Our next stop through France takes us to a small little village called Saint Martial de Nabirat located in the Perigord region. Its 250km from our previous village, or 2 hours due east of Bordeaux. The drive in was simply spectacular. For a good 40 kilometers, we were wowed by all of the gorgeous chateaus and wine country of Bordauex. Right when we thought we saw the most beautiful chateau, another one popped us right over the valley. The drive continued past wine country and followed along the La Dordogne river, past villages and castles that define this region. Sometimes called “the valley of castles”, the Perigord region is home to over a 1000 of them. Stage 10 of the Tour de France will race here (actually happening today) a 178km section that we had the chance to drive (and bike) a good stretch of.
Once we reached our destination - our home for the next week was something that we have never experienced before. Part of a hamlet (group of 5-6 homes that rely on their agricultural land), we were guests to a stone house build in 1640 that has been remodeled, but the original aquatint feel was fully kept. An old farm house turned into a beautiful living space, with exposed wooden beams and antique decor that made us feel right at home. Leo and Mila took advantage of a little pool & treehouse in the backyard and enjoyed time splashing around and climbing.
Our first day in Saint Martial de Nabirat was very slooooow. We had no food so grocery shopping was priority #1 (hungry Polaka, angry Polaka!). We decided to grab breakfast in town first, and then run some errands (groceries, gas, laundry). For some reason, we were all pretty tired and running low on energy. We returned to our house to make some lunch, a creme of tomato to be exact. As I was blending the cooked veggies, the blender exploded and some of the hot soup landed on my arm burning my skin pretty bad, ouch!
The afternoon went much better. After the kids took a nap, we decided to head back to town and take a boat tour on La Dordogne river to see Chateau de Beynac. This castle is one of the best known in this region of France. It is located on a limestone cliff, dominating the town and the north bank of the Dordogne river. It was nice and a pleasant boat ride with spectacular views, Leo and Mila also enjoyed it although they were like little bees on the boat wishing they could jump into the river for a swim :)
Knowing the Tour De France will be arriving in this region, we decided to conduct our own Herman race. The day was perfect for such an excursion, cloudy yet still in the 80s. We rented our bikes at Liberty Cycle in Sarlat and took off on our little adventure through villages and towns. I had the easy ride, Rick on the other hand, was pulling a buggy with Leo and Mila for 40km! The first 20 km were downhill, but what goes down must come up so he had tough sledding on the way home! At the halfway point, we stopped at the little beach along the river and had lunch. Kids were having a blast throwing rocks into the water. Mila felt very liberated (I guess France is wearing off on her) and decided to take a dip in the water with her shoes on (butt naked, haha). After a very relaxing and peaceful break, we headed back to our starting point. For the return journey, I was biking with my wet shorts on and as a result, I have a pretty nasty rash on my thighs. Add that to my burned arm and you have a beat up momma. If I make it in one piece through this whole trip, I will consider it as a victory in my books :-)
Funny Mommy add-on story. . .
When we put Mila in the buggy for our bike ride, she threw a huge tantrum and refused to be strapped in or even wear a helmet. Surprisingly, after a while she loved it so much that she threw another tantrum when we got back and had to force her to give back all of the rented equipment. Kids, when you think you know them, they throw a complete curve ball at you leaving you speechless and confused..