France - Narrative 
June 2013

Rivière-sur-Tarn, Midi-Pyrénées:

Day 52 Report : Homer : 2nd June 

Driving the Bixie train in high winds can be tricky at times, especially when crossing bridges but nothing compared with the Millau Viaduct. What a spectacular feat of engineering that is! I might have also said, 'what a spectacular view', but I can't, 'cos I was concentrating on keeping moving forward in a straight line; it’s awfully high up, up here!

Millau Viaduct

Our trip from Avignon to Rivière-sur-Tarn went via Montpellier and we are now west rather than any further north of Campéole L'ile des Papes. However, we are around 700 metres above sea level. We had to take the crawler lane a lot of the time on the way up, reaching over 800 metres on occasions. Maya was asking for oxygen; I was asking for a larger engine.

This site and the area is breath-taking! Instead of a 4-day stay, we've already extended to 10th June. Mountains encircle us and we are on the banks of the river. Our pitch is perfectly positioned for the satellite, through a gap between two peaks, to allow Internet and TV. The church bells are peeling, last heard in La Romieu, sounding better than Maya woofing! We are treated to both, of course.

This area has beavers, bats and vultures, though we haven't seen any yet. We haven't looked! If we were fit and active, we'd be planning a walk round the gorge!

Yesterday, the weather was perfect - blue skies, sunny, hot (sorry to rub it in); we did little but sunbathe and read our books. We did walk into the village to get our baguette. The boucherie was also open - on a Sunday morning - so we made a purchase there too.

We are considering a river cruise down to the viaduct, maybe it will be easier to look up than down.

This is another site we'd consider coming back to for a lengthier stay.

We love this nomadic life!

Day 55 : (Margaret) : 5 June 2013 

Can't believe it's Wednesday already - this is the most incredible place, so beautiful, everywhere you turn is a treat for the eyes. 

We had a lazy day on Monday and the weather encouraged us to do so - lazed by the pool in the afternoon.  The village here is lovely, strange habits though.  Both bakery and butcher were open on Sunday, but closed on Monday!   There is a small supermarket and a hotel/restaurant.  We were told that much further down the street, there is a cheese maker, who opens only on Tuesdays and Thursdays - makes a Roquefort type cheese that is apparently very good.  Guess that's where we will go tomorrow.


Yesterday we drove from here, through the village of Aguessac, the town of Millau (stopped by the information centre for the Viaduct - very interesting).  Onwards then through Criesells, stopping by the Aire de Vision du Viaduc for some photo opportunities - it is an amazing structure, so imposing but in no way detrimental to the surroundings. 


On to Roquefort, passing through a wee village called Lauras (we were in Rue on the way down). Went on the tour of the Roquefort Caves that was very interesting, ending with a tasting of three of their cheeses.    When I see this cheese in the supermarkets now I will see it in a differ

ent light.


Ending our circular tour by passing through St Rome de Tarn and one of the most beautiful villages in France, Peyre - got lots of photos.  Back to the site in time to get ready for our meal out in the local restaurant.  We asked for an outside table, and they looked at us as if we were very strange!  It was over 20 degrees but they thought that was cold.  Not where we come from, we said, so out we went.  Meal was good, and the Yorkies will benefit from some left over duck with their dinner tonight, too much for me.   The cabaret was a wee red squirrel who kept us amused.


There are some nice friendly Brits on this site - couple next door from London, next to them a couple of Geordies, and across from us a couple from Callendar.  Lots of chat!


Today we set out to buy some bulbs for two of the overhead lights in the ‘nearish by’ caravan accessories shop.  Successfully completing our purchase, and being given two pens and a keyring for our custom, HL said as we drove away that if we turned right we would end up at the Geant Supermarket.  OK I said.  Turned right he did and we ended up driving up one side of this massive gorge which was a drive too far after yesterday's mountainous climbs (^_^).  By the time we were level with the other side of the gorge we were able to turn around and begin our descent!   Despite HL's encouragement I could only manage the quickest of glances at the panoramic scene.  BTW we eventually did find Geant, by accident of course, took the wrong turning at a roundabout on the way home :))


Day 57 Report : (Homer) : 7th June 2013 :

The weather here is getting better & better! Yesterday was a lazy day in very hot conditions; however, we had housekeeping & maintenance things to deal with first, then Maya needed to cool off in the River Tarn! After that, it was our turn to cool off in the pool - the water thermometer actually said 40°. Whether it was that or not, the water was lovely

Today, Vendredi, was full of action!

We were booked to go to the Millau Friday Market on the site minibus. Departing 9:00 pick up for return at 11:45.

This was, for the most part, a real market. It looked like all the locals were there to get their weekend fresh produce. There was much less 'tat' than we have seen in other markets and we did make some purchases. But, you will not believe this, we found ‘un homme barber’!!! 

I have been concerned that my new, first ever, beard was getting out of hand! Being beyond the scope of the tourist French/English dictionary (as everything has been so far) I felt I might be taking a risk getting both a haircut AND beard trim.  Not so! The greatest test for any improvement to my sartorial elegance is, of course, Margaret. If she smiles, all is well. And guess what? She smiled  😉

I feel I am looking tidier around the visage. Actually, I am quite pleased. 

Margaret also acquired new Fly Flots; new, very comfortable shoes. They look great!

Half way through the day and there is more!

The site arranged a petangue tournament this afternoon; we entered and used the boules we purchased in Rouen. We played in three rounds and, I have to tell you, in all honesty and humility, we were rubbish! Consistently so! But we were proud to have participated

A supermarche-free day, aujourd'hui.

This is an amazing place! 😊

9th June 2013 :

We set off tomorrow for Sarlat in the Dordogne : to Domaine de Soleil Plage, France - Aquitaine – Sarlat.

© Homer Lindsay 2013, 2014, 2015