wearing it! But Amr gallantly lent me his hat, and will get out his Borselino to wear, and I will look for a replacement in Périgueux, but am not all that confident, based on other towns, that they will have a shop that sells hiking hats…..
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    Samantha Gillett

    I hope you find one Rosie....👒

    Samantha Gillett

    Ah ha, the waterfall toilet!

    Hartley Cook

    Think of Patrick Leigh Fermor losing his prized and much badged walking stick in Munich.

    3 more comments
  • Day54

    St Martin le Vieux

    September 21 in France ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    We left Limoges at about 8.30, and it took 2 hours (and 8 kms) to finally leave the outer suburbs and find ourselves in the countryside. Amr navigated us with map and instructions through the city, quite complicated crossing squares and up and down small streets. We discovered places that we hadn’t found yesterday en route, and a huge square full of bars and cafes that we’d love to have found at lunchtime yesterday! Also passed the market which was open and bustling today…Today we didn’t go through industrial areas to get out of the city, but in rather well to do suburbs, and in fact all day the area was more affluent it seemed - we didn’t see any crumbling buildings or farms.

    So we walked about 24 kms…meant to be 20, but add on the small distance from our accommodation at the beginning, and a bit to our (again) amazing accommodation tonight. It was a very peaceful and idyllic walk through the beautiful scenery. One larger town, Aixe-sur-Vienne, where we crossed the Vienne - quite a big river now - and where we stopped on a bench for lunch. One thing about crossing rivers is that you descend to them, then have to ascend up the other side, as most of the time we were in the higher country. We also crossed the Aixette, tributary of the Vienne, and followed alongside it for a while - truly beautiful, before coming up again - not steep climbs, just up!

    Passed a château, goose farm, lots of sheep, no vineyards and walked under oak trees, constantly crunching acorns. Arrived at this very small hamlet at about 3, and found that our place is out of the town a little, but along the camino, so we have even done a small bit of tomorrow’s distance! We knew we were staying at La Fromagerie which sounded lovely, but we were bowled over when we arrived. It is a very old stone building (will find out the actual date at dinner) but centuries old, and charmingly renovated inside to make a guesthouse. The hosts are delightful and greeted us and expected us and bags here…all perfect. Our hostess said she used to have goats and make cheese here, but she’s now given it up. They are probably in their 70s and we will have dinner tonight with them. Our room is of course delightful and we have showered and have plenty of time to relax and recover before dinner.

    I have sadly lost my hat…it disappeared somehow at last night’s place…I know I arrived with it and it was a bit wet, but leaving today it had disappeared…anyway, kind Amr has said I can use his. Not a crisis, but I was fond of that hat and it has done lots of our walks! And I like it as a hair controller! Maybe I can find one in Perigeux next weekend.
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    Peter Walmsley

    I know it’s like to lose a hat. My deepest condolences, Rosie. May it Rest In Peace.

    Denise Allen


    Paul Farrell

    Lest we forget the hat🙏🏻

    5 more comments
  • Day52

    Limoges for 2 nights

    September 19 in France ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    We have made it to Limoges, half way to the Pyrenees our book says! It was a 22.5 km walk, and a bit difficult entering the city, but not too bad, and here we are at a very beautiful and very well situated chambres d’hôtes, 5 minutes walk from the cathedral.

    But I haven’t done justice to St Léonard yesterday, as it is such a lovely and historic town. It rained yesterday afternoon and we didn’t see lots, except of course the enormous collégiale church….and didn’t take many photos. The collégiale bells chimed every quarter of an hour during the night Amr tells me, but for once I heard nothing and slept like a baby and he was the one disturbed!! A first I think. I did have the help of phenergan that I had taken for very itchy legs (not bedbugs! Think I brushed against some foliage or some insect nipped me…and I’d wake with itch in the night)…

    And I keep remembering small funny things that I meant to mention…during the animated conversation with Wolfgang he asked how we had enjoyed dinner at Les Remparts the night before. That was the hotel run by 2 gay guys with the 4 poster bed. We said it was fine, but not the usual French meal…and he laughed and told us that François and Daniel used to run a small eatery, quite popular for a cheap meal (and the spareribs was one of the specialties) and then bought the building in Bénévent, which used to be an old people’s home, for €1 as the government wanted to offload it, and turned it into a hotel! Fun to hear this background, and explains why they were a little disorganised!

