A bonheur, I wake up and get Hector ready to go. Vineyard stop-overs are a quick win: wine, beautiful surrounding, nothing else. Consequently, all it takes is store the chairs in their compartments and turn the engine.
Obviously, Hector has decided to see mor of France’s rural parts. Tiny roads, marked as slim white lines on general maps, named with 3-digit-Dxxx numbers, make our way. We pass by fields, forests and more forests.
Then around early afternoon, Hector comes to a halt at Brantôme en Périgord. The town is famous for the ancient abbey and the hand-deep canals. Another highlight seems to be the camper parking, half-filled with mobile homes and all kinds of camping cars, coming from all of France’s corners. I am the one and only tourist from abroad, at least until Frankfurt friends arrive.
Brantôme is picturesque, but small. In former times, it might have been packed with people: monks, in medieval eras, tourists until 2020. Nowadays, it is a relaxed scenery for a promenade in half-deserted alleys before checking out the abbey and the huge roman church.
The canals may be a bit of a bore, still slow motion-boat tours are offered, ensuring that inquisitive tourists do not miss an inch of Brantôme’s beauty.
Despite all the charm of this town, I am not here for history or architecture. I came here to see friends for dinner and it starts with a big hello and an apéritive. Usually, we live 400km apart, while now we manage to meet 1.300 km away from home.
What comes next is a wonderful evening. Although other star-topped restaurants come with better service (or with a sommelier that really knows wine), the queen of the day sparkles with mildness when waving down from her chambers. The dishes are great, the wine acceptable and we enjoy our company during the delightful evening.
Lucky us that the couvre-feu has been shifted to 23:00h, enabling a full menu before we have to split up. I pity my friends who have to stay in a high-price-mid-class hotel room while I climb up into Hector’s comfy bed, all satisfied with the day.