It was with heavy hearts that we had to say “A bientôt” to our new home today as we have to head back to the UK tomorrow. We’ll be counting the days until we’re back to bring our home to life.
To help us through the day we decided to visit Salat-la-Canéda. A medieval town and very popular tourist destination it was pretty deserted; out of season and pouring with rain.
Did I mention that the sun forsook us today and it rained heavily for most of the day with temperatures a much more season 12 to 13°C.
Still we managed a lovely lunch at the traditional cuisine restaurant “Le Clos du Périgord” of entrecôte and confit de canard. Very tasty. This was followed by a very brief sightseeing tour in the increasingly heavy rain. So here’s a couple of hastily taken shots. We must get back here in the summer to do it full justice.
Brive la Gaillarde is our nearest decent sized city with loads of retail opportunities. The visit to Mr Bricolage was principally to look at wallpapers and we’ve got a few likely candidates picked out for the kitchen and sitting room.
We also picked up some cleaning stuff so after our lunch at Flunch we headed back to the house and began the job of cleaning up. The house has just been used as a holiday home for many years and hasn’t been lived in for some time. So you can imaging there’s a bit of cleaning to be done.
One of the things we knew we’d have to attend to was some woodworm infestion, in particular in the cave behind the chimney breast in in the floor of the top room. Nothing too bad; but it needed to be treated.
While we were in the contract stage we’d arranged a quote from Callisto Systems and organized for them to come out as soon as we’d completed the purchase. So we pitched up to the village for 11am expecting a technician to call to do the work.
As we waited we supped coffee under clear blue skies and beautiful spring sunshine. As a result I got a decent sunburn on my head. But the coffee was lovely and so was the sunshine so we didn’t mind waiting.
Eventually the technician arrived and did an excellent job injecting the beams and spraying the floors while we ate a cracking plat du jour at the local restaurant.
The reason for coming to France this week was to sign the final papers and buy a house here. We visited the house this morning to check everything was OK (not having seen it since last November) and this afternoon at the notaire’s in Montignac we signed the purchase contract.
So now we own a little piece of France. The house is in the village of Badefols-D’Ans in the north east of the Dordogne. The village itself only has around 450 inhabitants (plus 2 more now) but has a restaurant /café and a tabac.
Now our life in the Dordogne really begins. Here’s a couple of pictures of the house from the outside.
After our flight from Liverpool to Bergerac on Tuesday was cancelled we rebooked with Ryanair to fly from Stanstead to Bordeaux on Wednesday morning. This involved a 5 hour drive from North Wales to Stanstead and an overnight stay at Church Hall Farm B&B. If you need to stay near Stanstead Airport then this is a great place with lovely rooms. We asked for breakfast in our room due to an early departure and we received a basket of breakfast items including fresh fruits, croissants, break to make toast (toaster in the room) with a selection of cheeses and jams and loads more.
Well it was supposed to be an early departure until we received another text message from Ryanair cancelling our Wednesday morning flight. Not Ryanair’s fault I should add; but the consequences of industrial action by French air traffic controllers. So what to do? Give up and go home or look for another flight?
EasyJet from Gatwick to Bordeaux? 08:10 Wednesday morning? Go for it! And went for it we did. It meant leaving the B&B at 03:30 (apologies if we woke anyone); but we made it to Gatwick in good time and, with only a 35 minute delay, we made it into Bordeaux too. It took some doing; but we got here.
Now we’re in Montignac, a pretty little town in the east of the Dordogne on the banks of the Vézère. What are we doing here? All should be revealed tomorrow.
Supposed to be flying out this morning to Bergerac; but due to industrial action by air traffic controllers Ryanair have cancelled the flight. What a bummer.
As there’s only 2 flights a week from this part of the UK to the Dordogne, and nothing until Thursday at the earliest, we had a mad scramble around last night to rebook flights from Stanstead to Bordeaux instead of Liverpool to Bergerac. Somewhat of a longer journey at both ends; but at least it’ll get us there.
Our love affair with South West France, and in particular the Dordogne region, started relatively recently. It’s not like we’ve been going there for years – in fact it’s only in later life that we started to travel and got bitten by the Dordogne bug.
It all started with Bordeaux. Even though the city isn’t in the Dordogne it has great air links to Ireland, where we were at the time and is an excellent base for exploring the south-west of France. So it was from Bordeaux that we branched out visiting St Emilion, Hautefort, Eymet, Beaumont, Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, Bergerac and loads of places in-between.
Now it’s a few years and a few visits later and we’ve made a major decision; to buy a house in the Dordogne with the intention of moving to France at the earliest possible opportunity. The purpose of this blog is to chart our adventures moving to a new country and to provide a resource for others thinking of doing the same thing. Over the years I hope you’ll follow my posts and get a flavour for life in the Dordogne.