What's happening: Dordogne dreeming - happy campers

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.
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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.
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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.
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The terrace by the lake is a pleasant place to visit.
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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.
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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.
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Upon arriving at Monpazier we saw a city gate - there was no fanfare to greet us but neither were we attacked.
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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.
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The arcade below the houses is usually full with shoppers, but here I caught it empty during the 2 hour long lunch break.
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The village is truly picturesque. The roses and plants add to the charm.
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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.
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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.
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It indicated the end of another special summer holiday................with fond camping memories.

Moon over Lac de Veronne
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