New challenges

We’re just about to book our tickets home to Les Terraces for the summer.  The good news is that we’ve several people who have decided to come and rent the house and use it as a base for exploring Aquitaine, the Dordogne and beyond.

While one is never finished with a house, particularly with one as old as ours, we’ve pretty much done all that we’re going to for the time-being.  This means that we can now look forward to reverting to the role of tourists.  We’ve ventured as far as Padirac in The Lot for a day trip (too far, at least for us),  and Arcachon (about as far as we want to go for a day, as the drive takes up too big a slice of the available time).

There are all sorts of places locally to explore: Roman ruins, chateaux, bastide towns, gardens, pre-historic sites and so on, plus vineyards and specialist food producers.  The challenge is that sitting, as we do, on the borders of Aquitaine, Dordogne and Poitou-Charente there is so much to do. Where does one start?  How far does one venture?  For how long does one leave home in order to better know one’s (recently adopted) home in the larger sense?

We’re toying with the idea of driving down to Biarritz and exploring west of there into the Basque country.  Last year our neighbours told us of the wonderful weekend they had spent with friends on L’Isle d’Or off the coast of La Rochelle: it sounded enchanting.  I still want to visit Sarlat, but not in season.

If we’re travelling further afield do we try to find a gite, or flats like ours (but only for a couple of nights), or a B&B, or an hotel?  Each type of accommodation gives you access to a different experience: the anonymity of an hotel (normally in a city, and we’re not keen on cities), or the independence of a gite (not necessarily the best for a very short stay), while a good B&B gives you the benefit of closer interaction with your hosts.

South-west France gives us so many choices and opportunities.  All we need is time.  Has anyone any suggestions?

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