After a long and very wet winter the countryside is returning to life! The cherry trees are in blossom both pink and white, daffodils add sunshine to the bright green grass. Birdsong awakens you and there is again warmth in the sun!
Our first snow of the new year and all of us are enjoying it! Maybe some more tomorrow :) :)
30 racers entered into his year's 25Km race from Argentat to Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne. The morning was overcast and with some light rain but it didn't dampen the excitement of the event! This year I had a racing board, a super RedPaddleCo 12'6 RACE inflatable board. I received it a month before the race and tried to get as much practice on it as possible before race day. It is much narrower than my recreational board so I needed to get comfortable on it!
The start is always crazy! Everyone paddling like mad trying to get out ahead as fast as possible. I was keeping up with the front group for awhile before they started pulling away from me and I needed to get into my pace in order to make the full distance! I kept pushing hard, too hard sometimes which led to me falling off in several whitewater sections.
I was caught up to by No.23 Loic from Tours and we stayed neck and neck for the last 15Km or so of the race. He finished 18 seconds ahead of me!!
So the final part of the race was getting off on the beach and running to finish under the big green inflatable Correze arch! Smiling as I am so happy to have done it and I was thinking maybe I had made 3rd place???
A very happy but tired finisher! I asked the time keepers where I finished and yes I had managed 3rd place in the women's 12'6 inflatable board class!! I was met with a hug and thermos of hot chocolate by Tom who had flown home specially to see me race, nice.
Looking forward to next year's race. I know I have a lot to do to improve as the competitors are getting younger and younger and it will be harder to hang on to 3rd place!
Just another good reason to come visit our area, AOC wines!
Quickly approaching is this year's SUP Dordogne Paddle Race ! !
I have entered the 24Km race from Argentat to Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne and the SUP Cross. I enjoy running the river more than racing around buoys so that is why I have entered the 24Km event this year. I also have entered in the SUP Cross on Sunday. I have never tried this event before so it should be a wet affair I'm sure!!
Still lots of time to get on the water for training in between rain showers! An indian summer would have been nice :)
Every Monday evening during July and August is the Marchés des Producteurs de Pays. Producers set up their stalls selling their various locally produced meats, cheeses, fruits etc.
Located on the Quayside volunteers man the BBQ's, beverage tent and picnic tables are provided. Live music adds to the atmosphere which kicks off around 1700.
Cette année la Fete de la Fraise va voir les villages les boulangers et les pâtissiers tenter un Livre Guinness des Records du monde pour créer la plus longue de la pâtisserie aux fraises !
Aussi cette année, la noix du Périgord sera un invité d'honneur que ce produit est répartie sur tout le territoire en plus de la fraise et gourmet marchés.
Plusieurs bandes sont prévues pour jouer et il y aura un secteur désigné pour le divertissement des enfants.
Mais bien sûr, l'événement principal sera la tentative de record ! Notez la date et n'oubliez pas de venir profiter de la fête ! !
A big thank you to all our guests and to those who have booked through Airbnb. It is you that have left us kind and generous reviews leading to this status as one of their Superhosts. If you would like to read our reviews on their site please log onto airbnb.com. With the use of this website I cannot add a link directly, sorry!
Again, thank you and you are all welcome back anytime!
On Friday the 6th of January 2017 Mr Fournier of AZ-Services arrived prompt as usual to make the yearly inspection of our fire extinguishers. He provides a very professional service, is friendly and efficient.
A priority at Beaulieu Apartments is our guests safety. In each apartment is a book with tourist information, information about the apartments, its equipment's etc and additionally is a safety sheet listing where the extinguishers are located, escape route and emergency numbers. Each kitchen is also fitted with a fire blanket.
So, thank you Mr Fournier and we will see you next January!
SUPer weekend and so much fun!!
This event last year is why I took up the sport of SUP. I purchased my board last December and my early days on the water were mainly at Lac de Feyt just north of Argentat. The Dordogne River was running too fast over the winter (for me anyway as a newbee) as we were having lots and lots of rain. I met Max of Cap Nature and was invited to river SUP with his friends in April. We made the 9 km run from Vayrac to Gluges. It was a lot of fun and I decided then I would enter the paddle race this year and I would need to get fit and put in time on the river.
Saturday 15 October started a bit chilly and foggy as the previous 2 days had been with rain. Forecast was for sun and up to 20C. Everyone finally in the water and jostling around the start line when we finally set off about 1100. I had entered the 8Km race that would finish at the Camping du Saulou. The start was also for the people entered into the 24Km finishing in Beaulieu.
Out in front were some very big and strong guys on sleek racing boards, also moving quickly was the RedPaddle Dragon SUP with 4 paddlers (a SUP take on the Dragon boats of Hong Kong). I found myself alone somewhere in the forward middle half of the pack. In the group moving ahead from me were 2 people I kept a constant distance from and a group following behind was also staying a steady distance back. After the first rapid I was overtaken by a Dad and his daughter on a tandem SUP. After that no one else overtook me! I just paddled and paddled nonstop and managed all the rapids without falling in. The river was higher and flowing faster than the previous Sunday when I was paddling with Etienne gaining knowledge!!
