We planned to travel to the Camperstop at Perigeux this morning to take a look round. Brantome had been nice enough in its own way but frankly not worth the grief and expense of getting there. While The Chef popped to the local Spar shop for some milk and a baguette I dumped our black and grey waste without moving the vehicle. The toilet cassette is easy enough to walk to the dump station with, but the grey water had to be carried in a ten litre folding bucket, but it did save us a bit of time, as the vehicle was ready for the road when Rosina returned.
It was a pretty reasonable road down to Perigueux, I knew the Camperstop was close to the river but that was that. Oh dear! Once again 'IT' took us for a very stressful drive through the middle of Perigueux before making us endure the most ghastly narrow shitty roads to get to the Camperstop (N45.187786° E0.730794°). I'm quite sure all those motorhomes that were already parked up there when we arrived came a different way, though I have to say the Camperstop was in an awful location. It should have been elsewhere and much easier to access from all direction. It really didn't need to be next to the river.
As usual the Chef climbed out to do battle with the pay machine whilst I sat in the vehicle waiting for the barrier to rise.
Oh buggerations - despite three attempts, The Chef couldn't complete the transaction using a bank card, and therefore we gave up and backed out. Sod Perigueux, we were off.
I believe there are several places of interest there, but my impression of the place as we made our way through the centre doing battle with fellow motorists, traffic lights, zebra crossings and lane changes was that it was a bit tatty. Perhaps they need the Romans back again to spruce the place up.
So we inputted our next port of call - Rocamadour to the satnav and hit the road. It was quite a hke to get there and we ended up having a late lunch. The camperstop there is shown in the book as being free, but oh no, not now. Parking cost up to sixteen Euros for 24 hours. The Chef did the barrier button pressing and then we were through, only to be greeted by a notice telling campervans to park carefully and within their parking space, which meant we had to pick one down the far end and back our rear overhang over the grass area behind us.
Lunch munched, we made our way to the Rocamadour complex (that's what I'm calling it anyway).
So a bit about Rocamadour:
Sitting on a rocky plateau high above the Alzou Valley, Rocamadour looks as if it is carved straight out of the limestone rock face. The town became one of the most famous centres of pilgrimage in France because of the 12th-century statue of the Black Virgin and Child in the Chapelle Notre-Dame that was believed to have miraculous powers. An account dating from 1172 describes the 126 miracles granted by the Madonna, who is still honoured on 8th September each year during the Semaine Mariale (Marian Week).
The blurb suggests a very religious site, but I didn't find it so. There was the chapel to stick your head in, but that was about it. The rest was take-the-money-from-the-tourists. Because it was so hot (around 25°C) we decided to pay for the vernacular and lift to get down to the bottom (or as far as you can go) which cost us €12.40 for two returns.
Basically there's the 'religious' area after travelling down on the vernacular after which the lift takes you down to the medieval town full of restaurants offering great views down to the valley below and tourist shops selling tat galore.
When we were done we made our back to the Camperstop to decide on our next move. I suggested to the Chef that to pay sixteen Euros just to sit and fry in a car park was not good value for money, so we left the Camperstop, paid eight Euros for a very few hours of parking and made our way to the local campsite, Camping Le Paradis Du Campeur www.leparadisducampeur.com (N44.804356° E1.627570°). It was only one kilometre away and so we were soon there. Oh joy, grass under our feet, an electric hook-up point and no milling tourists, and all for just under fifteen Euros a night, and we're staying for two.
One of the objectives of this blog is to help fellow motorhomers who may follow us, not to make the same mistakes. I say that because once we'd set up 'base camp' I took a look at the campsite map only to discover that Rocamadour's silly little tourist train stops right outside the campsite (timetable at www.lepetittrainderocamadour.com). Pay six Euros cash to the driver per adult and you'll be whisked to, and around Rocamadour with no effort at all, and when you come home you can put your feet up outside you motorhome with a beer in your hand rather than pay through the nose to fry in a parking space for sixteen Euros.
Tomorrow will be a chill day, we've earned it. We must then decide whether or not we head further south to our next destination, Cahors, our furthest point, or whether we just don't bother, save on fuel and toll fees and make our way across to begin our tour along the River Dordogne. At the moment the mood is for option two.
Tonight we are to dine on Thai Green Curry from a recipe The Chef got from my sister-in-law Sue when we visited them recently. I feel a slitty-eye moment coming on.