Next day

October 3, 2007

Off to Nerac (we thought). So caught up in the beauty of everything that we missed a turn in the river and went a few ks in the wrong direction. However we did get to see parts of the river rarely travelled and huge numbers of heron flying in front of the boat. Soooooo – back in the other direction and on to the most exquisite town that we’ve seen so far. The walled 13th cent village of Vianne. A Templar church of incredible beauty and simplicity. Bought some fabulous ready mades at the store – cassoulet, mozzarella and tomatoes, Roc de Puisseguin St Emillion 2002 – a fabulous wine, perfectly balanced. Delicious fruit at the front, tannins perfectly poised at the back where they belong. This is the best red tasted on the trip to date.

We’re moored at the base of the village by a weir, the sounds of the waters tumbling over the stone face gently invigorating, the still substantial remains of a large mill that must date back at least 5 centuries to our port. The contrast with the last town we stayed at is poignant. This town feels as though the folks here are having a pretty good time. They live in such incredible beauty, one would have to be monstrously misanthropic not to appreciate the legacy left by SO MANY generations before them.

Every landowner has exactly the same amount of land – to quote a rather freeform translation from the French in a local brochure; “All the streets results at the place and their cross sections are in right angles: it’s an hortogonal plan, because any dweller receive same plot for garden and for build house” Amazingly democratic for the 13th century, I thought.

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