What's happening: Dordogne dreeming - happy camperssteemCreated with Sketch.

in blog •  5 months ago

Do you have fond camping childhood memories? I do not - but my husband does. He told me some years ago that our children would be deprived of a wonderful experience if we never go camping. My first and only time in a tent was as an adult on the Inca trail to greet Macchu Picchu - but that story might be for another time.

There are numerous campsites in Europe - luckily camping here does not necessarily mean going to the back woods. My husband had to ensure that my first experience would be a good one. We went to Lac de Veronne in Marsales, the Dordogne region of France. The campsite is runned by the dutch owners, Margot Boets and Richard Smeets. Yes I loved it - this was our fourth time.

The calm waters of the lake - a reminder to relax and unwind.

The 16 acre property, set in a valley - is a peaceful sea of tranquility - well lake actually. 😊 The lake has its own source of pure potable water only 20 metres away - it cannot get better than that. There is ample space - so lots of privacy. One can have a tent, bungalow tent, caravan or vacation home. There is never more than 15-20 families at any time or a maximum of 100 people.

This campsite is for everyone but especially for those who love horses; maybe that is the reason why the vibe at the camp is so different.

Margot runs the horse and pony club. My daughter loves the lessons where she learnt the gentle Natural Horsemanship method - no bit or whip.

There is a sandy beach area and possibility to sail small boats.
WhatsApp Image 2018-08-24 at 19.30.21.jpeg

The terrace by the lake is a pleasant place to visit.

It has a multi-functional nature:

  • it has a honesty bar - self service for freshly baked croissaints, french-bread, coffee, tea or lemonade, wine, beer, cornettos or popsicles etc. I was told the honesty bar continues to exist because it works. Have you heard of this before?
  • it houses a ping pong table - I have witnessed the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat during table tennis tournaments with participants of all ages;
  • it has the best internet connection on the property - so it can also be a mindlessness practice area with ones phones. (I did minimal Steeming to truly relax😊 );
  • it becomes a restaurant on Friday and Sunday evenings when Richard puts on his chef's apron. There is a menu - but Richard's speciality is "Magret du Canard" - seared duck in honey sauce - it's something to write home about. Even professed vegetarians shamelessly give up the lifestyle to savour Richard's finger-licking-good meal. The sizzle of the cast iron griddle pans like music on the terrace is proof that this is favored by many.
  • it is an after dinnertime games area - for table tennis, cards, chess or Mahjong if you are in Momogrow's family.
  • it is also the perfect deck for staring at the nightly star-ladened skies. It's the best location, as there are no leaves above or water below - no complaints however😊.

My family felt carefree here. I felt carefree. We were indeed happy campers. My children could do what they want within reason - they even had their daily budget for the honesty bar. This year my son saved most of his budget and spent lots of time picking blackberries - bushes are in abundance. He also discovered a field of vervain - which became our tea of choice.

The beautiful surroundings is very tranquil even with children around, there were many peaceful moments. I spent a lot of time in my hammock staring at the heavens through the leaves - simply beautiful.

I lost my mind into nothingness. I lost track of space and time - truly meditative.

Nothing could ruin our peaceful countenance. Not even:

  • the sound of glass smashing to smithereens - then learning that it was caused by my daughter romping in the wrong place (the bathroom), at the wrong time (9:30 p.m.) with the right person (her brother) - instead of brushing her teeth.
  • Our automobile losing power and our "rusty" french not impressing an impatient mechanic.
    Richard kindly came to the rescue and quelled any potential drama: mirrors can be replaced and transport can be borrowed from our wonderful hosts. We were grateful.

Feeling no inclination to do anything else but daydreeming - we still decided to go for a stroll through the woods to the nearby fortified village, Monpazier. I must mention that the Dordogne is bedecked with castles.
We passed Chateau de Marsales on the way.

Upon arriving at Monpazier we saw a city gate - there was no fanfare to greet us but neither were we attacked.

The village was a military post built by a british king, Edward I in the 13th century. The town is in the form of a grid and has a square in its center. Visiting the galleries, stores and cafes in the arcades - it is easier to imagine why it is now listed as a monument and "one of the most beautiful villages of France", rather than it military past.

The wooden market hall and and houses around the arcaded square can be seen here.
WhatsApp Image 2018-08-22 at 12.32.52.jpeg

The arcade below the houses is usually full with shoppers, but here I caught it empty during the 2 hour long lunch break.

The village is truly picturesque. The roses and plants add to the charm.

Every street was special - making it difficult to put away my trusty iPhone.

There are many summer festivals - so the village was decorated with medieval flags.

The village has its age-old traditions and my family has ours😊. It would not be a happy ending without roasting marshmellows on an open fire with other campers.

It indicated the end of another special summer holiday................with fond camping memories.

Moon over Lac de Veronne

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Thanks for the trip. Loved all the photos and the format. I am more into Nature but love castles and places with charm too. Thanks for taking us with you.


Aww I am happy you enjoyed the trip with me. Nature gets filled up with things - some beautiful some now. However I am happy you enjoyed this charming village. By the way, I love your art. Left you a comment.

Wonderful Dordogne story, @momogrow. It would be shame not to reblog it for even more people to read it.


@amazingwoman - thanks so much for re-steeming my post - I truly appreciate it. I enjoyed writing and sharing this story - happy to have taken you on the journey with me.


I'm always happy to reblog quality content, when I see one just like yours is, @momogrow.


Awwv thank u so much - u r an @amazingwoman 😀

Dude, awesome post. I love it, I'm wondering how long it will be before Curie or one of the others find it.


Dudette :) - but no problem. Thought you would like the small beach but great lake. I like being found - fingers crossed.
What part did you like most?


lol, oops, When I was 15-16 I spent two summers at a ranch/resort on the Texas/Oklahoma line right on the Red river. It looked a lot like that I would usually ride horses all day long, they had acres and acres of wide open space to ride in. One of the horses I liked to ride, took me to a small lake way on the other side of the property. I would go out there with a lunch a sit by the lake and eat and sometimes fish. It was funny I didn't even have to guide the horse back out there, after the first couple times I just let the reins drop around his neck and he would take me to the lake.
That's what your post makes me think about, those are awesome memories....


Aww that is so nice to here. Great that the post evoked memories. Horses are so special and indeed they are very smart. My daughter learnt the gentle approach with no bit or whip and indeed that the horses respond to that - follow your lead and know their way around. Do you know the story of Clever Hans?


It seems like I should maybe brothers Grimm, but I don't think I do, I know Hansel and Gretel.


Lol - the intelligent horse - not fiction . :)

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it's true! camping is a wonderful experience, and so is experiencing history thru touring castles. lucky!


Yes - I enjoyed it especially the solitude and space which I know is unusual for campsite. I do feel lucky.

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This camping location is really wonderful. Green surroundings, water, ... As always, a very nice post, @momogrow.


Thanks so much @zorank - I had a great time - it really was being in nature and so peaceful. Just what I needed.

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Hello @momogrow, thank you for sharing this creative work! We just stopped by to say that you've been upvoted by the @creativecrypto magazine. The Creative Crypto is all about art on the blockchain and learning from creatives like you. Looking forward to crossing paths again soon. Steem on!


Thank you @creativecrypto - I appreciate that our paths crossed.