You’ll remember that last week I mentioned we were heading to Auch to celebrate Bastille Day by watching the fireworks? Parking for free down by the river, we then headed up the magnificent steps, with fountains, dazzling views and a statue of D’Artagnan:

Quite why there is this statue there, I’m not sure, but its very impressive, to be sure. Auch is pretty awesome :

We wandered down to the festival by the river and sat and ate pizza under a sky filled with a very beautiful fireworks display.

The next morning we met lots of classic car enthusiasts and showed our camper off. This is yet another thing on our doorstep, literally down the road at Austin’s Pit Stop Café, and we are so happy to find this scene is as busy here as back in the Uk.

Finally we made it to the mountains. We climbed out of our plateau and the views became head swivellingly amazing :

This pic is just as we started hitting the foothills (footmountains?) and this one is quite a lot higher:

We rounded a curve in the road and met a family of cows out for a walk

We had lunch at La Mongie. If you have ever wondered what ski resorts are like in the summer, well, they are quite lovely. Lots of people flopped out under cafe umbrellas, loads of energetic walker types, a distant tinkle of cow bells and a vista of vertiginous peaks

The air is very clear and refreshing.. I can’t wait to go again and again 

We finally went to our local municipal pool, again just down the road. Its surrounded by trees and grass and people can spend all day there for 2 Euros. Its spotlessly clean and is obviously at the heart of village life. We went with swimming hats but noone had them on. Liam had a pair of dangerously nearly budgie smuggler trunks in his bag, but again, these didn’t seem required viewing, I mean, wearing. Mr Piscine, the chap in charge, seemed happy to be larging it in his tiny trunks and I couldn’t help admiring a lady who did non stop lengths in a lilac bikini and shades.

Keeping with the watery theme (its been a very hot week), we checked out the gem that is Lac D’Asterac. What a brilliant resource! You can hire kayaks, canoes, get hot and sweaty doing a parcour trail, with self explanatory exercise boards

 There are tables and chairs to eat with friends and family, a park, woods. And even more sunflowers…and again, this joy is just a teeny car drive away.

Sorry, no more photos; it can be a bit hit and miss with internet and whatnot. We had a spectacular thunderstorm. Imagine our eyes as big as saucers as the house shook and flashes as bright as magnesium explosions ricocheted around us! Not for the faint hearted. The cat was nowhere to be seen ..
We met our neighbours down the road and had a really nice night having drinks with them and new friends. Its eternally interesting to find out why people have moved here and beats the hell out of that tired conversation opener of.. ‘so, what do you do for a living?’ I heard someone describe Dordoyne as Dordoyneshire and they said they went to a market and you could only hear braying English voices. Here, we have a presence, but its very much still undisturbed France. For example, the shops shut at 12.30 for lunch, then reopen, sleepily, at 3. Possibly annoying if you are short of, say, a hat, but its utterly charming to me.

G’night, mes amis. Till next week 😆