Trip Start Nov 27, 2009
147Trip End Ongoing
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Due to the various strops thrown by Brian the van over the last few weeks, we were obviously later than anticipated getting to France. Our leisurely drive down the West coast thus became a slightly more rushed three days to reach our first volunteering destination but the important thing is that we got here and we still had time to admire the lovely French architecture (all those gorgeous old doors!), and to enjoy not setting the alarm clock each morning. On our way down we had two nights 'on the road'; pulling up and bedding down in two perfectly pleasant aires de service. These motorhome stops are all over France, and range from a spot in the car park behind the local abattoir to scenic mountain-side campsites with all the trimmings
We are now well ensconced at La Forge with Peter and Julie, our lovely first Helpx volunteering hosts, and two others wwoofers Meredith and Rebecca. Our three days here have been relaxed but interesting, and we have been made to feel exceptionally welcome! So far we have milked a goat (pretty badly), cut down some trees, built several bonfires, cleared lots of hay, Alex has passed on the gift of fire through firesteel, and we managed to mend the door in the goat shed without electrocuting ourselves by resting the ladder against the electric fence whilst all the time trying to stop the little bugger goats from chewing our rear ends and mains cable. Today we spent five hours erecting a poly tunnel for a lovely friend of Peter and Julie. Think of the worst piece of IKEA furniture you've ever had to assemble, throw away the instructions and increase its size by ten, add random extra parts and a missing piece then imagine trying to assemble it whilst a dog noses you in the crotch, a donkey butts you in the back, and a goose tries to attack your feet. And you're covered in mud. It was good fun!
We have also been fed incredibly well, perhaps a little too well for the waistline! We have sat around and chatted in the evenings, and we played Scrabble the other night but Alex and I lost badly so no more talk of that. Except to say that we were very surprised to learn to our detriment that LUBE is not in the Oxford dictionary
They have 10 cats here. 10 cats! I'm in heaven. And two beautiful big dogs, one of whom farts worse than Alex. There are also goats, sheep, chickens, geese and ducks. Don't get me started on the wildlife, I've never seen so many birds of prey! And luckily Peter and Julie are just as interested in trying to identify wild animal poo as I am.
We will write again once we've spent some more time here at La Forge. Our schedule has us here until around the 14th December, and then we head to Portugal for Christmas. In the mean time, feel free to have a look at some of the photos of our journey so far....
Love, Laura (and of course Alex)