Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne : Corrèze: France July 2018
So why the Corrèze region you asked? Well, you didn’t but I’m telling you. Chris had read up about this fairly unknown part of France being very pretty and also known for its distinctive gastronomy. The walnuts and nut oils, the milk-fed veal , the Limousin apples and then the Foie as well. But for us it was just somewhere new so we were excited!
I give France a 10/10 for camping. Really there are campsites every 1 km and one aire if not 2 in every village ( even the small ones) we have not struggled once on this trip so far with finding great places to stay. Even if the toilets are unisex!
So our next stop is Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne. As you guess it’s along the Dordogne river and the next few days this river is going to dominate our travels.
We chose a fancy campsite in Beaulieu and it was a fancy price. We thinking around €33 a night at least and we want to stay 2 nights. It looks lovely on the website so off we go. Big spenders!
As we follow Tom-Tom into the village we see some signs for the camp. Great. Except of course When she says turn left, Chris ignore her. Now I must tell you that he often does this. Not sure why but he thinks he knows better than her. (Maybe he does!) So I’m shouting at him ‘turn left’ and he ignores me and her and drives on which seems fine cos now we just approaching from a different angle and as we come around the corner we see it! …. an aire right next to the river and outside the back door of the camping site. Hmmmm now what should we stay in the €33 a night, luxurious, showers ,pool, restaurant , shady leafy campsite OR should we park next to the river and chill for very little! Well you know what Chris said….booodget! But for once I agree with him. It’s perfectly fine for our needs. You only pay at night and it’s €5.50 and then if you want electricity it’s €2 for 4 hours. Now work that out! It’s a big saving bu, of course,e Chris still made us only buy one jeton(token) for electricity at a time and restricted the electricity. Anyway moving on …..it was nice and it had free WiFi. ( which couldn’t work unless you had a phone to receive a code) and it was literally in the town. We settled in and set up camp and walked into the village.
We could see why it one of the ‘ plus beaux “villages. It is still accessed through old stone gates and the cobbled streets are all centred around the church square. Some are wooden front houses which are so evocative of the medieval times.
Then in the village square, we found a boulangerie/patisserie – for my first café eclair of the trip, and a black forest patisserie for Chris. It’s so sublime I can’t talk about it. See pics instead.
After exploring the village, including have a look into all the little shops, and then sitting down for a drink in the town square (€4.50 ,not bad!) we headed back to the van and tried to keep cool. Supper was an alfresco affair of bread, cheese and hams. Delicious. We could not believe how many people kept pulling into the aire and it got steadily fuller.
The next day 14th July was Fête National. This is Bastille Day for all of you NOT living in France. We had heard there was party down at the river edge so we were quite excited to see the stalls being set up.
Lunch was a lovely burger and salad at a local place. It still amazes us to see a restaurant fairly busy and being run by only mister chef in the kitchen cooking away and Madame on the floor taking all the orders and serving and smiling. The difference also is that no one is rushing. Meals are never a fast affair in France.
Nor are supermarkets queues by the way. It must drive the Germans mad to see how slow the queue is and how much talking gets done before any money even comes out of the wallet.
So I’m getting distracted.
After an afternoon nap we walk down to the river edge at around 7pm( it started at 4) and virtually no one was there. The stalls were a little disappointing as it was quite amateur. Mostly games fairground-like , fishing with a magnet etc. The drinks stand was selling cooldrinks, pression( draught beer) and wines. The food well….. very basic. For € 8 you got frites and 2 sausages and a piece of thick bacon. It was good sausage , don’t get me wrong, but when the area you are in has so many gourmet specialities you would think the offering would be amazing. Although we were disappointed we found a great seat next to the stage and dance floor and with a straight-on view of the fireworks. We really enjoyed ourselves I mean the people watching alone is amazing. The band was good and they had the crowds going. What was funny and cute to see was that a lot of the dancing was line dancing and everyone old, young single or married joined in. We met an English couple who sat opposite us and had a natter.
The setting was really beautiful and the sunset and river were just so awesome we really have nothing to complain about. A fantastic evening ending off with a show of fireworks which was so professional and lasted a good 15min. Everyone cheering and singing and we went to bed with a ‘frenchie’ feeling in our hearts.
Vive la France!