France 109 - Tocane, a day on the farm, a joyful reunion for Sion and his best friend Woolly Mammoth

France's flag
Europe » France » Aquitaine
September 28th 2016
Published: September 30th 2016
Edit Blog Post

Ok so what was this holiday all about ? Well it was not about us visiting Spain and France. It was about Sion going to see his best friend Woolly Mammoth . It had been planned for a while and we had had to suffer the "Are we there yet?" for quite a considerable time. Our trip to Spain was peppered with this day in, day out. He only gave up when he fell asleep only to start again next morning. We could not take his mind off it by taking him to see a beautiful village or a nice statue. Nor was he interested in Britain in the Sun - Gibraltar . All he wanted was to spend a day on the farm with Woolly Mammoth.

And so the day dawned bright. Emails, messages via Facebook had been sent. We had an idea of where Woolly Mammoth was staying with his long suffering carers. He would not stop talking about seeing his best friend.

"Its me Sion .................long suffering carers what are you talking about? My friend Woolly has to put up with smelly girls and their whims . They dragged him from the sun in Turkey and took him across Europe on buses and trains . They failed to buy him pistacios and Jaffa Cakes . Who are you calling long suffering?

We just ignored the diatribe and carried on setting Sally Sat Nag to take us to an aire in Tocane St Apres. A tiny village with a municipal camp site and 1711 inhabitants . Our friends including Woolly were volunteering on an organic farm nearby and we had been invited over to see them and catch up with news. We had not seen them for over two years as they had been travelling so there would be a lot to talk over and catch up on. It was hot and the journey took us through some lovely villages off the beaten track. As we drove we discussed going home. We would be sad there was no doubt about that. Where shall we go next year? Are there enough small villages in France to keep us occupied ? Should we do Greece? How about Hungary?

" Talking of being hungry - my stomach is rumbling . Its me again .................they did drive slowly. Was I ever going to get there? I looked out of
The goats The goats The goats

I didnt get too close to these
the window at the names of the villages none of them seemed to be the right one. Are they taking me to the right one?

I thought our furry woolly friend was going to kick the sat nag. Eventually though we ended up in the village , we drove passed the huge cemetery and found the aire . Bit worrying it all looked empty. There was one van there but he was only emptying his black water and filling up with clean water. He soon drove off and left us on our Jack Jones. The municipal site was clearly closed . Not a van on there and it looked as if it had been closed a long time. Our next job text Jo and tell her we were here.

Sion grabbed the phone ......................."Its me Woolly your bestest bestest friend . I am here , I am waiting . Where are you? "

He expects miracles but within seconds the phone bleeped into life . Jo was on her way and would be with us in 15 minutes . Oh dear 15 minutes is a long time when you are a small sheep and waiting to meet someone you have not seen for two and a half years. It was purgatory . He put the nougat he had bought for Woolly in the window . He put his nose up against Suzy's windscreen. He wailed - where are they? He got the macaroon biscuits out we had bought for Fiona and Adrian to thank them for their hospitality . I thought he was going to eat them all before Jo and Fiona arrived . it is hard to keep an expectant sheep down. And then ............around the corner came Jo. Smiles all round . We couldnt stop the boys chatting.

We had to wait for Fiona to come back and direct us to the farm where we would spend the night. Down the roads we drove . It got more and more idyllic as we drove along through beautiful french countryside.

Arriving at the farm we parked up and went up to the farmhouse whilst Sion and Woolly conversed.

"Conversed what do you mean? We have a lot to talk about and these seats outside in the sun are rather nice". I could live here with all these animals"

We sat around a typically french kitchen , the big table laid out for family eating. So much more civilised. With the sun shining down on us it felt like a little corner of heaven. After cheese on toast for dinner we set off for the guided tour of the farm.

" I led the way. Well - Woolly led the way, Outbuildings now I could do a lot with them."

The outbuildings were huge . The plan for one was to turn it into a bed and breakfast. Fiona and Adrian already had one in the main part of the house. The rest of the barn was a home for the rescued chickens some of them sadly looked as if they had been in the wars. They were all though being returned to good health through the care they were getting on the farm. If you are going to be a chicken that needs some TLC then this was the place to be.

"I thought about chasing them with Woolly but the look Jen and Jo gave me made me think twice about it"

The rest of the huge barns were full to the brim. Jo and Zoe's task was to clear it all out and make space. Then it was off to see the free range chickens. The eggs are collected daily and sold locally. Everything is organic on the farm even down to the compost toilet.

"Toilet compost - now your talking" It is rather had to get the boys off toilets, latrines and manholes once they get going. We visited the horse and the donkey and then went to see the little shop on site . Fiona makes jams and compotes and sells them. She has bees and sells honey. Everything in the shop is organic and locally produced down to the walnuts and hazlenuts collected from the trees on the farm.

Walking up the fields we ended up at the glamping tents. Four are set up in the woods around the house. " Hobbits - it's a hobbits house . Now I could live in this . Leave me behind with my best friend pleasssssssssssse" Inside was nothing like a tent. A hard floor , tables with candles. There is no electricity to them. Inside toilets and and an outside shower. A big double bed and a hobbit type bunk bed set inside a cupboard. Luxury. A veranda with wooden tables and chairs . Two deckchairs to sit in and watch the sun rising and it setting. We put the world to right well the boys did. We talked about our adventures since we last met. Life for Jo in Turkey, travels since leaving there. Suzy and all her problems at the moment .

Our final meal was a huge family affair . The boys stayed outside in the evening warmth. We sat drinking wine and eating curry. A real curryfest cooked by Jo. Thanks Jo it was the first curry I had eaten for a while and it was fantastic . You can come and cook for me anytime you like. We discussed their plans for their camp site. Where it might be is still up in the air as they search far and near for land suitable. We talked about our hopes for the future over some rather nice samosas made by Zoe .

"Smelly girls cant cook !!!!!" Best thing for this sheep was to leave him outside . Still he was reasonably quiet to be honest as we enjoyed apple pie.

Sadly our night came to an end and we walked home to Suzy to our corner of the field. It was black as black could be. Not a light apart from the stars in the night sky. A peaceful night and a happy Sheep . I wondered how long it would be before we meet up again. Not as long we all hoped .

Sadly though we had to leave early and head for home. I have never seen such a sad looking sheep in all my life . He has not forgiven us for leaving Woolly behind. Even the thought of Jaffa cakes and pistachios did not work. Only so much you can do with one miserable sheep.


Tot: 0.157s; Tpl: 0.011s; cc: 13; qc: 28; dbt: 0.0909s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb