Vézère Day 2: Troglodytes and Chapels
Another foggy and drizzly day to start – but then we lucked out and the sun peeked out every now and then in the afternoon! We have to leave our wonderful host Roland this morning. After some interrogation he reveals he was born and brought up in Hong Kong but is of German descent. His mother is here from Germany for a while and we see her working in the gardens.
We breakfast, pack the van and we are off for the canoe put-in spot right here in this little village where we stayed. We will paddle from St. Leon to Les Ezyies – a long day of paddling, but not hard at all.
We stopped mid-morning at the La Roque St. Christophe (a city built into the side of the cliff where Cro-Magnon man lived and others followed up until the 1500’s). It was fascinating to walk along this cliff and see all the makings of a real village built into the walls – safes (assumedly to keep the trading beads in?), slaughter, drying and curing areas, places for weapons, the kitchen, a church, the scaffolding that they built and a huge wheel powered by a man walking through it which helped raise rocks etc. in the rock quarry! This village was part of a large communications set-up among villages all along the Vézère River – it took 6 minutes for the bugle sound to reach this village from the next nearest! It was interesting just how much high tech knowledge these early people had!
We floated and paddled, had our picnic on the banks of the river (different types of meats and cheeses, French breads, wonderful hot Dijon mustard, salad (with fresh radishes George bought for me!), Céléry salad, fruit and of course, dark chocolate!!
We passed by many more cliff dwellings and some houses used in present day that are built into the cliff walls. We all rafted together down the river at one point and it was quite pleasant!
Tonight we dine in this cute little village of Les Eyzies – our hotel is right in the heart of the village and very cute – I have had the windows opened wide and watched the people in the square below me.
After we had a walk around the village which is only one block long, nestled in between the cliffs where more houses are built and the Vézère River. This town is in the middle of duck country – there are stores everywhere that sell Foie gras – would love to bring some home but was stopped at customs the last time I tried that! Dinner was another gastronomic event with lots of wine, great food and conversation and certainly lots of laughs – fell into bed at 10:30pm!