Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dordogne towns from the air

St Leon sur Vezere




Les Eyzies

Les Eyzies

We have collected quite a few photos of some of the local towns and villages from the air. My wife has bought herself a very expensive camera to take thes pictures and we thought that we should share some of them. I have posted the pictures in quite a low resolution, 600 by 400 so that people cannot copy them and use them for commercial purposes.
Should you see a picture that you want a copy of then let me know and I can supply a 30cm by 40cm print made from the original which has a resolution of 4752 by 3168 pixels - that is a 15 megapixel photo! It will, of course, cost you a donation.
Should you want a picture of any other towns or villages that are local to this area of the Dordogne, that can be done too. You will need to email me with the details.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Yet another flying video

Had a nice trip south yesterday and Jude took this video.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The resistance in the Dordone WW2

A couple of years ago I found a bayonet at an old house. It was a spike bayonet and a bit corroded. After much cleaning I managed to identify some numbering on the part that fits to the rifle, and after some internet searching, found that it was a British world war 2 bayonet. I wondered why it was in this area as the allied forces never came to this area. I assumed that it was part of an arms drop to the French resistance around here. This got me interested and the research started.
On the 31st March 1944 our local village, Rouffignac-st-Cernin, was destroyed by the German army. There is a small book, available from the tourist office, called “Rouffignac 31 March 1944” which details the story of what happened on that day. I will not copy the whole book here, but the rough outline is as follows:
The local resistance fighters ambushed and captured two German officers. They transported them through Rouffignac on the way back to their hideout. They stopped at Café de France in Rouffignac for refreshments, when some towns folk gathered to ridicule the Germans. After leaving Rouffignac, the vehicle in which they were travelling was unfortunate in that it met a German convoy coming the other way. The three resistance fighters managed to escape.
The Germans returned the next day and after removing all the towns people, and stealing all their belongings destroyed the whole town apart from the church and the adjoining building. The town was left as a heap of rubble.
Below is the small plaque which is on the wall of the town hall .

The next book that I read was “Spirit of Resistance” by Nigel Perrin (ISBN 184415855-1). This book covers the life of a British SOE agent named Harry Peuleve, who was sent to co-ordinate resistance activities in the Correz and the Dordogne. The resistance group in the north of the Dordogne was quite well established and Peuleve arranged many arms drops to the group, perhaps that is where my bayonet came from!
Harry Peuleve met Andre Bonnetot (codename Vincent) who was the leader of the Dordogne and was shown a resistance training camp near Fanlac (8 miles form our house). Today we went for a drive to Fanlac to see what was there. The village is tiny. There are about 30 houses, all over 300 years old. Outside the church is a memorial to a married couple in their 70s, who were shot by the Germans. The memorial reads “Nazis” as do most memorials now, but one can see where it used to read “Germans”.
The small tourist office has the story of an old couple who had a farm, but left it uninhabited to move into the village. The local resistance took over the farm as a training camp. This was the place that Harry Peuleve and Vincent had inspected.
The resistance was discovered and a German convoy arrived in the pretty village of Fanlac. The resistance fighters had had prior warning and had all left the farm, but the Germans burnt it to the ground anyway. They then went to the house of the farm owners, a couple in their 70s, and murdered them outside their house. The bodies were then burnt. All of this happened within days of Rouffignac being destroyed.
It is very sad when one considers how brutal the German army was to innocent civilians in their quest to destroy the brave resistance fighters. This area is littered with roadside memorials to either resistance fighters or victims of the Germans. The following two pictures are nothing to do with the local events.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Great music - great flying

Just found this video that I thought I should upload to Youtube.
The music is by a local group called Paris-Londres. I have liked their music for a few years now and bought some of their CDs. I bumped into them playing in Sarlat last Wednesday and asked if I could use their music on my videos, they said yes. They play very soothing music with a French flavour, to find out more about them then visit their website at
The video was made by my wife last year. I was taking a Dutch lady for a 35 minute flight as a favour for a friend - he owns the airstrip that you see in the video.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Solar water heating