    I also didn’t hear all the artists come back to the “hotel” last night after their night on the town! I say hotel because it essentially was - a beautiful old stone building - and we came and went, with a code for the front door - and it was extremely luxurious. Our breakfast this morning was a special table just for us, separate from the artistes who had not risen by 7.30, with beautiful setting and freshly squeezed orange juice!! One way to our hearts.

    We left at 8.30 and it wasn’t raining, though did look as if it could some time soon, and our ponchos were easy to reach in our packs. And it was cold!!! About 12° I think, and I wore a jacket walking all day! A week ago I was complaining of heat. But I’m not complaining now, it was perfect walking weather. And the rain held off for most of the walking time. We headed out along the Vienne river, very pretty with old timbered houses, then headed gently but steadily uphill until we were way up from the valley, and walked on well signed paths. Not many photos as the distance was mostly misty. Had lunch at a small village, and the mayor walked by, introduced himself and wished us bon appétit, and an elderly couple also talked to us and we had quite a conversation. They lived in a nearby village that we had to walk through and asked us to have coffee there with them, so nice, but we said we needed to walk on to Limoges. We were joined there by a Dutch woman who we had met last night. In fact we met a few people last night for a drink before dinner. We had run into Leon, the lone German, and arranged to meet him, and then other odd walkers arrived - it was probably the only bar open - and we had quite a social time. Anyway, we saw the Dutch woman on and off today as we found our way into the city.

    It was a lovely entry, after negotiating the outer suburbs and industrial area, over an old bridge over the Vienne which runs through the city, and leads straight up to the cathedral. Our accommodation is just near the bridge and cathedral, and we have a fabulous room - light, airy and colourful. The husband is an artist and there are artworks around done by him. A great place to be for 2 nights. Our hostess has taken a big bag of washing for us and things are good. Except since arriving it has been really raining. Not the odd drops we had while walking. So we went out for a small explore, went into the magnificent St Étienne cathedral where we lit a candle for Ira, and had a drink, but it wasn’t weather for enjoying a walk of discovery, so we came back to relax and will do our exploring tomorrow. Our hostess booked us into the Crêperie near the cathedral for dinner (we fend for ourselves here, but she recommended it).
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    Ira Kowalski

    Thank you for the lit candle.

    Denise Allen

    Buying porcelain to use with the b

    Denise Allen

    New Dining Room furniture

    2 more comments
  • Day51

    St Léonard de Noblat - beautiful town

    September 18 in France ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

    We walked exactly 20 kms to get to this lovely place - very historic, and its 11C collegiate church is a unesco world heritage site. Our guest house is in the Place de la Collégiale, and we look at it from our window! This time we are in the centre of things…

    But first I have to talk about dinner last night, at our beautiful guest house in the country, with Annie and Wolfgang, as it was quite an event. Firstly, it was like having a normal dinner with friends - we were the only guests and we had dinner with them. Wolfgang had some German pork and he was cooking something special he hadn’t done before….we ate in their sunroom - a glass encased room opposite our petite maison, looking out over the valley beyond. Started with a platter of tomato salad, with feta and basil, right up our alley, then the pork which was falling apart and delicious, with a torte de pommes de terre- yum potato dish. But it wasn’t just the food, though that was great. We had a very animated conversation - after the usual preliminaries, Wolfgang asked Amr what his family origin was, and when he said his parents were Egyptian they both got quite excited as their daughter-in-law is half Egyptian half Syrian (born in France). Anyway, that started things off…he asked if Amr spoke Arabic, and when Amr said yes, they had a small conversation in Arabic, because he had learnt some when posted in Abu Dhabi. So we learned that he had been a pilot in the German navy, and at 41 they stop flying and he went to Brussels, Canada, USA, and ended up as military attaché in Abu Dhabi for 4 years….interesting, and he and Amr got on like a house on fire…views similar - when living there they lived in the normal neighbourhood, not with all the expats, mingled with the people and loved it. They exchanged books to read…Annie, whose English not as good as W, was quieter, but joined in and told her version too. Anyway, it was a fantastic evening and so unexpected!

