With just over 3 weeks of our trip left we decided to head towards the Dordogne and then eventually head north. The quickest way to the Dordogne valley was via the Auvergne, so we headed off the an ACSI site in St. Nectaire, mainly because the site blurb promised free wifi. It was a fairly long drive, but scenic, especially the last hour or so. When we arrived the site office was closed, but as instructed we chose a pitch and made ourselves at home.
What started as a possible one or two night stopover finally ended up lasting 4 nights. The site was typically Dutch owned ACSI standard. Very clean facilities, with excellent wifi. We met a few other British couples while staying there, in particular our next door neighbours Rhys and Jen who were originally from Caerphilly. They had also bought their Moho from CLV!
We didn’t do a great deal during our stay other than a couple of walks, one of which involved a lovely lunch in a typical French restaurant, made all the more special as Nefyn was allowed to accompany us. The town of St Nectaire was an old spa town, with several hot mineral springs although now very run down after the closure of the spa
The Upper Town
No taking of the waters these days!
Frolicking in the Fields
One other notable visit was to see a ” petrifying fountain ” in action. Essentially it used the hot spring spa waters, which had initially been the main town attraction, to form artificial stalactites on moulds that were placed on ” ladders “, over which the mineral rich water gently cascaded, and eventually the minerals in the water deposited themselves. The resulting works of art ranged from plaques both small and large, old and modern, to small elephants and even vases. We both really enjoyed the visit, and I’m fairly certain we’ll not see the like again.
The town was at an elevation of 700 metres, so the temperatures we decidedly on the low side, and unless the sun was shining they were almost cold. Overnight our heating kicked in on several occasions. Partly in an effort to find warmer temperatures, and also to make progress and not stagnate, we decided it was time to move on.
We finally set off to Souillac on the Sunday morning and had a pleasant but long 3 hour drive before arriving at the ACSI site. Having set up and had a snooze we took Nefyn for a walk and swim in the river which ran next to the site. When we arrived back at Wotan we seemed to be part of a UK enclave. In particular a guy in a caravan next to us who was from Barry, and a particularly loudly spoken Englishman in a Moho with a large trailer, who were engaged in a long exceedingly loud conversation.
Swimming in the Dordogne River
Fortunately they both moved on today ( Monday ), only to be replaced by more but less noisy Brits. One guy tried at least 3 pitches before settling on his preferred choice, and was still setting up almost 2 hours later. Chris was greatly amused by his antics, possibly helped by the glass of wine she enjoyed with lunch, which we’d taken in town as a means of avoiding a heavy rain shower that coincided with us finishing our morning drinks ( coffee for Chris and beer for me ). As we’d had breakfast Nefyn had to help me with my Bavette steak, however Chris had no such difficulties finishing her omelette aux cėpes.