We have lived here for four and a half years now. Since we arrived I have wanted to do my bit for the environment and install a solar water heating system.
In France the hot water cylinder is normally electrically heated and at mains pressure. These heaters are a huge drain on electricity and may use 3000 watts when heating. Our 200 liter one had no thermostat to alter the water temperature and was, I suspect quite an old one.
Last week the plumber arrived to start the installation of the new system. I had offered to labour for him when he came for the quote. The first job was to remove a couple of roof tiles and fit the evacuated tube solar panel to the roof. This took about half a day. The protection film was left on the panel to stop the tubes heating with no water in them. The next step was to fit the 300 liter solar cylinder in the cellar. This was a very well made part of the system and was also capable of being connected to a central heating system, if we had central heating. What seemed like masses of plumbing pipes were then fitted to the cylinder and the electric backup element was also fitted.
The solar controller was the bit that I fitted. It was connected to temperature sensors in the panels, the pump and the water cylinder, the pump supply was then also connected to the controller.
After 3 days work the system is working and we have not yet had a sunny day without clouds, but the hot water is hot and plentiful. The electric heating element has been switched off since the system was finished. The added bonus is that the hot water pressure seems to be much higher than it was before, I can only assume that the old heater was blocked with lime-scale.
It is now such fun to look at the controller and see that the temperature in the panels is at 80C during the day and know that the water is being heated without adding to the overall CO2 levels that are polluting our world.
If anyone in the Dordogne area wants a quote for a system then send me an email and I will pass it on to a good local installer.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Political correctness

Political correctness is something that seems to be hitting the news in the British media at the moment. Carol Thatcher is said to have used the word Golliwog which some found to be offensive.
I used to have some little figures called golliwogs which came from Robinsons jam jars back in the 1960's. These were things that many children in England had at the time and could be considered as part of our social heritage. Why are they now offensive?
There are other words which seem to be becoming taboo in the English language too. Take the names of some countries, Afghanistan for example, the people are known as Afghanis or Afgans around the world. The Stan bit of the country's name has an explanation, it is ancient Persian for "place of". Therefore Afghanistan is the place of Afghanis. Why is it that Pakistan is not the place of Pakis? Many people find this word offensive, but why? (see:
People can call me a Brit, or the Irish Paddies, and the Scottish Jocks, but most of those groups would not take offence. Has the UK gone mad?
Is it not time we all found our sense of humour and learned to live together and stopped looking at others with the intent of trying to point a finger for saying something that one person may perceive to be wrong?
Call me what you like, I don't care, but be sure that I expect the same in return.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Microlight forums

Many microlight pilots around the world spend some time on the web. Forums have been very popular for exchanging information and posting pictures and videos. The BMAA has such a forum for UK microlight pilots and there is also an international forum at which is base in the US and has a very good format. The BMAA has recently made an announcement that the their forum will be closed to none members. This would mean that all overseas pilots would have to pay £69 (about 130USD) just to read the forum. This has not gone down to well with the readers and members.
A new UK forum has been started at and when there are more members and posts should be as good, if not better, than the BMAA forum.
I would urge all microlight/ultralight/ULM pilots to join the new forum and help it grow.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The financial crisis in the UK

With the UK financial crisis set to become worse than it is now, I wonder how much the individual is to blame.

During the 60's and 70's, people did not have the debts that they have now. If someone in your street had a new car then the neighbours would look down on them as it was probably bought on the “never, never” or HP as it was known, there was a stigma attached to buying on credit.

The situation is now reversed. People go out for a meal with friends and pay with pride when they produce their gold or platinum credit card. Paying for a meal out on HP would have been frowned upon a few years back.

I hear people saying that because they have a low income they could not survive without a credit card. I would argue that because they are on a low income they cannot afford a credit card! The credit card may allow you to have the washing machine repair carried out at £100 when it breaks down and you do not have £100 to spare, but should it not be the case that you should have saved £10 per month for that eventuality? If you don't then you will need to find £10 per month after having the machine repaired so that you can pay off the credit card, and the total sum paid could be nearer £180 when the debt is settled. This means that the low income family will pay out much more by having a credit card.

