Adventures in France-Land, Walking VI

Good Morning Monpazier.

Good Morning Monpazier.

We left our Barbie Castle hotel (aka Edward 1er) in search of more.....

We left our Barbie Castle hotel (aka Edward 1er) in search of more…..

 

Castles!  Our friendly postman/taxi driver, who rescued us in my last post, drove us to Chateaux de Biron.

Castles! Our friendly postman/taxi driver, who rescued us in my last post, drove us to Chateaux de Biron.

The details blew my mind.

The details blew my mind.

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Aha!  A possible clue about our previous day's misadventure.  Occasionally you cross paths with other "GR" trails, like you see here.

Aha! A possible clue about our previous day’s misadventure. Occasionally you cross paths with other “GR” trails, like you see here.

Welcome to Lacapelle-Biron, home to fanatical rugby fans.  Most of the town was gathered in their red and white colors.  I could write an entire book on the difference between American sports fans and French sports fans but this is a blog, not a book so I will spare you.

Welcome to Lacapelle-Biron, home to fanatical rugby fans. Most of the town was gathered in their red and white colors. I could write an entire book on the difference between American sports fans and French sports fans based on my 10 minute observation of this event but this is a blog, not a book so I will spare you.

Go team!  We start our walking for the day leaving Lacapelle-Biron and their sports traditions behind.

Go team! We start our walking for the day leaving Lacapelle-Biron and their sports traditions behind.

It is immediately apparent we are all in a bit of a silly mood.

It is immediately apparent we are all in a bit of a silly mood.

I think the previous day's challenges brought us closer as well.

I think the previous day’s challenges brought us closer as well.

Note to self, call the GR trail people about the marks in this town, they sort of completely disappeared.

Note to self, call the GR trail people about the marks in this town, they sort of completely disappeared.

Thanks to some friendly locals we found our way and saw beautiful things like this country home.

Thanks to some friendly locals we found our way and saw beautiful things like this country home.

We were in no rush, we truly took our time which yielded more gifts like this shot.

We were in no rush, we truly took our time which yielded more gifts like this shot.

Sometimes, more is better.

Sometimes, more is better.

Le Seguinet, our intended destination for the night in Saint-Front-sur-Lemance.

Le Seguinet, our intended destination for the night in Saint-Front-sur-Lemance.

Le Seguinet sits on 18 acres with 4 separate buildings on the property. It was magical.

Le Seguinet sits on 18 acres with 4 separate buildings on the property. It was magical.

France provided a wonderland of contraband park equipment that our kids are very unlikely to see in the States like see saws and unruly swings.

France provided a wonderland of contraband park equipment that our kids are very unlikely to see in the States – like see saws and unruly swings.

The actual town of Saint-Front-sur-Lemance is......meh.

The actual town of Saint-Front-sur-Lemance is……so-so.

So we spent the rest of the daylight enjoying the grounds at our hotel.

So we spent the rest of the daylight enjoying the grounds at our hotel.

The kids found tadpoles to "study" around the fairy like pond.

The kids found tadpoles to “study” around the fairy like pond.

When you've gone without any toys for a couple of weeks, a broken hula hoop can provide an hour of entertainment.

When you’ve gone without any toys for a couple of weeks, a broken hula hoop can provide an hour of entertainment.

Interior of Le Seguinet.  I lost count of the amazing tile patterns used throughout the 18 room "house".

Interior of Le Seguinet. I lost count of the amazing tile patterns used throughout the 18 room “house”.

Blundstone family pic.

Blundstone family pic.

The beginnings of our sun downer from our lovely Indian/Canadian/English cum French host Mme. Finnegan (funny coincidence)

The beginnings of our sun downer from our lovely Indian/Canadian/English cum French host Mme. Finnegan (funny coincidence).  Good night Saint-Front.

 

 


Adventures in France-Land, Walking V

A bit of an introduction, on our fifth day of walking we mistakenly hopped off the GR 36 trail and onto another.  It was a beautiful walk but took us 20 km AWAY from our intended destination.  This turned out to be our longest day of walking, we figure it was over 20 km, possibly 25 km – that’s a really long way when you are five and seven years old.  This post is dedicated to my kids who not only walked the whole day but happily put on their boots the next morning as well, thank you, I love you.

