Summer holiday 2002
Charente, France

Saturday, 18th August
Day 9

At the risk of sounding utterly boring; the day starts out again warm and sunny. Being exposed to so much culture the previous day, we give the kids the day off. Thus they go out for some swimming and soccer. As the day progresses, it actually becomes quite warm. Around one o´clock in the afternoon I feel like taking a walk in order to see something of the surrounding country side. I leave through the rear entrance of the park that runs along side the golf course "la Prèze". Oh, this time I bring along a map of Charente which I bought a day or two ago! I come prepared today, oh yeah! Not knowing exactly how long I will be gone I take with me a large bottle of water. This was another thing that I found myself short of during my previous walk-about.

I take a right turn and keep on going alongside the golf course. I have no intention of walking for another 16 kilometres again, like I did last time. I walk through les Forêts into the direction of Magnanon. From here I go to the D163 main road, following it back to the rear entrance of le Chat. By this time my shirt is simply soaked from sweating. Oh, about my bottle of water; it was completely empty.

After my walk I feel so overheated that a swim seems very appealing. I therefore decide to lay back in the water and cool down a little bit. A half an hour will do the job I think. I go to the small beach and walk into the water that is actually quite warm. I swim the length of the lake up and down. While doing so I move from one warm spot to a lesser warm spot and so on and on! The top layer of about two feet deep and the shallow sides of the lake are simply warm! Only the middle section is kind of cool.

This wonderful combination of warm and cool water is quite refreshing. I am about to leave the water when the kids show. So I go back in again. One of the attractions on the lake is a wooden raft that is attached with ropes to both sides of the shores. We end up playing "King of the mountain", pushing each other of the raft. The half-hour that I had planned for swimming turns out to be about two hours.

I am curious about the depth of this lake. I am swimming halfway up the shaft of the boot (shape of the lake), five to ten metres of the middle; here I can tiptoe across the lakes bottom with my head just above water. Swimming in the middle I stretch my arm upwards and sink straight down. When I reach the bottom my hands are still above water. Only under the raft the water is somewhat deeper. I estimate that out here it will be approximately 4.5 metres to 5 metres deep.

Sunday, 19th August
Day 10

The day starts with a clouded sky, and a suspicious rumbling. Gradually it starts to rain and it becomes somewhat dark. The temperature however remains quite agreeable. All signs indicate that we are in for some thunder. Ho wrong can you get? After an hour or so the sun returns in full strength and so does the warmth.

First thing to do today is go for some shopping to the Intermarche in Montbron. After this shopping adventure, we indulge the rest of the day in sun bathing and reading. The kids enjoy themselves in the pool or the lake.

During the afternoon I take a short walk on the country road that runs through the woodland right behind le Chat. In all honesty, today nothing exiting happened. That is so very relaxing!

Tonight we get some take-out for diner. It is still far too warm to go through the trouble of cooking. I go to the CHADORLI restaurant down the road for some French fries and saté.

and welcome!

Highslide JS
Going walk-about again.

Going walk-about again.

Highslide JS
A narrow path through the woodlands.

A narrow path
through the woodlands.

Highslide JS
Ears of wheat on the edge of a field after the harvest.

Ears of wheat on the edge
of a field after the harvest.

Highslide JS
A wood pile alongside the road.

A wood pile alongside the road.