7. May, 2022

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SATURDAY 7-05-22

We slept fairly well last night, though I did suspect I'd suddenly contracted tinnitus. I could hear this buzzing in my ears as I lay in bed and wondered what on earth it could be. Eventually I realised that just outside there was a live electric fence to keep the cattle in the field. This morning I told Rosina about it, and how my brother Richard and I would often go over the fields behind our home when we were kids, and regularly  touch the electrified fencing just to experience the sensation of the electricity giving us a nasty jolt in one limb after another. She thought we were completely crazy to have done it - but hey, great days!

With access to fresh water and dump facilities we had the luxury of a lovely hot shower first thing. Today's cunning plan was to take a look round the village this morning and then visit the chateau in the afternoon.

It is just a short walk in to the village which I'm guessing is fairly typical of the area. It was all rather pretty but with few facilities, so having the large supermarket about a mile away must be a boon to the locals. We were lucky enough to come across a little boulangerie where The Chef was able to buy a baguette for lunch.

On our return we got the reclining chairs out. Last night we moved the vehicle so that the habitation door faced the views across the fields, and we left enough space on the tarmac to get the chairs beside the vehicle and out of sight of the Town Hall and hotel. It seems a bit petty, but if you get things like chairs, tables and barbies out, then technically you are camping as opposed to parking, and that is forbidden, not that the French themselves bother too much.

The problem with turning the vehicle around was that the cool breeze which comes and goes, hits the area where we we're sat. It wasn't too long before the chairs were put away and we ate lunch indoors.

I had gone online yesterday evening to buy two entrance tickets to the chateau which cost a total of twenty-two Euros. The problem with that I had to carry my phone with me to show proof of having bought the tickets. The annoying thing was that we could have simply bought the tickets at the entrance, we hadn't needed to buy them online at all.

So a bit about Château de Hautefort:

The Château de Hautefort is a French château and gardens located in the town of Hautefort in the Dordogne. The castle was originally a medieval fortress that was reconstructed in the 17th century, and embellished with a jardin à la francaise. In 1853 the landscape architect the Count of Choulot redesigned the gardens, adding a landscape garden, geometric flower gardens, topiary gardens imitating the domes of the château, and a long tunnel of greenery. Next to the formal gardens is a hill with an Italian garden with winding shaded paths. Notable trees in the park include a Magnolia grandiflora and a Cedar of Lebanon. The gardens are listed by the Committee of Parks and Gardens of the Ministry of Culture of France as one of the Notable Gardens of France.

What that blurb fails to mention is that much of the chateau burned down in 1968 and has since been rebuilt, which means that the floors ceilings and furniture inside are not original. Never mind, it was a pleasant enough walk around both the chateau and the large English-style garden, or what we would call a woods.

Back down the hill we went to our 'home' where once again the chairs came out. I did consider moving the vehicle back to its original parking position in the hope we could shield from the breeze, but it wasn't to be as a draught came up on the leeward side from under the vehicle.

So what was left of the afternoon has been spent popping in and out to sample a bit of sunshine, then indoors to escape the cool breeze for a while.

I'm still feeling quite tired. I think it's the result of not sleeping too well since we left home. I'm ok on campsites where there is a reasonable level of security, but on Camperstops and Truckstops I tend to sleep subconsciously listening for any untoward sounds.

Tomorrow we are off to Brantome where we plan to spend one night on the camperstop to visit the town followed by one night on a campsite beside the river Dronne. Perhaps I'll catch up with my sleep there. We have a few places to visit before we begin our tour along the Dordogne river.