Breakfast - time to leave Montferrand for Monpazier

Breakfast – time to leave Montferrand for Monpazier

Snail love, turns out that love was in the air that day

Snail love, turns out that love was in the air that day

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11th century church, I think this was my favorite, I'll take it over Notre Dame anyday

11th century church, I think this was my favorite, I’ll take it over Notre Dame any day

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We spied this place for a mid-morning break, also to fill water bottles (walking tip: turns out cemeteries almost always have water)

We spied this place for a mid-morning break, also to fill water bottles (walking tip: turns out cemeteries almost always have water)

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Family pic

Family pic

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Lunch break, our hosts from Lou Peyrol packed us sandwiches for the day, which we happily devoured sitting outside this castle wall.

Lunch break, our hosts from Lou Peyrol packed us sandwiches for the day, which we happily devoured sitting outside this castle wall.

Here's what the locals were offering, this was the only restaurant in town.

Here’s what the locals were offering, this was the only restaurant in town.

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Two deer running straight for us

Two deer running straight for us

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The moment we realize we are 20 km away, it's a hard moment, no one even cares about  Chateaux Bannes in the background.

The moment we realize we are 20 km away, it’s a hard moment, no one even cares about Chateaux Bannes in the background.

While we wait for our hotel to send a rescue car  our way (miraculous), my daughter adopts several snails.  (choosing snails over the chateaux, that's my girl)

While we wait for our hotel to send a rescue car our way (miraculous), my daughter adopts several snails. (choosing snails over the chateaux, that’s my girl)

 

The feeling of sitting after walking for 9 hours.

The feeling of sitting after walking for 9 hours.

Our hotel, Edward 1er

Our hotel, Edward 1er

 

If you squint you can make out our muddy footprints we left on the stairs (I still feel bad about that)

You can almost make out our muddy footprints

 

Monpazier and this surrounding area of France is very "English" in style...and sort of Disneyland-y.

Monpazier and this surrounding area of France is very “English” in style…and sort of Disneyland-y.

 

Goodnight Monpazier.

Goodnight Monpazier.


Adventures in France-Land, Walking IV

Packed up lunch for our walk from Belves to Montferrand

Packed up lunch for our walk from Belves to Montferrand

Lock the gite and we are on our way

Lock the gite and we are on our way

Find the mark and start walking - we have an easy day planned, only about 5 hours of walking.

Find the mark and start walking – we have an easy day planned, only about 5 hours of walking.

Many have asked my "favorite thing I saw" - this is it, a caravan of caterpillars

Many have asked my “favorite thing I saw” – this is it, a caravan of caterpillars

The caterpillar string was about 15 feet long, I've never seen anything like it before

The caterpillar string was about 15 feet long, I’ve never seen anything like it before

This did not make me happy.  The kids thought it was hilarious.

This did not make me happy. The kids thought it was hilarious.

Notice the elevation, the mornings typically began with a steep climb.

Notice the elevation, the mornings typically began with a steep climb.

We saw lots of happy, beautiful animals on this path.....thankfully no boars!

We saw lots of happy, beautiful animals on this path…..thankfully no boars!

Can you see my happy kid?

Can you see my happy kid?

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Our home for the evening. Our wonderful host Thierry, greeted us, made us cafe and chocolate chaud.

Our home for the evening. Our wonderful host Thierry, greeted us, made us cafe and chocolate chaud.

Montferrand is very small, it might have been my favorite town.  The buildings are very old, very quaint and everyone was very kind.

Montferrand is very small, it might have been my favorite town. The buildings are very old, very quaint and everyone was very kind.

Our neighbor.

Our neighbor.

Charting the course for the next days of walking.

Charting the course for the next days of walking.

At Lou Peyrol, Thierry  cooks our dinner, his wife  serves us, we eat until we are stuffed talking with the kids the whole time.  It was a magical night.  Goodnight Montferrand.

At Lou Peyrol, Thierry cooks our dinner, his wife serves us, we eat until we are stuffed talking with the kids the whole time. It was a magical night. Goodnight Montferrand.


Adventures in France-Land, Walking III

Leaving Saint Cyprien for Belves

Leaving Saint Cyprien for Belves

The people who mark the trail are amazing, this is another mark you may see just to clear up doubt.

The people who mark the trail are amazing, this is another mark you may see just to clear up doubt.

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Apple blossoms

Apple blossoms

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Attack of the trees!!!!!

Attack of the trees!!!!!

The town of Belves is a sight for sore feet after a very full day of walking

The town of Belves is a sight for sore feet after a very full day of walking

The locals.

The locals.

Belves. Town of bells and secret dwellings (13th - 15th century a whole slew of people lived under the castle)

Belves. Town of bells and secret dwellings (13th – 15th century a whole slew of people lived under the castle)

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The Gite - Relais Vert.  The sheets are for 1-2 nights use and then throw away.