There are plenty of documentaries on the UK TV at the moment about people who cannot afford to pay their mortgages, or even afford to feed themselves, but why does the presenter never ask how they can afford to smoke, or how they afford to feed the two big dogs that they own? I cannot understand how someone cannot afford the basics in life, yet they seem to have unnecessary expenditure all around them.

Moron Brown, the British PM seems to have the same understanding of finances. He is borrowing more and more, yet spending small fortunes on wars in other peoples countries. He is pledging money to ailing nations that squander it themselves. Should we send aid to Gaza, who have brought destruction on their people by firing rockets into another country? It could be argued that the devastation there is their own doing.

Is it a good idea for the UK government to let sterling slide? The government keeps telling us that it is good for exports, but then they tell us that this is a global recession, so who will be buying? As the UK imports so much then a falling pound will lead to massive inflation, can this not be seen by the bungling Brown government.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Great flying weather

We seem to be going through a spell of blue skies and little wind here in the Dordogne. Sunday was the first of those days and as it has been damp the week before there were a few clouds forming. Time to go flying.
We went over to the airfield and within 20 minutes had the Tanarg fuelled and checked ready for flight.
After take off we headed east and climbed, the clouds were getting a little thicker by the time we were at 4500 feet. The cloudbase was 4000 or so. The air was very smooth with a slight wind from the east. The temperature was around 5 or 6c at that altitude.
Jude started taking a video and we descended toward the cloud. Just before we were at cloud level we saw the circular rainbow in a cloud with the silhouette of the microlight in the middle of it.
Here is the video:

Monday, December 15, 2008

The new airfield

This post may be of interest to anyone who wants to build their own airfield in France.
We found a farmers field which was being used as an airfield by Bernard who was flying an old Air Creation flexwing. There was a hangar that was big enough to fit Bernard's machine on a trolley and my machine with the wing removed. At that stage the airfield was not official.
Bernard moved away to a different part of France and the owner of the land offered to let me buy the hangar and rent the land as long as I made it an official airstrip. I engaged the help of a couple of my French flying friends and set about compiling a dossier for the Prefecture (local council). The dossier consisted of a couple of air photos, maps showing the airstrip, letter from the owner giving permission and a few other odds and ends. We took the five copies of the dossier to the Prefecture and waited.
Within a week we got a phone call from the aviation police asking if they could come and visit the strip. The visit was very informal, they checked the aircraft paperwork and insurance, and then my licence. They went away happy.
The next week we were visited by the DGAC (similar to the CAA), who measured everything with some high tech equipment. They had a couple of observations, one being that the windsock was to be repositioned away from the runway, and that we could only land and take off to the north due to the trees at the south end.
There was also a visit by the local police to check the security and danger to the public, but they did this on their own.
Today, 6 weeks after submitting the dossier, we received the letter giving authorisation to use the land as an airfield.
The total cost of this proceedure was a big zero. All the work and visits were completely free.
The next step is to submit the airfield to the website so that it is there for others to visit if they wish.
If microlight pilots from the UK wish to visit then here is some further information:
The strip is about 20 km south of Perigueux in the Dordogne. It is officially 150 meters long, but has about 80 meters usable either end. There is a slight upslope towards the south. I have no objection to anyone parking overnight and there is no landing fee. If people care to contact me then I can arrange to have lead free fuel available at normal garage cost prices. There are local B&Bs around or pilots could camp next to their aircraft for free, but there are no toilet or food facilities at the moment.
The wind sock will be removed and re-positioned to the west of the runway.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

