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Curemonte, E. Perigord -- A snapshot


Mar 24th, 2012, 07:21 PM
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Curemonte, E. Perigord -- A snapshot

I just came upon this email to friends, from a trip in May 2009. We had a great trip to the eastern part of the Dordogne, in SW France -- on the borders of Correze, hence upriver from the more touristed areas around Beynac, Domme, Sarlat, etc.

It was such a nice snapshot of one day in that prodigiously attractive region that I decided to share it:

The Dordogne: Land of low medieval doorways, steeply angled dormers and lethally undersized apertures of all kinds. Even a man of "average" height can come to grief.

Am I really too tall? I have now banged + lacerated my bare forehead three times: On an impossibly low door lintel; on the sloping walls of our bathroom; and on a low stone arch, under which I sought to duck.

Attribute my clumsiness to one of the following, at your pleasure:
■ Distraction, due to the transfiguring beauty of my lush surroundings;
■ dizziness, in the 30 degree heat;
■ drunkenness, from the powerful dark wines of Cahors or the clear, light whites of Quercy;
■.....or general mental torpor, such as is attendant on a steady diet of foie gras, Rocamadour cheeses, duck magret and walnut oil.

Today in the market we asked the local cheese seller to explain the various tints of his cabecou cheese -- from snow-white to near black. "This" -- pointing to the palest -- "was made yesterday. This, three days ago. Five days ago. A month ago. Three months ago. A year ago."

As we come to the end of our week at Le Fleuret cottage (www.lefleuret.com) I am more persuaded than ever that this is among the richest and most beguiling parts of France. Romanesque chapels along rural byways. Small, decrepit Renaissance chateaux spotted on a neighbouring hillside. "Perfect" small towns with distinguished houses and fine market squares.

We have yet to see another N American tourist -- which is just as we prefer it.

After last night's extravaganza dinner at La Terrasse in Meyronne (A plate of 5 amuse-gueule each + a slab of foie gras with walnut bread + a fish course of "sandre" with a reduction of Cahors wine + magret de canard with 4 garnishes + a cheese course + dessert), we eat modestly tonight: A "ferme auberge" -- a farm house on the edge of Curemonte, where you get a set menu described to us as "duck, duck, duck, veal" at a long table with total strangers.

To while away the intervening hours, I plow through Virginia Woolf's The Years (while also working on my tan) by the pool. Every now and then I raise my eyes from the page to look across a valley obscured by shimmering heat. On the other side of the valley are the 3 chateaux of little Curemonte: golden stone towers surmounted by red clay roofs. I take a sip of the sharp rose wine from the Mille et Une Pierres vineyard in nearby Branceilles -- and think how much I am missing Canada and all things Canadian.

Well, maybe missing my friends a little.

Only 5 more days after today. Tomorrow we head of downriver to the "real", ie more touristed, Dordogne. There will be pluses and minuses, no doubt. On which I undertake to report presently....
tedgale is offline  
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Mar 24th, 2012, 08:05 PM
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I hope you will share more of your insights on this eastern portion of the Dordogne. I am beginning to think about a trip in 2013. It will definitely be a return to the Dordogne area. It truly is an amazingly beautiful area. I have always enjoyed your photos that you post, Tedgale. Thank you!
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Mar 24th, 2012, 08:26 PM
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Is this really the Dordogne (postal code 24), or the Lot and the Corrèze to which Curemonte and Meyronne belong?
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Mar 25th, 2012, 01:30 AM
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In fact Curemonte is in the Correze, and Meyronne in the Lot, so neither would be considered Dordogne,or even Perigord, the French name for the region. Very nice places though. Now that spring is here maybe we'll get out and do more exploring ourselves.
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Mar 25th, 2012, 04:41 AM
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You are correct of course. I think of it as "the upriver part of the Dordogne" (region, not departement) because it's along the Dordogne River.

Thanks for the correction -- I should be more precise.

I don't know what you'd correctly call this region -- technically Limousin, I suppose.
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Mar 25th, 2012, 05:34 AM
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Kansas: Here are some shots from that trip: Mostly around Curemonte but also further west in Perigord proper.

(NOTE: first few shots are on the way from Toulose to our rental -- St Antonin Noble Val and environs)


The cottage rental in Curemonte is the middle part of this album. There are also shots from a B&B near Paunat, in Perigord proper:

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Mar 25th, 2012, 07:24 AM
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Oh tedgale, gorgeous shots and your descriptions are wonderful. Is 5'4" too tall?
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Mar 25th, 2012, 08:13 AM
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Tedgale, I think I need to bring you with us to hold the camera! These are the pictures I remembered from an earlier post of yours. They are stunning. The beauty is in the details, as you have shown.
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