    So we left them this morning, and started our next day’s adventure…and each day does being something new and usually unexpected! We were driven in the taxi to Les Bellanges and had 20 kms to walk to St Léonard. Another gorgeous walk through picturesque countryside…I learned things from Annie and Wolfgang also…the mountains are the edge of the Massif Central. Also I learned that the crops that are planted amongst the stubble of the grain crops are not a crop for harvesting as I had imagined, but just to ploughed up and make the ground rich in nutrients ready for the post winter crops. And the cabbages I see are for animal fodder - though in Spain they do use the cabbages for wonderful soups!

    So we walked, a good well marked route. Crossed the big river, which turned out to be the Taurion, and the bridge was the Pont du Dognon….(which is why I must have glanced at the map and thought Dordogne)…Anyway, it was another good walk through stunning countryside, gently up and down…we stopped at lunch and had a small chat with Liv which was lovely. It had started to have a few drops of rain then, but stopped, but after another hour or 2 it did start to rain very gently…we ignored it as it was barely getting us wet (and our walking clothes dry very quickly) and by the time we viewed St Léonard in the distance it was a little more persistant, but we decided it wasn’t poncho-worthy, and walked into the town a little wet.

    Such a lovely town, small but narrow streets and old buildings. Easily found our lodgings this time, right opposite the famous collegiate church, and a very perfect chambres d’hôtes. We have a stunning room, our window a few metres from the church, and lots of space. Dinner was part of our deal here, but there is an art show in town with many French artists exhibiting (and Italian Amr says)..which our place is full…and we were sent to a restaurant for our dinner, as the art crowd are dominating his house…perfect for us, and at the moment they are all out on the town - Saturday night again (no visible weddings this week!).

    But tonight’s restaurant experience was again a first…and a French experience we had never seen! We were sent to a place called Le ResTaureau…we didn’t get it at first, though our hostess did mention boeuf. Anyway, we arrived and were expected, and sat down and he explained that the entrées and desserts were self serve, and we had 3 choices of main - beef tartare, beef on a skewer or steak! (Which is where the taureau - bull - comes in)…so we helped ourselves to the entrées (lots of varieties all in little plastic containers - tomato salads, prawns, snails, cucumber, terrines) then the mains, all with frites and lettuce garnish, then plastic desserts from the fridge!! Totally new French experience, and it was packed…so you never can tell or think you have learned what happens in places. I had a perfect steak, with green peppercorn sauce - done saignant, and Amr had the tartare. Everyone had beer or carafe wine…new experience, very good!

    Now off to bed, Limoges tomorrow, for 2 nights.
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    Samantha Gillett

    What a gorgeous sunroom..🌻

    Paul Farrell

    Looks like you’re at dinner with old friends! But where is the vin??

    Samantha Gillett

    Wolfgang is about to pop the cork!

    Rosie Marzouk

    Wolfgang is popping the cork!

    Paul Farrell

    He is indeed🙏🏻

    4 more comments
  • Day53

    Quiet day in Limoges

    September 20 in France ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    Started with a good breakfast at our interesting guest house. Two other couples - from Belgium and England. There are 3 guest rooms in this house, which now that we have studied it from various angles, is quite weird architecturally…the original old house has been added on, with an upstairs wooden structure where the rooms are, but nothing looking quite straight - rather like an illustration in a children’s book! (Not sure that it would pass council regulations in Oz!). But we think it’s probably a work of our hostess’s artist husband. When we first arrived yesterday she said something about he had “quitté” and we weren’t sure if he had left her, or died…or what details we may have missed. But his work is everywhere and I googled him and found that he was quite a well known artist and ceramicist and indeed did die fairly recently aged 74 (she is quite a lot younger I think), and she was his “last” wife, and he has 5 daughters and 2 sons, so maybe a couple of marriages before? So now we know the background - the article I read was in French and only got the basic facts.

