Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Canoeing the Dordogne

We are worried about the speed of the currents with the recent rains but fellow guests at the b&b assure us that it is an easy float.  We follow their recommendation for a canoe operator out of Carsac, a few miles from Sarlat. It appears that we are the only customers this afternoon, and we only see one other canoe on the river during our 3 hour paddle. The plastic canoes are very stable even through some wave action due to the wind. We are well equipped with a plastic bucket with screw lid. The current carries you down the Dordogne and it is a beautiful and relaxing ride. The river is lined with lush greenness and along the way you pass under 2 old arched bridges, high limestone cliffs and end with a most breathtaking and spectacular view of La Roque Gageac, a one street town along the river built on the side of a cliff. Though Ray was worried about not finding the correct beach to be picked up, all was easy as the boat operator was at the shore waiting for us to take us back up to Carsac. 

We then drive back to La Roque to see the cliff dwellings of 10-12th century cave dwellers. Apparently during floods, the main street and first floors of buildings are underwater.  The beautiful castle its high up on top of the cliff. Beynac is a feudal village that tumbles down from its majestic castle to the river below. During the Hundred Years War,  the castle housed the French while the British set up camp acoss the river at Castelnaud.  The views are spectacular.  We spend time taking photos, and eating our baguette and sausage  that we had purchased from the Wednesday morning market in Sarlat. We've discovered that there are many variations to a baguette and some are much better than others. We prefer ones with a light and crusty outside with a less dense bread. We've also shifted from the American practice of buying for tomorrow and the next day. Bread and pastries definitely taste better when eaten immediately, and purchased fresh that morning.  Many places sell out by noon and are closed by afternoon.  


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