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Trip Start Nov 27, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
La Forge

Flag of France  , Limousin,
Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mon dieu, we've arrived! Ok, no more bad French references. We have indeed arrived in France, landing on French soil last Friday into the arms of a magnificent thunderstorm. Hail, torrential rain, and roundabouts that go the wrong way round. What a welcome!

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. And they're usually free! They're generally provided by the local community, in the hopes that you'll buy your morning baguette from the boulangerie and maybe dine at a local restaurant, and they are an excellent idea. We were always joined by at least three other motorhomes (all bigger and with fancy automatic satellite dishes), and everyone has so far been very nice! Only the British have ignored us.

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)

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pat and les on

Looks great nothing like rural France to give you an appetite for food not just the Vino!

Tim on

Well i am glad Brian made it that far , i'll take that as a good sign and hope it continues thus :) Managed to switch off from franctic mode yet ?

Vida Green on

i am so envious.....i've just stood in M&S for half an hour waiting to be served !!!!!!!! fi either need a mobile hairdresser i'm you "Man" keep enjoying and sending those lovely picturesxx

darren sharp on

hey beautiful french babes ;)

that cow sure is a stunner! u sure its not off the laughing cow cheese box?


Godfrey and Sue on

We are now connected and look forward to hearing and seeing more of your adventures.

Susie and Godfrey on

Great that we are now in touch at last. What an exciting time so far and you've only been away for a couple of weeks. Hope all is still going well. We will look forward to reading your adventures.

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