A Winter day out

Got up this morning to a cold day with bright blue sky and winter sun. There had been a frost overnight and by 11 O'clock the temperature was up to 5 degrees.
Just after lunch time found us at the airfield and getting the Tanarg out of the hangar. Winter days are great for flying as the air is thicker and engine, propeller and wing performance is much better. Jude and I donned our warm flying suits and gloves and took off for a flight around the local area. 10 minutes later we were at 2800 feet and enjoying the calm air air and fantastic visibility. We could see the snow capped mountains of the Massif Central about 90 miles away to the east.
We wandered over to Wim's airfield but there was no sign of him. We continued to Galinatt airfield where we could see Regis's aircraft on the ground, we waved. Jude asked over the intercom whether we should go south to Sarlat/Domme airfield and see what was going on there. We landed there 45 minutes later after flying around at 60 mph (100 kmh). The microlight hangar was open when we arrived overhead, so we know that Jean-Michel would be there with his Aircreation Trek and a hot coffee. After taxing to the hangar we could see that the Trek had the HKS engine running. We shook hands with Jean-Michel and accepted the hot coffee as he was about to take off to give a flying lesson.
While we waited for Jean-Michel to finish buzzing the circuit, a Skyranger landed. The pilot came accross and was very freindly as are most French microlight pilots. Shortly after him two autogyros arrived and Jean-Michel landed with his student. Time for another coffee.
As we were preparing to leave the autogyro pilots asked if they could come along and have a look at our airstrip. We said yes, of course. We are used to flying with Wim and Regis and have to try and keep our speed down to 55 mph to fly with them, which is a little slow for the 100 hp Tanarg. The autogyros were a different matter, they cruise at 80 to 85 mph. We took off first and set the Tanarg to fly at 70 to 75 mph with an autogyro at each wingtip.
25 minutes later we landed at our strip and were given a fantastic flying display by one of the autogyros. We waved and off he went.
All in all a great days flying even if it was cold and we had only flown for 70 minutes.

Friday, November 07, 2008

A holiday in France - who is paying?

In these turbulent times on the world stock markets, where the individual is also feeling the squeeze, I thought that I should write a little about the differences between what is happening here and in the UK.

The perception for many UK citizens is that we are rich people living on a permanent holiday with no mortgages and no heating costs here in southern France. The reality is very different.

If we take heating as a starter, you will find that it gets very cold here, even in the Dordogne. There are long hot summers and nice sunny days in the winter, but at night it often gets down to minus 10 to 12 here. That is cold. Our house does not have central heating and we would not want it due to the cost of running it and the environmental damage that it causes. We have a large wood burner which used a non fossil fuel – wood. This keeps the house at a reasonable temperature, but we still feel the cold in the winter.

Many of us live here on a limited pension, normally sourced from the UK. That means that we are dependant on the £ to euro exchange rate, which has not been too good for us over the last couple of years. It is possible to live here on £8000 per year, we have done it for the past four years, but we do have to watch what we spend.

Many British ex-pats are feeling the pinch at the moment. I know of some people who have visitors from the UK and now insist that those visitors hire a car at the airport when the come for a holiday. It can get quite expensive collecting visitors from the airport and driving them around for a week or two. I have managed to cover 400 miles in a week before now, just taking people around. During those weeks, the hosts tend to take people around to see the local sights and eat in the local restaurants, and they cannot always afford to pay the entrance fee to visit the local caves, which they have seen many times before. Neither do they want to eat a lavish local meal with visitors when they pay their half of the meal as it is much cheaper to eat at home.

I also know of another couple who have family and friends visiting on a regular basis, but have found that the cost of feeding them and the cost of electricity and laundry is just a little too much. They now ask visitors to donate 10 euros per person per night towards their upkeep. Don't forget this is much cheaper than the cost of a B&B at 50 or 60 euros per night.

Is this fair? In the eyes of the holiday makers, probably no, but most of the holiday makers live in the UK and are earning in excess of £30,000 per year. I discussed this with someone last year and their answer was that they had a mortgage to pay. I don't understand why they expect their hosts to subsidise their holiday because they have no mortgage.

