Thursday 8th September 2011 Weather:-18 degrees Misty/Drizzle
And first we have to give a hearty “Thank You” to the management of the ‘Monsuer Piere Schelvis Convalescent Hospital’ in Les Pineaux. A second “thank you” comes from the female patient who was banned at all times from the vicinity of the kitchen in case she spread her disease and pestilence, giving her an extra nice vacation. It is always a bonus when your meals are bought out to you. Mind you we had to put up with some insults—the latest was that Herman and I could get a permanent job at Peter’s place the only thing was that we had to wear some little red uniforms with pointy red hats and pointy red shoes—all we had to do was stand in the garden????
When first leaving Peter’s place we realized that we must be travelling on the road that was used for the start of the ‘Tour de France’ as all the buntings and decorations were still in place. There was a light mist about but it hovered just above ground level and did not impede on the speed we could drive at. Most of the roads that we took were ‘D’ roads (e.g. D939) but they were all wide enough and easy to drive on, our 356Km drive took us 5 ½ hours but that included a 1/2 an hour lunch stop in Perigueux. The reason the trip took so long was because of having to slow down for all the little villages that we passed through. This region boasts the world's greatest number of prehistoric or natural caves and in our travels we passed the entry to the ‘Grotto du grand Roc’ a large cave full of stalagmites and stalactites.
On entering Sarlat-le-Caneda we were surprised to see that it was over-run with people but then this is the most visited town in this area, because of its beauty. Sarlat, as it is commonly know (but be careful there is more than one Sarlat in France) is nestled in a small valley between the Dordogne and Ve’ze’re rivers, after our first glance at Sarlat we were awestruck by its beautiful ancient roofs. Strolling along the paved lanes of the old town you are surrounded by 1000 years of period architecture where from cobblestones to lauze-roofs (flat-stones) gold typically predominates... The castles and manor houses here are mostly constructed out of the locally mined Sarlat stone which casts a beautiful golden hue right throughout the town. This area (Perigord) is also famous for its’ gastronomy, it is supposedly among the finest in France: it is a haven for truffle, foie gras, crepes, "confits", pate’s and other delicatessen, all for sale in all the little shops around town. Once we veered off the main street we found all the side streets deserted and we could sidle back to our hotel for a little rest in order to restore our energy for an evening out on the town but at our age do not expect that evening to last until midnight.