At the first bridge it was encouraging to hear people on the bridge cheering you on! I did have a moment of knee wobble about 2 bends from the finish. I was pushing hard and knew there was one last swift moving bend with strong counter currents so just told my legs to relax and made it over the finish line. I was happy with my paddle. I never stopped and just tried to keep a steady stroke. I thoroughly enjoyed it especially as the river was flowing faster making it more exciting.
Next was the Technical Race in Beaulieu in the afternoon. By now it was warmer as the sun was out but there was a bit of a gusty wind. I quickly realised that my universal board was not the tool for this race! Everyone had a racing board which had a pointy nose and the boards were narrow and some were rigid and other inflatable. The course was 4.6Km 3 laps round the buoys with an exit from the water carrying your board a short distance and re entering the water for the next lap. So, the start was given and off we went. I was in the wake wash of these fast boards and found myself in last place at the first buoy. I had not yet mastered the art of spin turning the board to make fast turns so I lost time. At the 2nd buoy by the Chapel the turn took us back upstream and it was breezy. It was hard! I made it to the exit on land, carried my board and then dashed back into the water to start lap 2. It was hard work and again on the upstream run I had to dig deep to keep a strong stroke going. On the 2nd exit I was met with cheers of allez Laura! It was appreciated and I laughed and got back in for the final lap. I was overtaken, lapped, by 3 very fit young guys. I was of course feeling tired but gave it my all and even managed to run to the finish, yes run and with a big smile on my face!
Next was the prize giving on the river bank. I must say the quality of the prizes was high with paddles, camelbaks, etc. being handed out. Suddenly I heard my name called for 3rd place Women's 8Km!! I was honestly so surprised and also proud of myself. I stood on the 3rd place podium and received a coiled leash and waterproof pouch from the Mairie of Beaulieu! I admit I got a little teary.
I have decided I will enter the 24Km next year, go big or go home!
A big thank you to the race organisers, it was a super event. Merci beaucoup!
Our dear friends Goddy and Fleur finally found time to come and visit from NewZealand. My other half, Tom, and Goddy have been mates since about 1982 having met after the Whitbread Round the World Race finish in the UK. Goddy was on Outward Bound from New Zealand finishing 5th out of a fleet of 29 yachts. He went on to compete in another 3 races and in 1990 was on Steinlager 2 that won each leg and the race overall. Bravo!
Our first trip to Auckland was in 1986, Goddy was getting married and Tom was his best man! We had a fantastic holiday after the wedding and hired a camper van and drove round the South island seeing Fox Glacier, Milford Sound, skied in Queensland and more. Tom and I were living in Southern California when Goddy stopped over on his way to the UK for yet another race, on Steinlager 2. We made a 2nd trip down for Christmas in 1996 and had a lovely time camping on a beautiful stretch of beach. By now they had an 8 year old boy and 5 year old girl. We went body surfing, boogie boarding and enjoyed fresh from the sea green muscles smoked by Goddy.
Both Tom and Goddy are still in the maritime business and stay in touch as much as possible working so far apart. With a current project in Holland, Goddy and Fleur took a 2 week holiday in France, cycling in July. After they finished in Bergerac they came to stay in Beaulieu in La Charente apartment. Our house is too small for guests so it was easy to have them stay in one of the apartments. We had lovely evenings at our house around the BBQ catching up on stories and having some good laughs. But as usual time flies by and soon they were off, Fleur back to NZ and Goddy to NL.
Our last night was dinner at Les Flots Bleus on the riverside in Beaulieu. It was superbe. We hope they can return in the not too distant future. à bientot...
Stand Up Paddle or SUP is my way of getting back onto the water as we are a bit too far away from the ocean here in Beaulieu. A love of water sports led me to try this and I took to it like a duck to water. I like the feel of standing on the board while paddling, sort of like surfing as you are standing on water-freedom. As you are standing you can see so much more not just all around you but into the water. I have seen several brown eels and various size fish. I enjoy paddling as each time I go out its a new adventure. My board is light weight and I can easily load it onto our Kangoo. The simplicity too is this sport does not require a lot of gear to hassle with. Just a board, leash, paddle and pfd is all you need to get paddling.
I chose an inflatable board after reading about all the different types on the market. Deflated it fits neatly into a specially made backpack that also has wheels in the base so you can travel with it. I am extremely pleased with my RedPaddle 10'8 Ride. I have used it on several lakes and now am staying local and paddling on the Dordogne River just a few minutes from home.
In Beaulieu easy water access is in front of the swimming pool or on the quayside. In summer the water is calm but of course there is a bit of current as it is a river! It is a nice paddle upstream to the first set of rapids as the river is lined with trees on both banks.
October 15 & 16 2016 is the Dordogne Paddle Race. It is the events 2nd year and I think the number of entries will be higher this year due to its popularity. I have entered the Open 8Km race so better stop typing and get paddling!