The other thing that is not understood is the UK winter fuel payment to pensioners. If you live in the UK and receive a state pension then you get a payout of a few hundred pounds every year to help with heating costs. If you have received this once in the UK and then move out of the country, you will continue to receive it wherever you are. If you move just before you receive your state pension then you will never get it despite having paid into the UK system all of your life. Some of use with military pensions have no choice but to pay UK tax on that pension, yet we will never be eligible for a winter fuel payment. As I said further up the page, it can be much colder here than the UK!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Another blog

Just to say that I have started another blog to run alongside this one. The new blog will cover technical aspects of the Air Creation Tanarg microlight and anything Air Creation too.
If anyone is interested it is at

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A visit to the AirCreation factory

We decided that we should go for a short trip (in the car) to Aubenas in the Ardeche region of France. It just so happens that the Aircreation factory is very close to Aubenas.
On Thursday morning we turned up at the factory unannounced. We were greeted by a lady just outside who I later found out was the wife of a man who I wanted to meet, Jean-Luc Tilloy. Jean-Luc has been very helpful to me in the past.

We were taken into the reception and introduced to Inma, one of the receptionists who speaks very good English. After being offered a coffee, we were taken into the factory itself and shown around. There is only a small workforce at AirCreation and the whole place has a family feel about it.

The first thing that we saw was a gold coloured Tanarg, very different to the red or yellow colours that this aircraft normally has. My eyes were immediately focused on the EFIS dashboard, and Enigma with full colour and integrated GPS. I am led to believe that this will become and option on the Tanarg instead of the Flycom Focus dashboard that is fitted to our aircraft.

A prototype wing was being tested at the time, which surprised me as the Ixess is a very good all round wing and would take some beating.

We also found that AirCreation stock a range of clothing, and ended up spending a few hundred euros.
The next area was the wing fabrication floor, where the ladies who make the wings, seats and other fabric parts were working away. All of these ladies have worked for AirCreation for many years and make every part themselves. Even the seat cushions are hand made! Due to their skills in this area, AirCreation can offer any design on the wing surface that a customer would want. There has even been one made with "missiles" sown onto the lower surface.

I went out to the front of the building to take a photo of the place and managed to catch the gold coloured Tanarg flying just above.

We ended up spending over two hours on our visit and enjoyed every minute of it. The only disappointment was that we did not get to meet Jean-Luc as he was away that week.
I have decided that I would like the new Enigma EFIS fitted to our aircraft and would also like the newer Ixess 13 wing too. The problem is that we would have to sell the Ixess 15 wing to make the change worth it. Another possibility may be to sell our Tanarg and buy a new one complete with the Enigma nad the 13 wing. We will see what happens.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Flying on 9/11

Nearly forgot to post this video.
We decided that 9/11 as the Americans call it, (11/9 in the rest of the world) would be a nice flying day despite being the anniversary of the planes crashing into the twin towers. We went over to Domme where we were meeting up with another microlight to fly the 5 chateaus trip.
Jude took this video on arrival in Domme.
After lunch we set off home, but the weather was closing in from the direction of our airfield. After about 5 minutes flying we turned back and put our Tanarg into the hangar at Domme. We then had to phone our Friend Eddy who kindly came over in his car to drive us back to our airfield.
Our aircraft was recovered the next day.
Perhaps 9/11 was an omen!

Monday, September 01, 2008

A wedding in Rouffignac

This post is dedicated to Steve and Karen, and we wish them a long and happy marriage.

Steve and Karen are also residents of Rouffignac and are much liked people. They are both from Liverpool and still have strong scouse accents. When we were told that there was to be a party at their house to celebrate the wedding, we did not expect anything “normal”. They decided that a whole pig was to be barbecued and just in case that was not enough a lamb was to be thrown in too.

I was asked to come round with my welding gear to help construct the BBQ which turned out to be huge. Steve invited around 100 people, almost a whole aircraft load of family and friends arrived from Liverpool a few days before and were put to work getting the garden and the food ready. Tables, chairs and marquees were erected, sound systems tested, car parking arranged and lighting connected.

On the Saturday the BBQ was lit and the meat started. At 14:00 people were arriving from all over, there were the large party from the UK, local French people, Dutch, Americans, Belgians, someone from South America and most of the local expat Brit community (not that there are many of us around here).

