Thursday, 26 September 2013

Moto Camping Dordogne

Sunday 1st September 2013

We have just spent a few days driving east to the Dordogne region of France. During that time we stayed on some very pretty Aire's, one by a river and spent a day trying to catch fish. (One fish was caught). We tried to go out for dinner but found the only restaurant in the town closed and had a very hungry walk back to the van to cook for ourselves, and the next day we successfully found a huge all you can eat Chinese and Adam tried his first snail. He said it was gross and chewy. Maybe I'll try one in a French restaurant and not a Chinese. 

We also passed through Rocamadour again which we had been to a few months ago when we first came through France in our old van. Mia had never visited so we had another look round the city built into a cliff. That night we had our first run in with the Gendarmarie, the local French police, after they found us in a car park with a height restriction a lot lower than our van was. They didn't know how we got in but asked us to leave anyway.

The reason for our quick scoot across the country was that Adam's uncle David had planned a closing party at a campsite he worked at one summer, and regularly visits, when travelling around on his motorbike. Adam's dad discovered the campsite a few years back and we heard about the friendly staff, cool swimming pool and the relaxed and/or party atmosphere enough times to want to visit ourselves. The campsite welcomes people on motorbikes, and their friends, so we were welcome in a van!

We arrived to find Adam's dad, Jon, sipping a beer at the bar and when the handyman Glenn greeted us with a free first beer we knew we were gonna have a good weekend here. We spent the evening catching up, meeting the staff and eating the best steak I've ever had. I'm sure I've said that before about steak somewhere else but it was seriously good. Adam had a massive rack of ribs that he's wanted to try ever since his dad first started raving about how good they were, and I don't think they were a disappointment. 

The bar has constant classic rock playing and is decorated with all kinds of motorbike memorabilia and fancy dress wigs hanging up. We made use of those the first night as well as playing with the campsite dogs, Vincent, a German Shepherd with one ear, and Ollie, a dog that looks like a sheep. David and his friend Paul weren't arriving until tomorrow and they didn't know that Jon had whizzed over the day before to surprise them. 

The next day we lounged by the pool, some of us nursing hangovers. We could hear David and Paul's bikes coming a mile away and Jon went to hide. They were happy to have arrived having ridden through the night and couldn't wait to get out of their hot leathers and into the pool. Paul had spotted Jon's bike and tent so suspected something was going on when Jon came out to surprise them. Laughing and hugs all round. I think Adam gets his want to surprise visit people from his dad. 

The rest of the weekend consisted of ticking off the beers on our bar cards, or sometimes for me drinking three measures of vodka with peach syrup after I asked for vodka lemonade, arm wrestling, pool lounging, rib eating, trying not to fall out of hammocks and sleeping off hangovers in the shade. Great weekend.

David and Paul are continuing their bike trip going down to Grimaud on the south coast and then to Switzerland and Italy. Unfortunately Jon had to head back home to work but we decided to follow David and Paul and meet up with them again a bit later in Grimaud, our van being a bit slower than their bikes. 

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