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Our First Cassoulet -- Delicious!

Day 7 — July 7, 1996 (Sunday)

Driving to Belflou and our next campground

Driving to Belflou and our next campground

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.

*****

Auberge Le Cathare and our campground

Auberge Le Cathare and our campground

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

Campground at Le Cathare near Belflou, France

Campground at Le Cathare near Belflou, France


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.]

The Washing Machine in a Phone Booth

The Washing Machine in a Phone Booth


Entrance to Auberge Le Cathare near Belflou

Entrance to Auberge Le Cathare near Belflou


Lac de la Ganguise near Belflou

Lac de la Ganguise near Belflou

Posted by Beausoleil 10:47 Archived in France Tagged camping 1996 belflou cassoulet

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Comments

Gosh Sally we were driving a similar route around about that time!
We arrived in Santander and took the slow road
heading for Collioure.
The weather was atrocious. At Castelnaudary we spotted the Hotel de France/Restaurant. It claims to be the birthplace of the original Cassoulet so that was what we ordered for our main course. It was exactly right for such a miserable wet day and absolutely delicious.
We stopped there on our return journey to Santander and bought a couple of bottled jars of cassoulet to take home.

by ExRanger49

Hi Barbara. Good to see you here. Wish we had known about Hotel de France when we were in Castelnaudary in 2011 with our youngest daughter. We ate at La Chaloupe by the port and it was the least memorable cassoulet I've ever had. In 1996 when we got home, the first thing I did was try a bunch of different recipes until I could make a good cassoulet. It's a project but a couple times a year is definitely worth the effort. BTW, when is your daughter's book coming out? I have it on pre-order with Amazon. Looking forward to it.

by Beausoleil

Hi Sally - Like you I tried several recipes for cassoulet but never found the "right" one!
Carole's first book (The Truth in Masquerade) came out in June 2016 and she is hard at work on the second but work has been very demanding this year...she tells me it is beginning to take shape.
She was in St Louis in June when the Company gave the U.S. premier of a Phillip Glass work - The Trial based on the Kakfka story. He wrote it for and dedicated it to Music Theatre Wales so the world premier was here in the UK.
Our trip to Austria is getting nearer but we are already thinking about a short visit to France in October before the weather turns nasty!
All the best
Barbara

by ExRanger49

Hi Barbara. When I looked at my Amazon Wish List, Carole's book was listed as being on a list to be available in the future. Not sure why. I checked and it is already on my Kindle and the minute I saw it, I remembered reading it. I also remember sending you a suggestion for her next book as a followup on one of the characters. I am looking forward to the next one. Sounds like she's a busy lady . . .

Where are you going in Austria? We're thinking about a trip just to Vienna some time in the future. Right now, we're headed to Bordeaux, the Basque country and back to our beloved Dordogne.

by Beausoleil

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