another travelogue 4

another travelogue 4
another travelogue 4 by Tim Caynes

ooh look, there’s one here from 1974. it’s got french people and german tourists in flares and tank tops, see, they did wear them over here as well, but I don’t think those opening times are right and I didn’t bring any francs this time so we might want to dig a little deeper into the black hole that is the box of visitor attraction leaflets in the corner and see if there’s anything that has been updated since the troglodites lived in the walls. what does the rough guide say then. ooh, do you think they’ll like a garden? what’s a belvedere?

as we skirted around the edge of the river with the aircon set to wallpaper stripper we could see a number of things that looked like they might be a chateau with beautifully restored ornamental gardens as there’s apparently hundreds of the things around here and we’re not even on the right side of the river are we? hang on the map’s upside down and we passed that bridge half an hour ago and that was closed anyway so that’s why we’re on this side anyway look, if you look really closely on the bit where it folds and has gone all unreadable you can just make out the word Marqueyssac on that side of the river see? we’re supposed to be on that side. ooh look, nice chateau. give it to me. no, you look where you’re going, give it here. oh. but that’s not right. we should be there now. much as I’d like to see Josephine Baker’s place we didn’t plan to go there today so what the hell are we doing in the driveway anyway, oh, hang on, you see here where it says Marqueyssac, in this side of the river, right? well, we’re here, right? but the litte chateau symbol it is referring to is this one over here, not this one over here. that one is Castelnaud. no, hang on, it’s Beynac. anyway, you see what they’ve done right? look out you’re a bit close to the edge. they’ve put the label on the other side of the river, cos they ran out of space to get Marqueyssac on that side. we should be there. where are we now? here. oh.

there’s untold hilarity driving through enormous field sprinkler systems with the windows down when it’s 39° outside and you’ve just worked out just how much unleaded the aircon is using while it’s permanently on stun as we head for the car park which directs us everywhere on the left-hand side of the road which throws me for a minute but soon we’re parked up and as we leave the command module for the first time in about an hour the hot air peels the skin off our faces a bit like that bit in terminator when paula hamilton or whatever her name is is clinging on to the playground fence and then she gets blasted away by an apolcalyptic blastwave but still manages to hang on with her skeleton fingers and then wakes up. our first full day out and we’ve arrived. have you got the money? I thought you had it. no, I said can you put it in the bag. is it not in the back? why don’t you look? it’s not in the bag. what do you mean it’s not in the bloody bag. dad, I’m hot. dad, are we going in? what is it? it’s the garden we told you about. where is the money then? look again. it’s not there. why not? I don’t know. you’re joking. er, no. right, that’s it, back in the car. oh, hang on, here it is.

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