We visit the cave at Lascaux II before leaving for home.
These are some reminiscences of days on the river in the Perigord region of France. I shall be mixing up stories from my first trip, eight years ago, to the trips we did last summer, about thirty trips in all. This entry is about the sixth day of the Perigord trip, where we canoe on the Dordogne river and pass some beautiful Chateaux and generally swan about before reaching the canoe base at Siorac.
It’s the final morning and everyone has the return to Paris on their mind. We still have time however to manage a couple of things this morning before making our way to Brive for the train departures.
First however we will get breakfast over and then make sure everything is packed away in the van and we have all the luggage and have not left anything behind. We have some fun cramming everything in and making sure we can access the stuff we are going to leave at Roland’s place.
Our intention now is to get to Lascaux and visit the caves. We telephoned yesterday to book ourselves in. Preferably we would like an English language tour but they only do a few per day and it might not fall kindly for us. No matter. We will take what we can get.
It’s a fairly short 40 minute or so drive through the back roads, passed Sarlat to get to Montignac and then from there only three or four kilometres to the site of the cave. We arrive before 10am to catch an early as possible tour. Usually the parking spaces are fairly full already, especially in the high season, but the tour buses have not yet arrived.
At the ticket booth we sometimes have some problems. Every year they seem to change the place where the tickets are sold. Some years it is only at the Tourist Office in Montignac and other years it is only on site. If it’s a Tourist Office year we can usually blag our way by saying that we hiked here and it’s unreasonable to ask us to hike to Montignac and back. It always works.
Of course Paul and I have been in before and so we don’t go on every trip. Besides we have to take some gear to drop off at Roland’s Place. The tour takes about an hour so that gives us time to do that. From time to time we also get guests who don’t want to visit the cave and see the paintings. Some people are put off by the fact that it is a replica and not the real thing. If that is the case then we can take these people to visit the huge fortified church at Saint-Amand-de-Coly and wander the beautiful village.
I should say though that I believe that Lascaux II is an outstanding visit (This link, by the way allows you to visit the site virtually). The cave is an exact duplicate and the artist who painted the replicas took 9 years to do so. It is absolutely stunning, and I think not to be missed. Not many people will have the chance to return here.
After an hour or so Paul and I will return to pick up the pieces and we will finish the drive back to Brive that takes about an hour. We are usually in plenty of time to get the train and often we have sufficient time to return the van to the hire place and catch the same train up to Paris. Strangely two trains leave within a few minutes of one another and often we have some guests on one and some on the other.
Sometimes we have time for lunch before departing, sometimes just time for a cup of coffee.
It’s always sad to say our farewells; here or in Paris. I, for one, can always say I’ve had a great trip and met some lovely people.