    So after breakfast we set off exploring, with umbrellas, but it never rained, just cloudy, so hope it holds off tomorrow…it was meant to rain today, and clear up Tuesday. We walked along the river, under the new big bridge with roads, to another old stone bridge. Very pretty. Then walked into the old centre, wanted to go to the markets but of course closed Monday, so we went to a Carrefour to get supplies for lunch tomorrow…important as not all small towns have a supérette. Next we went to the Resistance Museum which was interesting and well presented. And after that we walked to the Art Deco railway station and rather hoped that there’d be a cafe there to snack for lunch, but nothing - only food out of machines.

    So we searched for a patisserie, or cafe and had trouble finding any…when you don’t need anything you seem to pass them all the time. Finally had success and found a restaurant, not too formal, that did lunch, and let us have just one course of their menu, very friendly waiter, and a perfect solution. We knew we were getting veal in some form, and it turned out to be slices of meat on a circle of mash with a yum gravy!

    This afternoon we went to the porcelain museum which was interesting with all the old equipment they used to use, and photos, and it is attached to a huge shop with plates, tea sets, everything you could imagine that you could buy. Sadly a Limoges tea set is not compatible with our walking programme, so we weren’t tempted!

    Now about to go for dinner, but just light having had our veal and mash at a late lunchtime…
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    Samantha Gillett

    You both look happy as clams.

    Samantha Gillett


    Denise Allen

    Great shot of you both

    6 more comments
  • Day4

    The massacre of Oradour sur Glane.

    January 28, 2020 in France ⋅ 🌧 7 °C

    Today we only drove 200km to the monumental town of Oradour sur Glane.
    It was wet and windy ride..
    The destroyed village of Oradour was impressive, it was unbelievable sad.
    Thinking about other places of this earth were this is real.
    Were today people have to live in the ruins of their homes, makes me believe that we need to do more to learn from each other and take care for the needing.

    We stay for the night. No use for pushing on.
    Going to cook our meal outside.
    And tomorrow,..
    Tomorrow we hope to pass Bordeaux. Than...the Pyreneeës. The barrier for Spain.
    Lieske will conquer!! 🤞
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    beestenweer om te rijden , gelukkig rijd je naar de zon, succes.mooi filmpje


    Het ruine platsje uit de oorlog.


    Mooi! Maar wel veel spellings fouten 😘

  • Day84

    Naturoase zum Entspannen ...

    September 14, 2019 in France ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Nach dem furiosen Eindruck von Rocamadour wollen wir uns wieder zurück zur Natur begeben und peilen einen Natursee mit Camping in Richtung Paris an. 🌿🍃🍂

    Es heißt dass der See auch zum Angeln geeignet ist...die komplette Ausrüstung haben wir ja mit. Also dann ein Wochenende am See 🛀😇 ... schön.Read more

    Jana Carstensen

    Oli geht auf Tuchfühlung 🐈

    Jana Carstensen

    Ist das niedlich.. nuff... nuff🦔🦔

    Jana Carstensen

    Goldig und Oli steht👌👌🥰🥰🥰

    14 more comments
  • Day85

    Petri Heil :D

    September 15, 2019 in France ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Entspannung und Sport- und Angeltag 🌟🌈🐟🏓

    „Petri Heil!“ ist die traditionelle Grußformel der Fischer und Angler. Sie besteht aus dem lateinischen Genitiv des Namens Petrus und dem Wunsch „Heil!“ Der Grüßende wünscht dem Gegrüßten den Fangerfolg des Fischers Petrus, wie er in den biblischen Fischzugsgeschichten Lukas und Johannes erzählt wird.

    Als Antwort erwidert man im Normalfall ebenfalls mit „Petri Heil“. Lediglich im Fall eines Beuteerfolgs antwortet man mit „Petri Dank“.


