13th September 2018 – 24th September 2018
We are back on the road. Having left the UK after afew weeks home. I say home, but now I feel that the van is my home and it is. It is strange how your life can change in a year, never would I think I would call a Motorhome home. We have all the home comforts that David will allow me to bring always saying ‘there’s no room’ but I secretly get to sneak them in. The fairy lights, the room fresheners, the pots of face creams filling the bathroom cupboard, leaving no room for David’s small toiletries and the medicine cabinet that would put Boots to shame. I no longer need the psoriasis cream, which tells me that I must be a lot more relaxed and less stressed. I still stress, just about different things, like the van not fitting down the road and processionary caterpillars attacking Chloe. What really brings it home though, is when you see friends when we were back and my friend Sonia saying to me ‘when you smile your eyes smile with you’. Such a lovely thing to say and other friends that we hadn’t seen for a year saying David looked so much younger (nothing about me!). So, the life changing decision is obviously working. How long we will continue, who knows, where we end up putting our roots, who knows. What we do know is that we have set off again heading to Portugal, via France and then Spain.
This is quite a well trodden route for us, as we headed to Portugal last year. This time we are going through France, into Northern Spain along the rest of the Northern coast that we never reached last year and down a different route into Portugal. We travel on non toll roads through France, as we don’t have to get anywhere fast. We stopped off at a couple of aires, the free parking areas for Motorhomes in France and then at the weekend stayed with friends near Limoges. We had a lovely weekend with them, David watch Gaz play in his band, something I would loved to have done but my migraine had other ideas. We laid out in the middle of the night covered in blankets, watching the stars. It is pitch black where Debs and Gaz live and with the clear night sky we saw the Milky Way, I felt like Patrick Moore. The next day we visited La Rochefoucauld Chateaux, entrance was all of €2 and we came face to face with the Marquess la Rochefoucauld who still resides at the chateau. She came bowling over to us looking at Chloe and in French (luckily our friends were with us) told us to make sure Chloe did not S**t in her courtyard ! That said, it is well worth a visit and there is the most amazing chocolate shop at the foot of the Chateau which of course we visited and bought some to feed our expanding waistlines.
We left our friends and headed South stopping at Aubeterre Sur Dronne. It is officially listed as ‘one of the most beautiful villages in France’ with the underground Monolithic Church of Saint Jean of Aubeterre. I went in, David stayed outside with Chloe (obviously all Churched out !) As I came out David was saying that a group of 6 English people went to go in and was told that they are shutting for lunch for 3 hours and to come back later. Not impressed they walked off saying, that this is the biggest attraction in this small village and they shut for lunch ! Not sure they have been to France before, heaven help them if they ever go to Spain ! We stayed a couple of days and then made our way to our other friends near Duras. Chloe loved it with her friend Tilly, a gorgeous golden labrador especially with the trip to the lake where Chloe went swimming. As always we had the most wonderful time, ate lots of beautiful food, laughed and David & Dennis talked Arsenal.
Our last stop before hitting Spain was the beautiful little town of Saint Paul les Dax. It’s beautiful lake and Thermo Spa. I kept seeing all these older people walking around with a blue shoulder bag and wet hair and wondered where they had come from. If we had more time I would have joined them. But alias no, we want to head to the coast and learn to bodyboard ! Yes, I did say bodyboard !