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First drive out with the dogs since the end of lockdown

Monday, June 15, 2020

Yesterday, we decided to drive out with the dogs, for the first time since the COVID-19 lockdown was lifted here in France. Some of our friends were getting the 1 euro train down to the coast, but we thought that might be too crowded, it being a sunny, warm day, besides, we wanted to take the dogs out. Besides, travelling by train, we would have to wear face masks, which we don’t need to do in the car.

We had a leisurely start to the day, with Laurie cooking breakfast. I must admit, although I love cooking, it has been a lovely break having Laurie cook for me since my fall, the bonus being that he has had to clear up too!

Anyway, we set off in the direction of the Black Mountains at about 1:30pm. It was a beautiful day. The weather is always a bit cooler in the Black Mountains,perfect for the dogs. We decided to head for a couple of villages on the map that we hadn’t been to before, for a bit of an explore.

The first part of the drive was very familiar, through Caux et Sauzens ( good wine at the vineyard there), then Pezens ( also good wine by the litre here), then towards Montolieu ( the book village - full of bookshops of every genre). In Montolieu we turned into a new road for us... we had decided upon Lacombe and Laprade.

Well, the road to Lacombe was pretty, but Lacombe itself, well if you blinked you’d miss it, so we didn’t stop there. We carried on to Laprade which has a lovely lake. As soon as we got close, I remembered that we’d been there two years ago for a great walk, so we stopped quite near the lake, by some woods.

As soon as we opened the back to get the dogs out, Nogi shot out of the car. The poor thing had been sick and had managed to get out of her harness. Luckily, she didn’t go far, as is her usual habit off the lead. I managed to get in front of her as she was sniffing and then Laurie had to put the harness back on as I still can’t bend over that far due to the concussion. Excitement over, Zaba was got out. Then Laurie walked the dogs up the path, while I cleared up the boot of the car. Laurie, for all his talents, does ‘not do’ vomit, so that task always falls to me. Fortunately, we always travel with tissues, towels and bags, and the car has a great liner, which wiped up just fine.

Once I was done, we took them further along the path, Nogi firmly on her 10 metre extendable lead, Zaba plodding off the lead. There was a gentle slope and the path was windy, so that made it interesting. There were lots of wild foxgloves and being considerate of nature, I left well alone, although I must get some seeds to plant in the garden as I love foxgloves.

The woods were just beautiful with the sun shining through, a mix of conifers and deciduous.

I was delighted to see some oak saplings growing, one of my favourites!

After about twenty minutes we were back to the car and gave the dogs water, before continuing on our way. We decided to take a drive to another lake, Lac Montagné, which is set back from the main road, for another short walk. This one we had been to a few times, it has a host of onsite activities as well as a café-bar and an Italian gelateria, but it was somewhat bustling yesterday, so we decided to head home, with a view to stopping on the way for a walk.

We chose the main road home, stopping at a picnic area to walk the dogs, no escapology from Nogi this time! We got home at about 4:30pm, let the dogs out and got the boot liner out for a more thorough clean. Nogi was none the worse for her travel sickness and we looked online for some meds for her, as she really is not a good traveller...

The rest of the day passed uneventfully. I got a pile of ironing done while Laurie cooked and then after dinner we watched a taped episode of an old ‘Midsomer Murders’....

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