We broke camp and headed north to the Dordogne, specifically the medieval town of Bulieau sur Dordogne. What with one thing and another we arrived later than planned, so stopped at the local Intermarché on the way in to pick up supplies. Having got to the campsite and erected the awning and defensive palisade (right next to a footpath once again – I blame Brexit), the following conversation ensued:
H: “Where did you put the orange juice”
S: “I don’t know, I thought you had it”
. . . no sign of orange juice . . .
H: “Don’t say we left it at the supermarket checkout”
S: “Surely not, now I think about it you put it in the bag with the wine . . .”
. . . there ensues a silence and unspoken look between two people who simultaneously know that a worst possible outcome has revealed itself . . . Well, dear reader, you should have seen me hop on the bike a sprint back to the supermarket where the errant bag had been saved by the heroic checkout lady.
Early disaster averted we were now able to settle in to the new location, which is another campsite on a river. So a replay of ‘Swallows and Amazons’ was inevitable in S’s mental holiday projection. Thus it proved as we signed up for yet another paddle downstream . . . but this time in individual kayaks instead of double-teaming it. This is a double-edged sword, or more specifically paddle, because the stately moving Dordogne meant that there was more actual paddling involved. On the pro side, while there was more of it in absolute term there was less for me, now no longer conjoined en canoe, so to speak. But then there was the actual necessity of getting to our destination within the allotted time interval with S gently pirhouetting downstream as she attempted to maintain course. Praise where it is due though, she did ‘shoot’ the only rapids backwards, a technically demanding achievement if one had set out to do it deliberately . . .As I have already mentioned, we are nominally on a cycling holiday, but such has been the extent of water based activity that I am thinking of combining the two elements in the interests of efficiency . . .Of course, we have also enjoyed the delights of the town. Regular readers will know that S requires close supervision when falling within the radius of the local marché. So it proved at a local farmers market adjacent to the campsite, where all things local were to be had. Playing on my environmental conscience, we came away with various purchases resulting from numerous degustations, after which the curse of British politeness means that you simply have to buy something – especially the wine . . .Just to prove that we have done some cycling, here is a picture of S on the banks of the river, munching on a baguette, in her full camo shirt . . .Because we have been constrained in our activities en velo, due to the beta-blocker effect, the rides thus far have been of the up and down the river variety, i.e. flat. So I thought I’d slip in a sneaky hill-climb test to see how it went. The 9 mile ascent out of the river valley would have been, to the unmedicated, rather pleasant. There is a point where the blockers prevent any sort of effort so progress had to be gentle and at least one stop was required. But no ambulance was called and S made it to the top . . .. . . so we were treated to a 9 mile descent back to the valley floor and a rather pleasant lunch at the a riverside auberge – just like the good ‘ole days.
Now, we have broken camp once again and headed back up country to the Loire – another river!