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Report 2068: Going for the Gold in France. Part 3: Dawdling in the Dordogne

By Roz from California, Summer 2013

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Page 6 of 12: Wednesday, June 26, 2013: Birthday in Monpazier

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Hat shop in Monpazier

Finally -- a warm and sunny day. Perhaps a birthday present for Maureen!

We were so happy to see Maureen's birthday dawning with the promise of sunshine. We'd only had brief flirtations with sunshine so far, in this very atypical weather pattern. Although we hadn't had any rain to date in Monpazier, it had actually been cooler here than it was during our time in Brittany, much farther north.

We spent the morning in nearby Monpazier, which we hadn't really explored yet on this trip. We wandered around town, and bought Maureen a cute birthday hat from a place run by a man who must be the town character (he's on the right in the photo). Of course, Maureen's father-in-law, who has quite a hat collection from France and Italy, had to get one for himself as well.

We enjoyed a nice salad lunch at Galerie M on the town place -- not a gourmet spot, but it was just a perfect day to sit outside and watch the swallows flying back and forth to their nests under the roof of a neighboring building. The town (at least in the restaurants) seems mostly populated with Brits, but is not at all crowded yet. It is a beautiful place.

After lunch, we went back to our house, where it was finally warm enough for Mike fils to take a dip in the pool (the only time we were inspired to use it on this visit). The rest of us just lazed around outside. Unfortunately all that time outdoors next to a field of grass was not good for my allergies, and I was sneezing like crazy. Worth it though for finally getting some sun!

Off to another night market, this time in Belvès. This one had a much wider choice of food than the one in Beaumont. There was paella, pork, roast chicken, curry, Vietnamese, Italian, and of course the usual duck and potatoes. I had the paella, Mike fils roast pork and potatoes. Mike père (having overdosed on duck fat) opted for spaghetti in pesto, and Maureen had a plate of grilled vegetables with some kind of quiche-like pastry. There was a better choice of food here, but we liked the music in Beaumont better.

At the table, we had a nice chat with a Brit who had retired to the Limousin and was visiting friends who were in Belvès. At both night markets, as well as in restaurants around here, the preponderance of people seem to be British. I wonder how many locals actually come to the night markets, or are they mainly put on for the tourists? The Dordogne is definitely a very popular spot for British retirees.

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