The Gite, our home for the night – Relais Vert. The sheets are for 1-2 nights use and then throw away, they feel like paper towels.

The gite is an old church about 3 km from Belves city center.

The gite is an old church (complete with cemetery and bell tower) about 3 km from Belves city center.

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Walking paths in the area, we are still on GR 36.

Walking paths in the area, we are still on GR 36.

Good night Belves.  Note to future guests, the bell tower stops at 10:00, THANK THE LORD.

View from the gite.  Good night Belves. Montferrand-au-Perigord we’ll see you tomorrow. (Note to future guests, the bell tower stops at 10:00, THANK THE LORD.)


Adventures in France-Land, Walking II

Les Eyzies, the starting line for our walk and our hotel information

Les Eyzies, the starting line for our walk and our hotel information

Our last train from Perigord to Les Eyzies get delayed for hours - No "Train Supreme" for us, we get a taxi

Our last train from Perigord to Les Eyzies get delayed for hours – No “Train Supreme” for us, we get a taxi

We arrive in Les Eyzies with about an hour of sunlight left to explore

We arrive in Les Eyzies with about an hour of sunlight left to explore

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We wake up to a cold morning

We wake up to a cold morning

Le petit dejeuner

Le petit dejeuner

Found the trail - GR 36

Found the trail – GR 36

Walking to Saint Cyprien

Walking to Saint Cyprien

The white and red stripes mark our path

The white and red stripes mark our path

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The GR 36 leading us into Saint Cyprien, we've finished our first walking day - very easy only about 7 km.

The GR 36 leading us into Saint Cyprien, we’ve finished our first walking day – very easy only about 7 km.

The kids still have tons of energy so we find a playground

The kids still have tons of energy so we find a playground

Our "hotel" Chez Nanou

Our “hotel” Chez Nanou

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The daily laundry

The daily laundry

Saint Cyprien

Saint Cyprien

Goodnight from Chez Nanou

Goodnight from Chez Nanou


Adventures in France-Land, Walking (and trains) I

After an early morning train from Gisor we are back in Paris.  TGV here we come

After an early morning train from Gisor we are back in Paris. TGV here we come

I'd just explained we were taking 4 different trains that day, for a grand total of 8 hours of travel!

I’d just explained we were taking 4 different trains that day, for a grand total of 8 hours of travel!

I honestly didn't see that coming.

I honestly didn’t see that coming.

All is well once again and we explore the train station and people watch.

All is well once again and we explore the train station and people watch.

Family pic, so far so good with the Blundstones, they handled Paris and Normandie like a dream but the real test is about to begin.

Family pic, so far so good with the Blundstones, they handled Paris and Normandie like a dream but the real test is about to begin.

 

The TGV (super fast train) is nice, and I mean real nice.

The TGV (super fast train) is nice, and I mean real nice.

And the view is even better.

And the view is even better. Paris to Bordeaux in a few hours while sitting comfortably, not bad my friends, not bad.


Adventures in France-Land, Normandie II

 

Laundry - a good thing to do when visiting a foreign country

Laundry – a good thing to do when visiting a foreign country

 

11th century ya'll and just down from the laundry mat.

11th century ya’ll and just down from the laundry mat.

 

Gah!  The stone work.

Gah! The stone work.

 

Unlike in Paris, here in Gisors we have the entire place to ourselves.

Unlike in Paris, here in Gisors we have the entire place to ourselves.

 

A lost art.

A lost art.

 

Our first castle - I can't help quoting "Princess Bride" over and over and over.

Our first castle – I can’t help quoting “Princess Bride” over and over and over.

 

 

13th century my friends.

13th century my friends.

 

 

Our Downton-esque moment strolling the grounds.

Our Downton-esque moment strolling the grounds.

 

 

For storming the castle (in secret)

For storming the castle (in secret)

 

This awaited us after laundry and sightseeing.

This awaited us after laundry and sightseeing.

 

Followed by this.

Followed by this.

 

And then this.

And then this.

 

Then out for more old buildings.

Then out for more old buildings.

 

 

And you thought we'd just drink and eat macaroons the rest of the day, didn't you.  Pffff.

And you thought we’d just drink and eat macaroons the rest of the day, didn’t you. Pffff.

The afternoon of slightly intoxicated sight seeing was well worth the effort.

The afternoon of slightly intoxicated sight seeing was well worth the effort.