A vicar turned up at 14:30, and performed a humanist service, it was great for a non-god person like me as there was no religion involved. Every one agreed that the service was very moving and the happy couple looked fantastic, Steve even wore a tie!

After the service there were cars coming and going and people were mixing in groups around the garden, many different languages and accents could be heard, with scouse being the most prominent. As the afternoon ticked away the weather was very kind with a sunny 35 degrees or so. Copious amounts of red and rose wine was consumed, along with many bottles of beer.

As the sun was heading for the horizon, the meat was nearly ready. A few of the Brits discovered that there was crackling on the pork, and that is something that you don't get in France, it was very tasty!

Later in the evening the band arrived and so did the food. I saw the longest loaf of bread that I have ever seen in my life, I believe that it was around 5 feet long. The champagne was poured and a few quick speeches were made and we all then tucked into the prawn salad starter. After that the meat was passed around and, in true French fashion, huge chunks of bread appeared, with people tearing off a handful and passing the rest down the table. The meat course was followed by a cheese course (what else in France?) and a selection of cakes and puddings.

The band played and the only other sound was that of people laughing and enjoying themselves. The band eventually moved into the house and played to 7 am the next day.

I think that I can say on behalf of all the guests a big thank you to Steve and Karen for the fantastic evening that was had by all.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Flying into the sunset

Yet another flying video - this must be getting boring! Jude and I went down to the airstrip and took off at 20:00hrs the other evening. We headed east to look at a ruined castle that we had seen from the road. After a while we headed back to the strip into the sunset. I have left the sound on this video rather than put music to it as it adds to the atmosphere of the flight. If you want to see these videos in a better quality then go to and look up my username, which is "bmwbikerinfrance", there you can click on the tab "watch in high quality" just below the video.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Yesterday, Sunday 10th August, we decided to fly from our airfield to one at Brantome, about 40 minutes away. We were going with Wim who was flying the Weedhopper, a 3 axis microlight. The only problem was that the Weedhopper flies at about 80 kmh flat out and we fly at about 80 kmh at our slowest speed. That meant that we had to stay behind Wim and had to spend our time going left and right to look at things while he went in a strait line. You will notice in the video that we pass him twice.

Landing in the heat

On this landing we had just returned from Brantome to the north. As it was the middle of a hot sunny day we had flown at 4000 feet where the air was much smoother and not affected by any turbulence. As we descended to land at Cendrieux we had to fly over the large expanses of plastic that cover the strawberry fields, these create loads of turbulence. The trees around the airstrip don't help much either.

Jude discovered that her camera also takes video so she took these short videos on Saturday. Apologies for the lack of music and loads of wind noise - you cannot even hear the engine!
The first video is the take off which was filmed over my shoulder.

This second one is a landing.

And last but not least is a bit of air to air of Regis flying.

If you want to see the videos in a higher resolution, then go to and look for my username which is BMWbikerinfrance.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A French picnic at Casillonenes

We had met Phillipe at a couple of the airfields in the area and he had invited us to a picnic at his home airfield of Castillonnes (LF4722) on the 20th of June. The map above shows that it is not far from our home airfield (top of the black line). The route took us underneath the class D airspace for Bergerac airport.

A view over my shoulder of us about to take off from our field at Cendrieux, looking north.
After about 30 minutes of gentle flying at around 2000 feet, we spotted our destination ahead.
Jude had made sandwiches, but we were told that we could not eat them as a French picnic was proper food.
Our host Phillipe had never flown in a weightshift microlight, so I put him into the back for a flight.
The take off shows what 100 bhp can climb like in a modern machine, Pillipe liked it!
After 14 minutes we were back for a short (30 meter) landing.
I was then offered the chance to pilot the club 3 axis microlight, known as a Hurricane.
We were soon into the air. Not as fast as mine or as much fun, but a flying experience anyway.
We returned after about 20 minutes flying. It was a very nice little machine to fly, but I would not like to go back to a 65 bhp two stroke engine.

