“From North East England to South West France”
A fairly smooth trip, done in one go. A1, M11, M25, A2/M2, A2 to Folkestone. We did anticipate some problems as the press was saying there would be delays of up to 2 1/2 hours. In the end we were only delayed by 30 minutes. So we set off at 3pm last Thursday and arrived at the house around 10.30am on Friday morning. I make that a journey of 19 1/2 hours.
“So what’s new?”
The village has new signs we are apparently in a “Terratoir Bio”.
According to Sud Ouest, in March both the villages of Fauillet and Villeneuve-de-Duras received the label “organic committed Territory”. Introduced by Arbio Aquitaine, this means that communities that have at least 6% of their land cultivated in an organic way, can display this sign. Villeneuve-de-Duras has 8.3%. So our mayor Gérard Lafont, was presented with a sign to display at the entrance to the village.
We now have wonderful concreted foundations and a patio.
“We have new neighbours!”
So pleased to have these feathery neighbours. Difficult to identify 100% but we think they are House Martins. Was put in touch with this site by a twitter follower @jenfrancephotos
Let me begin by stating the obvious, that I love our French garden. It is a work in progress supreme though and because of the extension we had to move several plants when we were last here. It is clear that because of the canicule (heat wave) they have not survived. They may not have survived anyway as plants don’t like to be given a shock at this time of the year. They always respond better to being moved in the winter. But, unfortunately, we had to move them when we did.
And finally to “un petit trajet de velo”
So yesterday we wanted to check out the cycle route along the Canal de Garonne. We purchased the bikes from Decathlon, Bergerac on Saturday. We also had to get a bike rack for the back of the car. They were very helpful at Decathlon, helping us to fit it.
The route below runs from Bordeaux on the Atlantic coast to Montpellier on the Med coast, it is well signposted and easy to cycle.
We picked up the route at Fourques sur Garonne which is about 5K south of Marmande. From there we cycled through Le Mas d’Agenais as far as Lagruère. This was about 20K in total. Le Mas d’Agenais was founded by the Romans and has an authenticated Rembrandt painting inside the church. At Lagruère we stopped for a drink. Le Bout de la Cote (05 53 20 95 47) is open from 1st April until 31st October. It was hot, so we decided to head back. The canal is lined with beautiful plane trees. They must be about 200 years old with their grey bark flaking away to reveal areas of yellow and buff. Many had large hollow areas at the base of their trunks where you could imagine you would be able to shelter if it was raining. Or higher hollows ideal as nesting places for owls or squirrels. The Canal de Garonne feeds into the Canal du Midi. These canals are wonderful and very peaceful and scenic. The trees run along the canal and are enormous, providing both shade and beauty.
But these beautiful trees are apparently under threat!
According to a report in the Guardian in 2011:
“If you want to revel in the dappled shade of the most beautiful canopy of plane trees in Europe, go now. It is likely that in 20 years’ time, not one of the 42,000 trees currently stretching along the banks of the Canal du Midi, which winds from Toulouse to the Mediterranean, will still be standing. An unstoppable fungal disease has left the French state no choice but to reach for the chainsaw, bringing down the ceiling of leaves covering the nation’s most romantic waterway.
The felling of these 200-year-old trees is seen as a national tragedy.”
And finally, on this wonderful family cycle ride both myself and hubby took copious amounts of photos just so I had plenty for my blog, only to find on our return that I had not replaced the memory card in my camera😫😫I was so mad with myself😩😩 So the above photos of the Canal du Garonne are courtesy of google images.