15. May, 2022

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SUNDAY 15-05-22

We didn't have a bad night's sleep, but by this morning we knew it was time to change to the summer-weight duvet. We've been putting it off because although the daytime temperatures have been lovely, the nights have been quite cold, but no more. With thunderstorms forecast this evening and overnight we won't have the luxury of having the skylights fully open to keep cool.

Our lardy neighbour, 'The Biggest Mouth in Texas' and her partner, kept a low profile yesterday and there was no late evening entertaining yesterday, so we'll have to wait and see what happens later today. I think perhaps she's a Mormon, since they seem to spend most of their lives being a damned nuisance to other people. If not then I'd put my money on her being the Chief Taster in Quality Control at her local Krispy Kreme Donut factory.

So we came second in the Eurovision Song Contest. It just goes to show how giving lots and lots of military aid to the victims of an invading army can boost the votes. Maybe if Putin invades Finland as punishment for applying to join NATO, and we come to their aid, following Boris the Clown's just-signed treaty with them, without any consultation with the rest of NATO, could see us winning the contest next year. Well that's if the Russians don't nuke us instead.

This morning was our walk towards Chateau Castenaud, not too far from the campsite. We needed to set out in good time because it was due to be hot again, and trudging around in such heat is not much fun.

Taking it steady as we walked along the path across the fields we arrived at the base of  the village, and above it the chateau, in about thirty-five minutes, which was good going.

So a bit about Chateau de Castelnaud:

Clinging to the Cliffside overlooking the confluence of the Dordogne and Céou rivers, the Château de Castelnaud and its houses, which are typical of the Périgord region, are arranged in tiers along the steep, narrow streets. Built in the 12th century on a strategic site for controlling the region’s main river and land transportation routes, the Château de Castelnaud was much coveted during the many wars that marked the Middle Ages. Abandoned during the French Revolution, it was even used as a stone quarry in the 19th century, until, in 1966; it was listed as a historic monument and was thus prevented from falling into total ruin.

Today after extensive restoration, it once again casts its shadow over the valley, offering an exceptional view over the neighbouring villages. It houses the Mussée da la guere au Moyen Âge (medieval warfare museum). In the village, the characteristic houses with their pale façades and brown sloping roofs, contrast with the green vegetation of the area.

Not far from the river, the Château des Milandes preserves the memory of the French jazz entertainer Josephine Baker, who owned the property from 1947 to 1968.

Then we had to begin the climb up a very steep path, much of it on cobbles to reach the village below the chateau walls. Now that was hard work. We had never intended to actually visit inside the chateau and its fortifications. Getting a few photos on the way up would do me. Besides I know nothing, nor care nothing about French history. Only that in 1805 Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson took his fleet south to whip both the French and the Spanish at the battle of Trafalgar, and in 1815 The Duke of Wellington gave Napoleon a beating at the Battle of Waterloo, just to keep us match fit.

Back at the chateau, I did just pop around the corner to the entrance and ticket office, just to say we had reached it before we made our way back down.

At the bottom we treated ourselves to a white coffee each, seven Euros in total, which I suppose is the going rate these days.

It was a very pleasant walk back across the fields, though by now it was getting quite warm, and we arrived back about mid-day, just in time for lunch (today reached 29°C).

I had washed all the towels before we left this morning and hung them over the back and arms of the folding chairs, but now we were back, it was time to get out the folding airer for our bits of hand washing. It's the little things in life that are important isn't it?

This afternoon has been a mixture of chores and chilling. The original weather forecast was for thunderstorms from about 16:00 and I wanted to be as prepared as possible, especially as we are leaving tomorrow. All has gone well, just about everything has been sorted or put away and by bedtime we should be ready for the road tomorrow.

Just a little while ago Moby Dick's American understudy was leading a sing song of Scottish songs with the Jockanese couple.Why is it back in their home country Americans are just the nicest, most respectful, polite and helpful people you could wish to meet, yet when so many of them come over here they're the loudest most annoying people.

I used to feel sorry for American tourists getting ripped off with grossly inflated prices when visiting places like London years ago, but now I'm feeling a bit neutral on the matter.

Tomorrow we plan to leave here and drive back down the road to La Roque-Gageac where we'll park in the allocated motorhome parking area and rent a canoe for a paddle down the river Dordogne before driving to Sarlat la Caneda.