Making the most of a beautiful sunny day and our shortened stay in Puy L’Eveque we started with a walking tour of the village. The town has a lot of medieval history which is well marked with information boards on the buildings. The helpful lady in the Tourism Office will even give you a map of the significant buildings so you don’t miss any. The locals were friendly and quite a few had well maintained houses and gardens. Being a town of no geocaches we did a circuit of the three bakeries and managed to get something for lunch to top up our hotel buffet breakfast of croissants and black coffee (ed - realises he hasn’t had a decent coffee for three days and gets up to make himself one at 9:33pm).
The Lot River weaves around the bottom of the hills, often looping back on itself. Therefore some towns are cut in half by the river and some are effectively divided into three different parts by the river. We hopped in the car and went over the other side of the river towards the west and then ventured out further following the Lot River to the town of Fumel. Because the Lot is large with weirs, in order to allow smaller craft down the river they have locks next to the weirs, however miss-time it and you could get sucked over the weir. Fumel has a small chateau that is now used as the Mairie, the garden, old well and cloisters are however open to the public. We did a geocache with no success there, way too hot for geocaching, so instead we celebrated the nice weather down at the local Brasserie.
Today’s French word is all about the importance of French diacritical or accent marks. A farm is ferme, however fermé (with an accent above the second e) translates to ‘closed’. It can be confusing, but normally where the word is placed helps, for example on a shop door at midday is clearly ‘closed’, not farm.
For today’s taste of France I decided to be more adventurous and try something on the menu that I could not fully translate. Luckily for me it was not only palatable but very nice. I got the trout with a creamy saffron sauce and a salad of peas, snow peas and broad beans. Roger got the Ballotine of veal (rolled and stuffed) with kumara chips and the pea salad. Feeling extravagant and in need of a treat after yesterday’s ordeal we shared a plate of four petit desserts which included a fruit tart, a chocolate tart, lemon sorbet with raspberry couli, a fruit cup and strawberries and cream.
Note from Roger - we checked into the Henry Hôtel rather late. The owner, whom I shall call Henri, couldn't speak a word of English (or so we thought) and couldn't understand a word of my French either which made for an interesting first conversation. We booked in and went to the restuarant for sustenance and something suitably liquid. The whole time we were there, not a credit card or passport was asked for ie we were taken at face value, on trust. We had breakfast à la Française and dinner and a bit more to drink the next night. The service and attentiveness was superb, the food was good, we couldn't have faulted anything about our two days there if we tried. And they were just doing what the French do best. Bravo Henri!
Henri did know one word of English, being "rugby"
A couple of people who decided to try living in France for three months, to absorb some of the culture and to try a diet of Baguette, Cheese and Wine.