Kirk & Tess' Big Break travel blog

The road entering the valley opposite Rocamadour

This tunnel is one car wide. Men on radios control the traffic...

The main street in Rocamadour.

Rocamadour as the sun starts to set

Rocamadour castle (top of cliff) and the main chapel.

Another view just before the sun disappears

The sun has disappeared. Our hotel is the building with the white...

Where we had dinner, with our restaurant behind


The drive I came in to Rocamadour last time for my fleeting visit was quite curly. It was about 20-30km of winding road, and some of it high up on the hills without any secure walls. The worst bit was that the drivers coming the other way, drive in the middle of the road even when on blind corners. This driver, which I thought was the same, was basically a different road. Whilst it was still a little winding, and the drivers coming the opposite way still took the corners too hard, there was very few parts of it which were on the edge of the mountain.

It meant we came in on the opposite side of the valley to what I was expecting. This meant we could see the village on the opposite side of the valley as we drove in, and it was really, really breathtaking. I never thought I'd see the village again. 2 years beforehand, I went through the valley in 30 minutes, when I'd expected to spend half the day there.

When we arrived, we had some fun working out where to park the car, and

how to find the hotel. We drove up the valley on the village side, trying to find some signs, but got directed to continue up at one point in the road where it is so narrow only one direction of traffic can proceed around it. So we drove up the road, away from the village and got to the top. We had tried to call the hotel to ask them, but the call dropped out. As we were coming down the hill, we got a call back from them. They told us as we were staying in the village, we could drive through the town gates, and park right outside the hotel.

It was very awkward doing this, as there is no room for anything other than 1 car to go through the gates. It also meant all the tourists in the village had to step aside and make way for us to go through. They all stopped and stared at us as we did, which made it more uncomfortable. Our room was very nice in the hotel. I would stay there again for sure. The dinner at their restaurant was ordinary, and for a “white linen” type of restaurant it was a disappointment.

After dinner, I said to Tess that I wanted to go take some photos of the “Roc” at night. Tess was fairly tired, and said “good luck, please be careful.” She stayed in the room sorting out her own photos. I ended up going for a walk down approximately 100 stairs, following the road out of the car park at the bottom of the valley, and then walking up the opposite side of the valley on the road that we had come in on.

I used my iphone as a torch to warn the traffic, what little of it there was, that I was there. It was so quiet and peaceful, that I could hear a car moving about 5 minutes before it go to me. I took a bunch of photos, and when it got too dark for me to take any more useful ones without my tripod (left it in the car at the hotel – grrrr!) I started the walk back. The only problem with the walk of course was, if there was 100 steps down and a few hundred metre walk down a road, then there was going to be the opposite on the way back up.

I got back to the room, safely and exhausted. It's been a monster of a day, and the anticipation of being able to walk around Rocamadour tomorrow is making it hard for me to rest.



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