February 15, 2012

Le Bousquet

My trip down to Plazac went very well. After leaving home in the early hours and crossing the Channel by Eurotunnel, I arrived at Brive la Gaillarde in south-west France, where I’d booked a hotel room for the night, much sooner than I’d expected. There was lying snow the whole way down through France and a few times I’d experienced temperatures as low as -16 deg C in the more northern parts around Rouen and Orleans. It was quite a bit warmer than that in the south, but still hovering around freezing with snow on the sides of the roads and the fields, but the carriageways themselves had been cleared the whole way down and it was possible to drive at the maximum permitted speed limits (130 km/hr on the motorways) when traffic allowed, which was most of the time.

Rather than leave the main road, I decided to carry on and visit the house alone so I could see it and form my own impressions without anyone else being present. I had a good idea of the route having been driven around the area previously by Bob and I kept seeing places and sights that I recognised. My satnav eventually took me off the ‘main’ road to take to the hills in the latter stages and I was a bit concerned as there was still a lot of snow on the rural side roads. However, I needn’t have worried as my car handled everything well and suddenly I recognised where I was and found myself passing the end of the track that leads up to Bob and Jude’s house. I didn’t have time to stop, though, and continued on to ‘my’ house in the hills overlooking Plazac.

As soon as I saw the place again, a smile came over my face. It looked different with a covering of snow but underneath it was just as I remembered it. I couldn’t go inside, of course, so just walked around for a while taking in all the details before eventually leaving to return to Brive. This time I travelled via Montignac and Terrason instead of driving on the main road and enjoyed the drive immensely. When I found the hotel (immediately – aren’t satnavs brilliant!) I checked and found that I’d driven just over 600 miles that day and after checking in, making a few phone calls and having a bite to eat in the Buffalo Grill next door, I had an early night.

Next morning I checked out after a quick breakfast and left for Rouffignac to pick up Regis, who Bob had introduced me to when I came down in January. Regis is very practical and experienced and had agreed to come and look over the house with me. We were poking around in the attic when Ludovic, the estate agent arrived and then we all had a grand tour and inspection of the house and property. The house is named Le Bousquet and if you click on the pic below you can see a short video that I shot of it.


And then the time came to make the big decision – to buy or not to buy. I knew that I’d already made it, actually. Rather than delay things as I really had to set off to return home as soon as possible, we decided to drive straight to the estate agent’s offices in Montignac to sign all the papers. It took less than an hour and afterwards we shook hands, said our good-byes and I drove Regis back to Rouffignac before beginning the long trek home.

Once again, I arrived at Calais for the Eurotunnel much sooner than I’d expected and was able to take an earlier train, which got me home by about 10.45 pm UK time. So that was it. My two day adventure had come to an end with a successful conclusion and I slipped off to bed around midnight feeling very tired after a 1200 mile round trip, but with a smile on my face. The world didn’t feel like too bad a place at that moment. I’ve now got it all to do, of course, but that will be for tomorrow. Today was to savour and enjoy.