Day 7 — July 7, 1996 (Sunday)
07.07.1996 - 08.07.1996
It rained all night. Our poor tent was soaked. We packed it up wet, ate breakfast and paid our bill.
Hopped on N757, drove through/around Poitiers (don’t remember). We drove and drove and drove. Got lost in Brive and stopped for lunch at Balladins which seems to be a French hotel chain. Ed had fish and I had Veal Marengo that was like the osso bucco I used to fix when we lived in Connecticut. It was the best food we’ve had in France. It was good to get out of the car for a while.
We found our way again and headed south toward Toulouse. It is incredibly beautiful country — what we can see through the rain — reminds me of the Alaska trip when it rained nearly every day! Got lost again in Toulouse and got directions from an incredibly rude gas station attendant — at least the directions were good. [I must note here that the rude gas station attendant was one of only two rude Frenchpersons we've met in our 20+ years of travel there. Everyone else has been kind and helpful.
Headed south out of Toulouse and the sun teased us by appearing for a few minutes. It also became very windy. We found N113 and then our D625. We missed a couple turns and had to turn and go back. At Saint-Michel-de-Lanès D33 looked like a turn into someone’s farmyard, but it was a road. The roads are lined on both sides with trees and it is gorgeous country. The roads got more and more narrow until we were on one lane to the campground at Auberge Le Cathare. It is in the boonies!! Auberge Le Cathare Campground web site
Our site is in the trees, but very muddy. We put up the soaking wet tent in a cold wind and left the rain fly off so the tent would dry. While it dried, we explored. Discovered, to my horror, that the bathroom facilities are strictly middle eastern, i.e., Turkish squat toilets. The showers have two clothes hooks but no shelves or place to put shoes. The laundry is the world’s smallest washing machine in a telephone booth. Yes, it is a real Superman-type phone booth! I did discover one toilet that is almost American, but there’s barely room to use it and no papier de toilette. I’m ready for the Auberge, but Ed hasn't taken my very obvious hints. An adventure . . .
Dinner at eight o’clock p.m. is a cassoulet — it better be good!
[As it turned out, dinner was fabulous. See the entry tomorrow.]