Thursday

Soturac to Astaffort

Late up again today?
06.50 and somebody drove a horsebox past my tent, parked it, and left the engine running, marvellous! thanks!
Slow pack up, breakfast, shower, leaving for 10.00. Down the road past Fumel, past that bloody awful municiple site I decided against yesterday.
Pulled in there, well off the main road, and saw dereliction everywhere, crap, the whole site! Just along the way were two huge tower blocks with the first few floors bricked up, graffitti again, litter again, washing hanging from ALL the upper floor windows, Ha. I can't really judge as this is not my country, but in England
.............this would have been herion heaven, smackhead city........
And right in the middle of all this??
At the bottom of the site, behind an old shed (reception) was a massive new shiny black motorhome. One of those that have sliding compartments that move outwards from the vehicle body, must have cost an absolute fortune, it had English number plates, and sat in a chair, in the middle of all this shite is a bloke sunbathing, English, unbelievable.
I left him to it, and found a gem of a site less than 2 miles away.
He was either the local drug dealer or a footballer on a hideaway holiday! Ha Ha
Fumel is an industrial town, all factories and heavy traffic, most of the people here look Arabic, completely different from anywhere else I have been.
Fumel to Villeneuve sur Lot, level road, busy but OK, easy ring road around the south east of Villeneuve, N21 to Agen, another of those hills that last for miles, on and on and on, did it in one again (getting good now!)
Came to the top expecting a long easy, and not a chance, a plateau, slight ups and downs almost to Agen, then a Massive Hill, dropped like a stone right into the centre of a large town.
Immediatly lost I just kept going straight forwards! Found the station, steet beggars everywhere, in groups at times, smart young ladies dressed to kill, shops selling everything, cobbled streets, tiny 1 way roads, skinny kids on mopeds buzzing about, shifty looking smokers in doorways just watching the world go past.
Bright sunshine, traffic fumes, can't turn left, too much traffic, suits with briefcases, lots of staring, vulnerable. Found a sign for the airport, always a good one to find. Station and town bridge are good spots, can look on the map and know exactly where you are, but the airport is always on the outskirts of town away from the crowds and the traffic lights.
N21 to Astaffort, site is small, municiple, not the best but not the worst either, next to another coffee coloured river (Yes, I like camping next to rivers.)
Big drawback is the main N21 100 yards from my tent, careful pitching and its blocked from view by a weeping willow, but I can still hear it.
Speaking of traffic, was stood on the bridge over the river Garonne in Agen, HUGE RIVER having a smoke and watching the water when the entire bridge began to move, it trembled and swayed, up and down and side to side. Earthquake? no, lorry crossing. Jesus! that was scary. Not tiny movements, the thing was alive, like being on a boat!
OK.
Have just been to the most unsanitary sanitaire yet, not keen on using the toilet never mind the showers, will have to be a real early one tomorrow, quick dash!
Got bitten on my left foot the other night, sat and looked at the Dordogne until it was dark, felt a small itch, not a problem. 24 hours later the itching was the devils own, had to bandage my foot to get some sleep, now 24 hours later again, the bite was on the instep, the swelling has reached my little toe, and it feels like someone is stroking my foot with a red hot feather, not nice, not good! Bandage again tonight and see how it looks in the morning.
Its a Friday, its 20.37 and the music has started already, hotter than hell here and they're having a party, nice, will take a wander later. The singing sounds Spanish, so does the guitar.
Atmospheric.
Posted 2 letters today, 1 home 1 to Zarah, don't forget Ewa next time.
Campsite at Astaffort E4.40

note from typist! - I have now typed this article 3 times as the internet dropped each time I finished and went to 'Publish Post'. Fingers crossed.xxxxx here goes!
note from editor to typist.........sorry!

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Good luck with your own journey.
Thanks for visiting,
Rob.