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Published: September 17th 2011
Oh dear. Rain. Actually not a problem at all, just the sky unloading a couple of small clouds and once those were out of the way we reverted to glorious blue sky and hot sunshine. We are trying to catch some of this to take home with us in the Tandy garage as we hear that Staffordshire is in dire need of some warm, dry weather !
We left the Dordogne and headed East, in the direction of the Lot region. Only 40 miles in total to our next campsite so we stopped off in Rocamadour for a visit. As we had hoped there was plenty of space for our Tandy so we parked, visited the Tourist Information centre and acquired a map of the medieval town.
Rocamadour is built up a cliff, best way to describe it really. It started as caves in the cliff, became a religious / pilgrimage centre and ended up with a chapel complex half way up the cliff, a kilometre long main street leading down from the top of the cliff to the town, and a chateau at the top.
Fortunately someone in more recent times had the foresight to add a lift, which goes
up right inside the rock, from the bottom to the chapel level and another, funicular style but again right inside the rock, up to the chateau at the top.
We walked down, along the “Chemin du Pauvres” which is the 1km road from the top to the main town at the bottom. Very picturesque and we got a wonderful view of the town seemingly jutting out from the cliff face as we went down.
This is a delightful place. The town at the bottom is understandably full of tourists and tourist delights. Some interesting shops with a full range of tourist and souvenir wares. It is though, in all respects, very tasteful and we enjoyed our visit very much.
We lunched at a creperie and decided to take the easy route up to the chapel. The original access was via a very steep flight of steps and pilgrims used to drop to their knees and pray on every step. We took the lift as knees are not up to that much kneeling!
The chapels, four I think, are magnificent just in the way they are embedded in the rock face and in the lovely golden colour of the stone. A
masterpiece of craftsmanship.
From this mid-level we then took the second lift right to the top. We decided against a visit to the chateau and instead walked along the ‘cliff top’ back to where we had parked the Tandy. All in all an excellent visit.
From Rocamadour we followed a very deep rocky ravine for several miles winding through the countryside until we came to our campsite for the night near to Padirac. This is a lovely area with pleasant rolling fields and attractive deeply roofed buildings. Our campsite Le Ventoulou, a 4**** star site is excellent. It has a covered pool so no hardship cooling down in there before our dinner. We have been making good use of our Cadac barbecue this trip so Bob barbecued the pork chops while I made the rest of the meal inside the Tandy.
Excellent wifi coverage on the campsite which meant I could Skype Jenny and family in Melbourne from inside the Tandy. Have found that it is impossible to do video Skype outside as the light just cuts out all visibility on the screen and it is also often too noisy to hear.
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