Our plan to visit Bayonne came to nothing as unfortunately the weather was against us. At any other time we may have waited it out but with pouring rain and a grim outlook for 2 days and only a few days left on our trip we couldn’t afford to wait. We were really looking forward to it as it sounded like a lovely place to visit and it had a chocolate factory! It will just have to go on the ‘next time’ list.
Luckily for us, my brother and his French wife live in the Dordogne, in the small town of Riberac, a place we have visited on several occasions before. We were looking forward to it in more ways than one. Firstly to have a good catch up and secondly because we always get fed so well. My brother is a fantastic cook and always treats us to some delicious home cooked food, always cooked from scratch. It’s fair to say he’s also ‘treated’ us to some unusual ‘delicacies’ on occasion which he gets from his local butcher and delights in testing out on us! I won’t tell you what they are I don’t want to put you off your dinner!
We parked the motorhome at the top of the town in a small car park with no restrictions and although we although it was perfectly safe there we slept in the motorhome rather than the house as we don’t like to leave it empty overnight.
Riberac itself is a quiet, typical French town with quite a few British residents, a lively weekly market and selection of small shops and restaurants. If you ever visit on market day be sure to go to the stand that sells jars of salted caramel spread in dozens of different flavours – it’s amazingly delicious! On our first afternoon we had a walk through the town, stopping at a popular local bar for a drink before going back for dinner. It’s a very friendly place, everyone seems to always say ‘bonjour’ and we always feel at home here.
The town is surrounded by beautiful countryside and many other interesting towns within an easy drive. All four of us enjoy fresh air and a good walk and we often go out for a picnic, a barbecue at the lake or out for a mushroom hunt. The next day after a lazy morning and a cheese, pate and French bread feast for lunch we took a 20 minute drive into the countryside and parked up for a pleasant stroll that took us through fields, past some tranquil little lakes and a wander through the walnut groves.
Having worked up a good appetite we went back for some bubbly aperitifs and nibbles while waiting for dinner – homemade steak and kidney pie followed by caramelised pineapple and ice cream – yum! After dinner we attempted a game of poker but somebody (me!) couldn’t manage to grasp the rules so it had to be abandoned for something easier.
Abandoning the game we had a few more drinks a few more chats and made our way back to Buzz for the night. Morning brought with it another treat by way of an English breakfast smile – two poached eggs and a smiling bacon rasher face. What better way to get us used to returning to England!