Hautefort to Les Eyzies-de-Tayac.

The wind had abated, somewhat, but still it was a stiff breeze I was heading into on my way towards Crail. I did not go into Crail proper, but turned off onto the B9171, maybe a couple of miles from the quaint, little, fishing village. From here I made my way across the country towards Kellie Castle, but did not stop. At Arncroach I climbed up onto the B940 at Knights Ward I turned left for Peat Inn and home, over Drumcarrow Craig, finally dropping down into St Andrews. It was hard going but you always feel so much better when you have done a bit of work. 

As I entered St Andrews and stopped to allow traffic to pass, a young girl, possibly late teens, approached. She caught my eye because of what she was wearing. Dressed in colour match pink and white, a pleated tennis style skirt, in white, a pink top, each set off with contrasting, decorative pieces of cloth, pink on white, white on pink. Her straw-coloured hair fell past her shoulders, long and blond, that looked natural. She had pleated her hair, ending her work with large pink bows, dressed I would have thought for a party. She looked so clean, neat and tidy, the clothes hung on her slim body so well, and it just all worked. As she approached and crossed the road in front of me, it was then, and only then, that I noticed her eyes. They were puffed, and red rimmed, her eye makeup smudged. Had she been crying, or simply lack of sleep, I hoped the latter; she was too pretty to be unhappy.

Lifting my pad and pencils, and starting drawing once more, I have been paying much more attention to what is going on around me. So many faces, so many stories behind those faces, it is easy to conger up a scenario to go with faces.

Hautefort to Les Eyzies-de-Tayac, 36 miles

With enough miles in the tank now we can push on from the Perigord region of France, and into a land of troglodyte caves of Roque Saint Christophe, and the cave paintings of Lascaux. This is where Cro-Magnon man, our earliest modern human ancestor, was found. The tree lined roads are very rural, meandering alongside quiet flowing rivers; this is a real taste of Dordogne. Taking our time, we explored every day,

The Roque Saint-Christophe is a rock formation with rock shelters (abris sous-roche) at the River Vezere near Pevizac-le-Moutier in the

The Maison forte de Reignac is a château in Nouvelle-Aquitaine. It is built into the rock face.

There is so much to see here, we would spend the whole day exploring, returning laden with fresh food from the markets and sticky from a day’s labours. Skinny dipped in the broad river that ran alongside our rustic campsite, it felt so natural and refreshing. Les Eyzies-de-Tayac was the perfect end to a perfect French experience. All too soon, we would be loading up the van and driving the long miles back to the ferry and home.

We spoke little on the way home, both lost in our own thoughts. My feelings at the time, a conversation would somehow break the spell, for that is certainly how it felt, a spell has been cast upon us, France, – Spellbinding.  

But what about Nice I hear you all cry! Well that was another adventure in totally different circumstances. For a start I was riding solo, (not near as much fun) and thirty years older.

Stay safe.      

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