    Gefangen haben wir Nichts aber Spaß hat's gemacht...und eine Erfahrung in Geduld, denn Angeln braucht viiiieeeeeel Zeit 🙄😄😜
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    Jana Carstensen

    Abendbrot fangen🐟🐟🐟....und dann gab es Nudeln 😂😂😂😂

    Jana Carstensen

    Nicky hat es drauf🐠🐟🐠🐟

    Jana Carstensen

    😂😂😂😂😂 Reis to go😂😂😂

    8 more comments
  • Day8

    Mitten durch... Außenherum kann jeder

    October 5, 2020 in France ⋅ 🌧 10 °C

    Nach unserem Brücken Highlight, ging der Tag erfolgreich weiter. Cris hat die Solaranlage wieder in Gang gebracht, nachdem ich bei unserem Stop in Erfurt unter einem zu niedrigen Baum parken wollte und den halben Ast mit auf die Dachbox aufgeladen habe...
    und endlich habe ich eine französische SIM Karte 🎉 zum arbeiten. Für 12€ gibt es 80GB Internet, das sollte für die Durchreise reichen 😏
    So konnte ich, während Cris fuhr und Koa schlief, fleißig arbeiten.
    Zum Nachmittag hin, es war gegen halb zwei, entschieden wir langsam unser heutiges Ziel anzusteuern. Wir nutzen zur Stellplatzsuche in Frankreich hauptsächlich 2 Apps, zum einen France Passion (über die haben wir die erste Übernachtung in den Weinbergen gefunden) und zum zweiten die App park4night (eine Klasse App für alle die mit ihrem eigenen Zuhause unterwegs sind). Da es den ganzen Tag geregnet hat, wollten wir nicht unbedingt in Wäldern oder auf Feldern parken, deshalb wurden wir heute nicht so Recht fündig. Wir haben uns schlussendlich für einen Bauernhof ca. 20 Min von unserer Route entfernt entschieden, allerdings ging der Weg zum Ziel immer höher und die Straßen wurden für unser doch schon größeres Auto, immer schmaler. Also entschieden wir uns doch etwas anderes zu suchen. Unsere neue Route führte uns allerdings noch weiter ins Gebirge... Irgendwann, im gefühlt letzten Dörfchen Frankreichs - es sind mittlerweile schon fast 2h vergangen- lag die 2. Übernachtungsmöglichkeit. Kurze Beschreibung: kein Internetempfang, Dauerregen, Nebel und 10 Grad
    Wir mussten uns nicht lange überreden zum weiterzufahren. Zum Glück wurde es auf der anderen Seite des Berges etwas heller und hörte endlich mal auf zu regnen. Nach einer weiteren halben Stunde sind wir dann endlich wieder in der Zivilisation gelandet, vielleicht nicht der schönste Französische Ort aber wieder umgeben von faszinierenden Brücken 😜.
    Hier bleiben wir nun bis morgen und werden frisch gestärkt uns weiter durch das miserable Wetter kämpfen.
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    Heidi Giessmann

    Hallo Ihr Drei, habe Euch schon vermisst. Schön heute wieder von Euch zu hören. Koa macht sich ja prächtig. Drücken Euch die Daumen für besseres Wetter! Liebe Grüsse!


    Jaaa... Hatte endlich mal wieder Zeit alles aufzuarbeiten. Heute ist das Wetter schon um einiges besser 😊 aber das werdet ihr bald erfahren 😉

  • Day3

    Immer noch in Frankreich

    February 25, 2020 in France ⋅ 🌧 7 °C

    525km Mautfrei. Anstrengender als Autobahn, aber auch wesentlich interessanter. Man kommt aufgrund der Kreisverkehre und Dorfdurchfahrten nicht richtig schnell voran und die Kiste säuft wie ein Loch, da viele bergige Strecken und häufiges Bremsen und Beschleunigen, so wie zurückschalten Berg


    Öffentlicher Wohnmobilstellplatz.
    Kostenlos. Kleiner Supermarkt um die Ecke. Tolle Gegend, um den Hund laufen zu lassen.

    Ein Platz für Mobile mit automatischen Hubstützen oder Menschen, die Lust haben, die Auffahrkeile zu benutzen. Habe ich aber weder noch.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Département de la Haute-Vienne, Departement de la Haute-Vienne, Haute-Vienne, Alta Viena