L’experience

I procrastinated so much about whether to do the Workaway holiday. As with many new experiences I didn’t know what to expect and even right up to when I boarded the plane I wondered if I was doing the right thing.┬áBut as soon as I landed in Limoges I knew I made the right decision and couldn’t wait to start my adventure.

I had the most amazing host in Susie, she is funny, witty and very kind. She had many funny stories to tell about her adventures in Morocco and in France and kept us laughing well into the night.

I met lots of new friends including my fellow Workawayers Karet and Karla, a lovely family from Australia and a couple who ran a cattery in the middle of nowhere. Also met lots of lovely customers in the tea shop and guest house.

Compared with my usual nursing career the work can hardly be described as taxing, there was plenty of opportunity to sit and relax in the sun and explore the local area.

I will definitely do it again, it’s a fantastic way to meet new people, have a cheap holiday and experience something new.

team pongo

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De nager ou de ne pas nager

Or……. to swim or not to swim for the non French speakers.

While I was on my Workaway adventure the weather was glorious and very very hot, which was lovely but I was at least 2 hours from the coast. My only option for cooling off was lake swimming.

I’ve always been nervous about swimming in lakes since I watched a programme as a child when someone got caught up in a load of reeds and drowned. Also nasties such as eels and leeches lurk in lakes ready to feast on unsuspecting bathers.

So I wasn’t that enthusiastic when Susie, my host, suggested a dip in a lake in La Souterraine, the next nearest town, but I was so hot and bothered I was prepared to be brave and give it a go.

I needn’t have worried, the lake at La Plage Suisse was man-made with sand on the bottom and not a bit of vegetation or creepy swimming things. The experience was so enjoyable that we went back quite a few times and even branched out further afield.

In nearby Gueret there is another artificial lake called Courtille Lake, which is considerably bigger than the lake at La Souterraine. There was a lot more going on such as sailing, giant water floats, canoeing and other water based fun! The grounds around the lake are perfect for walking, cycling and running. This, however, was much more than I was prepared to do in the sweltering heat and I spent the afternoon dozing under a tree!

swimming

La Chambre d’Hote

Susie decided to turn the main house into a bed and breakfast after she bought the smaller property next to the tea shop. She named the house La Bourge which in French means a lady who has to dress with everything matching; shoes, hat, bag and hat!

It’s a beautiful, traditional french house with 3 very tastefully decorated guest rooms and an attic converted into a studio that sleeps 4 people. While I was there only the guest rooms were being used and we had a steady stream of guests. They were mainly French couples and families travelling from the north to the south for their holidays and breaking their journeys in the village. Although we did have a lovely couple from South Africa who were touring Europe.

The main job in the guest house was serving breakfast and then cleaning, changing the beds and getting ready for the next visitors. At one point I considered changing my name to Widow Twanky as I washed and dried so much bedding!

Anyone visiting La Bourge is guaranteed a very warm welcome and great hospitality in a gorgeous house by a fabulous host.

Have a look at the website: http://www.chezlabourge.com, and if you are lucky enough to stay there check out the beautiful tiling on the ground floors.

sitting room the blue room the cream room the grey room

Le Salon de The

The little tea shop in Le Grand Bourg I worked in is called Time for Tea, it is sandwiched between the guest house and Susie’s house. It is decked out in 1950’s vintage splendor from the cabinets to the Formica tables.

It’s open from Wednesday to Sunday between the hours of 12 and 5. The delicious lunches on offer are soup with homemade bread followed by the tart of the day with 2 salads. The tarts come in many variations such as Spanish tortilla, vegetable terrine and spicy pizza, I made quite a nice spinach tortilla which seemed to go well. My savoury muffins, however, weren’t such a great success and could have been used as a weapon when they went extremely hard after a couple of days! But I redeemed myself a few days later with a tomato and mozzarella bread straight out of the pages of Paul Hollywood’s baking bible.

For afternoon tea the customers can choose from the good old fruit scone and a variety of yummy cakes. I’m not really much of a baker but I did manage to knock up a decent coffee and walnut cake. Of course all these goodies are washed down with copious amounts of tea.

Most of the customers in the tea shop are British people who have houses in the area, although we did have a few French customers on my first weekend as there was an open garden event going on. I think only the Brits truly appreciate a lovely cuppa in the sweltering heat, although I did manage to convert my fellow Workawayer, Karet from Estonia, to my way of thinking that it’s never too hot to drink tea!

cake display formica heaven le salon de the my walnut cake the bread vintage cabinets

l’emplacement

The tea shop and bed and breakfast were situated in a village called Le Grand Bourg, but it should have been called Le Petit Bourg because it wasn’t the biggest of places. Apart from a few restaurants, a hairdressers, pharmacy and a bakery there wasn’t a lot going on. But there was something peculiar about the place that I never seen anywhere else on my travels. Around the village were very freaky looking manikins dressed up in various outfits and in different poses.

bag lady boules man confused corpse bride family gathering french boyfriend get knitted grizzly adams just freaky just wierd paper man poker face pot stealer tour de france

I’m not sure what they were supposed to represent but they were definitely nightmare inducing up close.