For the picnic about 30 people turned up and we sat at the long tables in one of the pictures above. The French are experts at good food and very welcoming people. Everybody had brought food to share, bread, home made pate, tomatoes, cucumber, sausages, cakes, and many more things, they were nearly all home made. The red wine flowed freely, but I stuck to water as I knew that I had to return to our airfield later.

We had a fantastic day.
I hope that this post satisfies those of you who have emailed me asking where the next post is!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Take off, Tanarg

Take off, Tanarg
Video sent by madmanbob

Another take off video

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More flying with my wife and the camera

Jude woke me early this morning, 6:30 to be exact, with a cup of tea and said that she wanted to go flying! We took off from our strip at Cendrieux and headed east to avoid Bergerac airspace. We then turned south and headed for the village of Domme, which has a nice airfield behind it. Above is the airfield.

On finals for runway 11. It is so long that we did a perfect landing and opened the throttle again for another circuit.

Then parked up at the first hangar for a cup of French coffee. The aircraft in the background are all used to fly holiday makers around the local area. We then took off for a look around.

One of the most famous fortified villages in the Dordogne, Domme, with the river Dordogne snaking around the bottom of the cliff. Just about every tourist who has visited this region has been here and taken a photo from the top of the cliff toward the bridge over the river. We are lucky in that we get to see things from a different angle.
Beynac castle, on the way there. Good job that it was a nice calm morning today.

Not many people get to see this place from the air. It played a vital role in the 100 years war, when it was occupied by the english and the French.

The famous Roque st Christophe (see older post for more info) with the river Vezere in the forground. This valley has more prehistoric sites than anywhere else that I know.
After an hour and fifteen minutes total flying we landed back at Cendrieux. While I put the microlight back into the hangar, my wife cooked backon and egg sandwiches on the campstove.
I still am not sure why I decided to retire at 46 a few years ago, when I could still be in the UK earning lots of money. Can anyone give me a clue?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Local aerial shots

This fist picture is our house. It is just to the right of the center of the picture.

Just down the road from us is the village of Plazac this picture is looking north.

Another view of Plazac looking from the west.

This is Rouffignac-st-Cernin to give the village its full name, the photo is taken looking north and showing what the surrounding countryside is like.

This is a bit closer, note that there are two squares in Rouffignac.
Rouffignac again.

These pictures were taken by Jude on an early morning flight. Things must have improved for her confidence in the microlight as she can now use the camera with both hands and does not need to hold on with a vice like grip!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Today we woke to what might be the first day of summer here in the Dordogne. We found blue skies and warm weather at 23C, so we decided to take a 30 mile drive to see the town of Terrasson. The old part of town is on the south side of the river Vezere, but we parked for free on the north river bank next to this pretty bridge. Looking over to the south side we could see that we would have to cross the 12th century bridge that is now only open to pedestrian traffic. From this end of the bridge we could see some of the older houses on the other side, this one was interesting because of the boat access underneath the building. The river is very full and quite fast flowing at the moment due to the heavy rain that we have had over the last few weeks.This is the view looking along the old bridge from north to south.
On the way up to the old fortifications on the south side we passed through some houses that had been built a very long time ago. There was no chance to get a car up there these days, but when they had been built people had never imagined what a car was!
There were little fountains around a few of the corners, I assume that they were originally places for watering the horses. And here is another one.
As we climbed we could see part of what was once the Abbey. The monks had originally built the old bridge in around 1150 AD.
Here is another view of the old bridge from further up the hill. Note the passing places where carts could avoid touching wheels when passing.
And the same bridge again from a slightly different angle. Note the newer north side of the town beyond, but not that much newer as I would guess that there are many 15th and 16th century buildings over there.
This is the sort of building that can be seen at the top, probably part of the original Abbey.
And the view looking up river with the buildings on the south side. The building on the left of center is the one with the boat access underneath. It is now a restaurant.
On the way home we went to feed the ducks at Roque St Christophe, about 20 miles down river from Terrasson, with some stale bread that we had. This family of mother and three ducklings was rather cute.

As is normal on this blog you can click on the pictures to see a bigger clearer view.