Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.

–Samuel Taylor Coleridge
 

We two have paddled in the stream, from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared since days of long ago.

–Robert Burns.
 

Parking Reserved card holders and Residents was an odd sight on a sign in what is left of a camp site in Beynac yesterday.
 

The swelling of the Dordogne River was at its peak yesterday morning.
 

The trees on the left should be on dry land.
 

The terrace of this restaurant was under more than a metre of water.
 

D53 Route Barrie to Fayrac and Milandes and also the D703 to La Roque-Gageac.
 

Update on the water level at Castlenaud.
 

The statue stands in what is usually a very pleasant picnic area which is temporarily a tranquil lake.
 

It does not look too good at the moment with more rain due this afternoon and for the rest of the week. However, spring is just around the corner, we have new growth in our courtyard and flowers will be bursting through soon.
 
 

Event:- Burns Night- 25th January, where haggis is eaten and whiskey is drunk to honour a brilliant Scottish poet.
 
 

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Stop! You need a canoe.

We traveled to Castelnaud-la-Chapelle this morning then on to Beynac before returning home through Vitrac Port and Cenac checking out the roads and fields. Our findings were that quite a number of fields are under water and a few roads are closed.

The D53 between St Cybranet through to Cenac is closed.

The D53 from Castelnaud la Chapelle to Les Milandes is closed.

The D703 leading from Vitrac Port to Montford is closed.

The picnic area by the banks of the Dordogne river at Castelnaud la Chapelle this morning. We have never seen the Dordogne water level so high covering all of the picnic area and the embankment.
 

Looking at Castlenaud from across the river. The treeline in the middle of the river is usually where the banks are.
 

This is where we like to picnic on the shore at Beynac. Today no land was to be seen it is completely water logged.
 

The boats above were on dry land last week.

 
 

Gabarres at La Rogue-Gageac

It is dismal grey and pouring with rain outside so I thought that a little sunshine was needed to brighten up the day. If anyone is planning to holiday in the Perigord this Spring, Summer or early Autumn. One of the places that you need to visit is La Rogue-Gageac. What better way is there on a warm and sunny day than to travel down the Dordogne River on one of the gabarres which are moored at La Rogue-Gageac. Gabarres are traditional flat bottom boats which were used to transport merchandise down the river.

Just close your eyes and picture yourself relaxing down stream with a cool breeze in your face on a sunny day with blue sky’s above. To add to your enjoyment you can either listen to a commentary in French or use one of the supplied headsets programmed for your language. We opted for the headphones this time. The commentary is told in the form of one of the men working the gabarres in the 18C which is informative while being entertaining at the same time.

Inland water transport expanded rapidly in the 18C and to meet this demand boats were built with flat bottoms because the water level was so low in the Summer months. Traffic was so dense along the Dordogne River that by 1860 there were 571 gabarres.

You get a good view of the shops and restaurants as you pass by.

Quite a few of the gabarres on this part of the river were only one way, going down stream with their cargo and then dismantled on arrival at their destination and cut up for firewood. Thank goodness a few also came back up stream with the help of oxen, man power or both by pulling the boats against the current by rope.

Château de la Malartrie dates back to the 12th Century. It was once a hospital for lepers, then in the 19th Century the Count of Saint-Aulaire, Ambassador of France in England had the Château transformed into the renaissance style that it is today.

Just lazing around on the river. Kayaks and canoes are also available so you can see the river at your own pace.

The largest gabarres were made of oak with strengthening rails along the sides. They had three or four masts and were about twenty metres in length, they could carry about thirty tons of merchandise: coffee, sugar, and citrus fruit were favourite.
 
 

Event:- Sarlat Truffle Festival and market on the 20th and 21st of this month. Not only truffles are sold you can buy truffle macaroons and other delicious cakes, cookies etc. Plus there will be cooking demonstrations by the top Chefs from the Perigord.