Camper madness, and a dish du jour

One of the stranger summer phenomena around the Greater Daglan Area is the sudden appearance of groups of travellers — people who move from place to place, somehow connected to each other, driving camper vans and cars with trailers. They are generally set up for “normal” life, with washing machines, clothes lines, cooking appliances, and often a collection of children and dogs.

We had such a group in Daglan earlier this summer, pretty much covering the parking lot of the village Salle des fêtes or community hall. They stayed a week or two (I wasn’t counting the days), and then moved on. But it was nothing like the camper madness that recently descended on St. Cybranet, the small village about seven kilometres north of Daglan.

I first saw the collection of people and vehicles yesterday, but was later told that the group had moved into position on Sunday — a huge field near the centre of St. Cybranet that is often the venue for events like summer festivals. Are you ready?  Here’s one view of the camper madness:

Looking across a sea of campers.

And here’s another view:

Not much room left!

I’ve been reliably informed that in France, villages are obliged to allow such groups, and even provide campers with electricity and water — with a modest payment to be made when the travellers depart. Beyond that, I’m in the dark: Who organizes them? Who decides on the next lucky village and leads them there? Are they simply on vacation, or migrant workers of some sort? The only thing that’s clear to me is that there sure are a lot of them!

Back to Domaine de Monrecour: Also yesterday, Jan and I joined four friends for a very  relaxing lunch on the terrace of this hotel-resort-restaurant complex, which I first described in “Lovely place, lovely  lunch.” For the full scoop, see Radio Free Daglan for August 27.

We each had a three-course meal yesterday, chosen from a blackboard set near our table. My entrée was a circle of fromage frais, a very soft cheese, into which quite a lot of tiny summer truffle pieces had been mixed; then the serving was decorated with thin wafers of summer truffle. My dessert was the French classic, île flottante. But the main course deserves the title of dish of the day.

The plat was a sautée of lamb, served in a rich brown sauce with small roasted potatoes. It sounded very good, but when it was brought to the table, I thought there had been a mistake — my serving seemed too small to be a main course, especially as the pieces of lamb were smaller than a Brazil nut. Have a look:

Small in size, big in flavour.

However, the lamb was delicious and the sauce was so rich that it certainly made for a full-size plat principal. Nicely done.

This entry was posted in Camping in the Dordogne, Life in southwest France, Travels in and out of France and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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