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.
 
 

Advertisements

Water levels in and around Daglan.

Good news the water level is reducing, the not so good news is that more rain is forecast for this week. But I will stick to the good news for now. Last week the river Dordogne at La Rogue-Gageac was flooded so the road was closed. We checked it out yesterday and you can now drive through. The level of water is high but it is not now over the banks. The same goes for Castlenaud, the road through Fayrac was closed but no problem at all now.

In keeping with the good news theme the River Céou is higher than I have ever seen it before but nowhere near the top of the banks.
River Céou at Daglan.
The fast flowing river over the weir would be great for a canoeist.
 

It is a pity that the old mill is not operational, it would be great to harness the power of the water.
 

Rain rain go away.
 
 

Events:-

The first craft session was held last Wednesday afternoon in Daglan. It was great fun and I am looking forward to session two. If you are interested it is every Wednesday from two untill four at the Salle des Fêtes in Daglan.

Sarlat Truffle Festival next Saturday and Sunday, if you are going try the truffle macaroons they are so delicious.
 
 

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.
 
 

Up, Up and away…

…in my beautiful balloon.

Joseph-Michel Montgolfier was born in 1740 and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier was born in 1745, they were paper manufacturers from Annonay in the Ardèche region of France. Both were inventors in their own right but are mostly remembered for their joint collaborations in inventing piloted hot air balloons. They launched the first ascent in 1783 which covered 2km and lasted ten minutes at a maximum altitude of about 2,000m. Success followed success and the Montgolfier hot air balloons were, and still are, a prominent feature in the “skyscape” of France, especially in the Perigord Noir.

 
Down, down over the forest at Castlenaud.

 
Slowly the balloon descended towards the house!

 
Apparently just missing the roof.

 
A companion landing in the field in front of the house and close to the road.

 
These pictures were taken a few weeks ago on our way to Sarlat early one morning. “Champagne breakfast over the forest anyone”?

 
They floated right over our heads and you could see the people inside the baskets. What a superb view they must have, not of us but of the Château’s, the Dordogne River and the surrounding forests and countryside, sight seeing at its best.

 
 
Event – Brocante at La Rock de la Gageac, 3rd September

 
 

The Best parts of a Picnic are:-

1 – The temperature had dropped to about 22C this morning so an ideal time for a picnic on the banks of the river at Castelnaud-la-Chapelle.

2 Just to take time out and enjoy the views. One of which is the old transport barges called ‘Gabares’, which now transport sight seeing tourists up and down the river Dordogne.

The one above runs from La Roque Gageac to just before Castelnaud. If you recall the movie “Chocolate” with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, you will remember the barges.
 

3 Picnic itself consisted of a poached salmon pizza and gorgeous petit gateau we bought from Maison Carré

Once again I must diet for another month!
 

4 The friendlessness of the wildlife. He came to stand right next to me. You can just see the end of our picnic table at the bottom of the picture.
 

5 A relaxing canoe ride on the river. Paul was trying his best to convince me that we should hire a canoe, I am still thinking about it.
 

6 The best is the last. To come home to be greeted by a surprise, M. Guichard, the baker from the Boulangerie next door who has cleaned the pavement and the road in front of his shop and our house while we were absent. A very big thank you.
 
 

Event :- Daglan Brocante this Saturday (3rd) and Sunday (4th).