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Our glamping report is gaining momentum and I’m finally able to get a few hours to sort through our million photos.  So, here we go!

We arrived in France after quite a bit of trouble with Ryan Air’s check in system and customer service at Gatwick which nearly left us grounded without apology. I never really bought into the spoof shows on television about certain airlines, but now I consider any show of that nature as essential research before investing money in services ever again.  The return home was disgusting at best, at both ends.

In any case, we were relieved to be on French soil and in the sunshine, and we were on holiday!  The airport was so small that customs took around ten minutes to clear and then we stepped outside to collect the hire car from Sixt.

The paperwork was smooth enough and the office closed immediately after we were given our keys.  After a hunt in the parking lot, we located our car which apparently was suitable for 7 people and luggage [read: it was not, and it was dangerous], we headed away from the airport towards our destination at Domaine des Mathevies, trying to remain cheerful.

Everything seemed plain sailing on the toll roads until we came off the motorway and became completely lost!  Garmin did not like our destination and decided to send us to an obscure side of the road parking lot, stating proudly that we had reached our destination.

After spending a month teaching in France, I like to think that I’m okay speaking with French people – although my family seem somewhat skeptical of me.  On our second lap of the area with no luck [thanks for nothing, Garmin] I clambered out of the car and into a pizzerie and bar to ask for directions – in French.  Who’d have thought?! Thankfully the lovely restauranteur understood me and pointed us in the right direction [the turning was ten metres from the restaurant, naturally] – and so we returned and bought pizza from him later.

Finally, we made it!  Nearly three hours in a car with screaming children, on a journey which should have taken us 20 minutes.  Was it worth it? I needed to relax!
Oh yes.
So. Worth. It.
Within minutes of arriving, we were found and greeted warmly by Simon, the owner of Glisten Camping, and taken to our holiday home for the next week.  It was bliss.  As we strolled through the site, the sun was shining, the boys were able to stretch their legs, and we were about to find somewhere to have a cup of tea!
Peaceful, calming, quiet – and unconventional.  You can see the brochures, watch the videos, but nothing quite compares to stepping into one of these domes.  You can feel the serenity.
In reality it was late at night, and so we all hopped into bed after the pizza [besides Grandad, who hates cheese, he could never be French] and awoke to make a quick trip for breakfast to the supermarket E Leclerc, before we fully appreciated the start of our holiday.

I could have lived there.  The fresh fruit and vegetables, the seafood – the cheese!  However, the majority of our first shopping trip appeared to consist of things we really just couldn’t resist – and a favourite from Gav’s childhood; Minizzas. The boys were delighted with a whole new range of naughty snack foods featuring the Turtles – and found new Kinder Eggs with better toys than they have at home.  Granny bought wine. I’m just going to put that out there.

Everyone was so keen to explore the domes – the partitions made brilliant little rooms that occupied the boys for hours, and the area was so safe that they were able to wander freely.  Whilst unpacking, we found them settling into little nooks to chat and giggle on the oversized Fat Boy cushions, whilst we took it turns to bathe in the sunshine on the huge Fat Boy hammocks – which is where I think my parents spent most of the morning.

The hanging beds were a huge favourite of the boys – who thought they were in Star Wars and flying their bedships around.

Breakfast time came around slightly later than planned, but it was delicious nonetheless.  Croissants and pain au chocolat for everyone, with some delicious fruit [and Tetley tea, sorry French people].  I never thought I’d become a stereotypical English traveller, but it’s true. I do need my Tetley.

Sitting in the kitchen was just perfect. It’s the kind of life I dream of, outdoors and fresh.  Food tastes so much better al fresco, and after visiting the supermarket, we were dreaming of fresh fish on the plancha grill.

Whilst we were unboxing breakfast, Jensen found a friend having a little wander outside…

An apparently delicious friend – but we never ate him, despite Jensen realising he was quite a bit bigger and juicier than the little garlic infused relatives he’d sampled in Café Rouge before coming to France.  Thankfully for the snail, Jensen’s love is any seafood [as you’ll see later] and snails, although he’ll eat them, aren’t high on his favourites list.

Breakfast over, we all started to relax….and plan our holiday.  Coming up next, a trip to Old Sarlat.

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