Having nearly exhausted myself (blog-wise) by writing about our recent trip to Spain — including a four-part series on the world’s No. 1 restaurant — I will now calm down, update you on how things are going in the Greater Daglan Area, and bow out of blogging for a while. Here we go:
The surgical interlude: Tomorrow (Friday) morning I’m due for carpal tunnel surgery on my right wrist. During the recovery period, I won’t feel much like typing with my left hand only, so Radio Free Daglan will have to be “off the air,” so to speak, for a while. However — I shall return!
Seasonal overview: The tourist season in the GDA begins in May, starts to hit its stride in June, and goes insane in July and August. Tourists often have to stand on each others’ shoulders to make their way through our village; a few are lost for weeks at a time. Then, on September 1st, we slip down from Overdrive to second gear, and on October 1st, we drop into first gear. It’s in first gear that we lumber along until the following spring (maybe April), when places like restaurants start to open up again.
Weather report: If you’re planning a trip here soon, things are looking pretty good. The trees are just starting to change colour, the nights are cool but not really cold, and the days are pleasant.
Shutdowns: In September and October, places begin to close. So, as of now, Le Thé Vert (Daglan’s tea room/café) is closed until next spring. So is the pizza place L’Eole in St. Cybranet. So is La Plage, the café in Castelnaud (10 kilometres north) that my wife Jan and I like to visit on summer afternoons, for a casual lunch or a late-afternoon coffee.
Shutting and re-opening in a new guise: October 23rd is the scheduled last day for the Fabrice le Chef shop — which sells meats, cheeses, other local products, and Chef’s own prepared foods. However, the shop is due to re-open in the spring in a new guise: as a restaurant. Radio Free Daglan will keep you posted.
Camping: Camp grounds are big attractions in the GDA, especially (it seems) with Dutch and French tourists, who can drive into the area with all their gear in their cars and vans. In early September, the packed camp grounds are nearly empty; by early October, you can almost hear the sagebrush blowing through them.
Cycling: The Greater Daglan Area is a brilliant place for cycling, and during the key summer months the GDA is pretty much packed full of cyclists. In fact it was a bicycle trip to the GDA in 1998 that first brought my wife Jan and me here. But on Tuesday, just a couple of days ago, I counted a grand total of four (4) British cyclists having coffees at the shop of Fabrice le Chef. In other words, the cycling crowds have left.
A capital project: I’m pretty sure that the largest capital project in Daglan this year has been a dramatic extension of (wait for it…) our cemetery. Total cost: Nearly 70,000 euros. Here’s a photo of the driveway and entrance to the new section of the cemetery:
A very nice limestone wall was built around the front of the area, setting it off nicely from the rest of the burial grounds. Here it is:
Finally, here’s a view over the stone wall, showing the area that’s been set out for new arrivals, so to speak:
A cheery, seasonal note: Just to leave you with a cheerful image, here’s the cover of a brochure (for a children’s store in nearby Gourdon) that we received earlier this week. Yes, I know — it’s not even mid-October, but it’s high time we should start thinking about Noel 2015! (Please scroll down a bit, because the image is floating in a lot of white space.)
So with that: Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!