Saturday, 1 October 2016

Another field in France.

Périgeuex to Labastide D'Amagnac. 114 miles. 

As I have mentioned before, one of Gill's 'happy places ' is what she terms, ' the field in France'. Among the defining feature of her personal Land of Cockayne would be, a meadow, a nearby 'ancien village' with a nice cafe, a reputation for good local produce or cuisine, a well placed ruin, a babbling brook, all possibly located in a sea of vines. She is, I suspect, still in pursuit of the ideal, and nowhere yet has ticked every box. Where we are staying tonight comes close - La Bastide D'Amagnac, 'tis very lovely, as the photos show. 

The lovely Gill and the lovely aire...

Timber framed houses

Ancient bastide style square

Fortified church

Some stylish shops here..
with vintage Armagnac at eye-watering prices
and an excellent boulangerie artisnale

shady arccades

Named 'purple' for its famed rumbustious  'can can' and caberet nights back in the 1890s

Labastide D'Amagnac may be rural, but its not exactly unsophisticated..

For example, house shutters quoteing the French surrealiste poet, Rene Char...

Very deep - "The essential is constantly threatened by by the insignificant..."
We had a bit of a milestone moment on the way here. I had mentioned last night that three days of 200 miles plus driving was taking its toll. Gill suggested that having more short breaks might help every couple of hours or so. Somewhere south of Bergerac we started looking for a pleasant layby for a coffee stop. For the past few kilometres I had been keeping half an eye on the odometer as it nudged through the 39,990s. We spotted a good place to park. As we drew off the road, 'ping!' up came the forty thousand mile mark. I patted the dash board, "Nice one Maisy!" I know it's just a number, I realise the van name thing is sentimental tosh, but we have travelled tens of thousands of miles in this 7 metre tin box and visited beautiful places and crossed magnificent landscapes.

A milestone - not just any old number.

The amazing Maisy...
This is our first van, it would have been so easy to have made an expensive mistake, but we made an inspired choice for our second home on wheels. The layout suits long term travel, the double rear wheeled drive is rock solid, and the vehicle is built like a tank. So we lose a bit on mpg., and 60mph is the comfortable maximum speed, but I would be loathed swap it for another van unless some unforeseen problem arises.

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