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Dordogne

Old Jun 17th, 2010, 04:53 PM
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Dordogne

Would love guidance about a fall trip to the area. We like to hike and bike and eat and drink well. Thinking of going september 22 for two weeks. Seems like it should be a good time of year to go. Is that too long? Should we add something else? Flying from Boston....where should we land? I haven't done much research yet, as is obvious, but we're trying to pick where to go.
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Old Jun 17th, 2010, 05:36 PM
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Search for a recent trip report by Llindac - she gave lots of detail and I think she also had two weeks in the area.
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Old Jun 17th, 2010, 05:51 PM
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Hi debwhite,
Think about renting a gite/rental house or apt for your two weeks there. We did this in several places last year throughout Europe. It really gives you a chance to settle into an area and become a 'local'. Shop in the little towns on market day. There are so many little towns to explore in the Dordogne. We spent five days there and it was not nearly enough. We barely scratched the surface.

Search this forum for the Dordogne. There are a lot of good itinerary ideas. It is a beautiful area of France. Good choice.

Michele
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Old Jun 17th, 2010, 08:10 PM
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Just visited the Dordogne for two weeks in May and loved the area! Two weeks won't be too long - lots to do in the area. Definitely read the trip report by Llindac (good details) and I posted one - "Dordogne, France - by hot-air balloon, car and gabarre." We flew out of Charlotte, NC, landed at Charles de Gaulle, then took an Air France flight to Bordeaux. Rented a car from Hertz (no glitches and even ended up with an automatic transmission car) and drove to Sarlat for our 1st night at a B&B. Another option is to take the TVG and rent a car at the TVG station. We rented two houses (1 week each) for our stay - saved $$ on food, shopping at village marches and the supermarches. We visited a number of caves with prehistoric drawings/sculptures; castles (highly recommend visiting Castelnaud and Beynac); bastide villages (Domme, Limeuil); Sarlat (medieval village with a Wednesday and Saturday marche -- preferred the Wed. one); Jardin D'Eryignac; La Roque-Gageac (took a gabarre from there). We were quite happy with the two places we stayed, particularly Le Bois de Guinot in Marquay -- good location for getting around. Owners are a British couple who LOVE to bike and can recommend a bike rental company that will even bring the bikes to you! There are lots of "randonees" - public hiking trails -- in the area. You'll love it there!
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Old Jun 18th, 2010, 08:09 AM
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Hi Deb,

You might find my trip report helpful:

Ira Does France (Bordeaux, Dordogne, Paris) 2005
http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...2&tid=34676645

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Old Jun 18th, 2010, 08:12 AM
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Fall is a great time to go, but you may have frost toward the end of your visit. But days are likely to be dry and warm.
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Old Jun 18th, 2010, 08:23 AM
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Hi Deb.

1. No, 2 weeks isn't too much (IMO).

2. michele is right... rent a house or apt.

3. Search this forum for Dordogne threads featuring Carlux, StuDudley and StCirq. They know the area pretty well.

4. We were there as first-timers about 4 years ago. The relevant pages of our trip report (with pix!) start here:
http://www.onelittleworld.com/france_3.html

5. If you're anything like me, you'll fall in love with this area immediately.

Enjoy!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2010, 06:30 PM
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thanks for the encouragement. some friends just got back and recommended some places to stay ( not apartments), but I may take your suggestions and try to find an apartment. Anyway, I need to do more research as we would love to canoe/kayak, hike and bike, but not do any one thing too much.
Will it be a problem that neither of us speaks French? Would that make it hard to shop in the market and live on our own?
Our friends recommended Aquitanebike.com, but I can't seem to get on their website. Any other bike rental companies to recommend. We will need instructions about routes and hikes. Would love to hear what people have used.
and GO US in World Cup Soccer!!!!!
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Old Jun 24th, 2010, 01:15 AM
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You will manage without any language skills, but there is still time to get some of the basics under your belt. Grocery shopping can be difficult, in particular in the markets if the stall holders don't speak any English - it's not impossible though.

Au revoir!!
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Old Jun 24th, 2010, 04:01 AM
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'Our friends recommended Aquitanebike.com, but I can't seem to get on their website'

Try the correct spelling: http://www.aquitainebike.com/

And certainly come for two weeks, there's more than enough to see and do. And VERY unlikely that you will have frost end September/beginning October. Some years we don't have frost until January, usually not until November.
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Old Jun 24th, 2010, 07:11 AM
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You won't have frost at the end of September; that's silly. It is likely to be quite warm in the day, with a bit of a chill at night, is all. It's a beautiful time of year. Two weeks isn't too much - two years wouldn't be. In the smaller villages, not speaking French may be an issue - you've got time; study - but certainly at the markets and in the main villages you can get by.

Any of the main tourist offices - in Sarlat, Le Bugue, Les Eyzies, etc., can help you with bike rentals. Also, all the maian campgrounds rent bikes. La Rivière, for example, just down the road from my house and across the river from Les Eyzies, rents them for about 10 euro a day. You can get local maps at any maison de la presse or supermarket.

If you click on my name you'll find hundreds and hundreds of posts about the Dordogne. Same with Carlux and Stu Dudley.

I recommend you get the Cadogan Guide to the area and read up on it, as well as the Michelin Green Guide.
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Old Jun 24th, 2010, 09:59 AM
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Hi debwhite,
Something that I brought with us that sure came in handy was one of those small translators about the size of a deck of cards. It was not the one that spoke to you. You can type in English and it will translate to French, or visa versa. It was very handy in restaurants and once when I needed a hairdryer. Doesn't take up much room either. I think it was $40.
Michele
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Old Jun 24th, 2010, 10:18 AM
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someone posted on slowtrav that after a cruel winter, tons of rocks fell in La Roque-Gegeac. Luckily no one was hurt but lots of property damage. So be aware if traveling in the are of some closed roads.
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Old Jun 24th, 2010, 10:42 AM
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The road has been closed for several weeks now, as 230 tons of rock was being studied. I haven't actually heard anything about it falling.

The original projection was for the road to be closed until mid July, and so you need to detour around La Roque.

Also check if you want to canoe. Last week the word was that it could be forbidden for several weeks, as the Dordogne was so high (and muddy) after torrential rains. It still looked high and fast this morning when we drove by.
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Old Jun 24th, 2010, 12:44 PM
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Okay, thanks for the warnings. We will surely bike and canoe as well as hike. Luckily we don't leave till around September 22nd. Still considering whether to do most in Dorgogne and a bit in Paris, but reading your posts, I think we may just spend all our time in the country. Carlux, thanks for the spell check. My friend gave it to me wrong. I also use trip advisor so will be comparing and contrasting advice. As I do more research and make some plans I will want suggestions about a route and favorites. What a great forum.
Question: fly in and our of Bordeaux?
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Old Jun 24th, 2010, 09:00 PM
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>>fly in and our of Bordeaux?
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Old Jun 24th, 2010, 09:36 PM
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According to the Sud-Ouest, the local paper, NO rock has actually fallen at La Roque Gageac (as of 23rd June) Some houses have been evacuated. They are still in preparing the consolidation work that will be necessary.

This will mean the use of helicopters - you can read about it (in French) on http://www.sudouest.fr/2010/06/23/fa...23730-4625.php

I suspect it will take longer than the 5 weeks predicted, but who knows.
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