Posted by: jimndianne | November 6, 2009

Gers en Gascogne

6 November 2009 France

The aroma of freshly brewed coffee leads us to our breakfast in the salon. It has arrived 020promptly at 8.30am and we settle into slicing up a loaf of wonderful French bread topped with butter and home-made jam. Simple but delicious. If you wanted anything other than this to eat I’m sure it could be arranged.  This Bed & Breakfast/Guest House  is to be found near the village of Ligardes (32480), on Tel. (33) 05 62 28 83 01. We recommend them highly and it is run by Henri and Sophie Doussau de Bazignan. Email: and their website is Their son, 021Jean-Batiste (JB) speaks excellent English and is happy to chat with you.  We had a lovely walk around the property and 026noticed a tennis court as well as two swimming pools (covered over) as it’s now too cold to swim. It was delightful to see several squirrels playing amongst the fallen leaves under the trees. The owners also keep a number of fat, black hens and roosters, and a small vegetable garden.

As we enter the outskirts of the town of Condom, there are fields of sunflowers, just losing their brilliant yellow colour and beginning to dry out.

It was easy to find Ma Maison, the real estate agents recommended to us by International Living and we had a long chat with the Dutch lady working there. Unfortunately, almost all of their properties are well over the budget we have set for ourselves but she tells us there are many other agents in town who deal with the lower priced homes. She also recommends a great place to stay for that night, a guest house called La Lumiane which is in the village of Saint-Puy, just 15 minutes south of Condom. Condom itself is a lovely little town, not too big nor too small and it has a really nice feel to it. People are friendly and obliging, 048it has an outstanding cathedral, a great village atmosphere, 043and cozy bars and restaurants. We had a superb Plat du Jour for lunch at the Rouge Kiwi (can you believe that?) and upon asking we found out that the name came from a reddish-skinned kiwi fruit that the owners saw in Holland!

As our clothing was in desperate need of being washed, we went on the hunt for a coin-operated laundry which a young couple assured us was in a particular area of town. We did find, however, another Carrefour supermarket which provided us with some wine (for the room, you understand) and on the way back into town there miraculously appeared a shop marked “Pressing” which agreed to do our washing for 5 Euros per kilogram. It would be ready for collection the following day, Saturday, at 11am.

At Saint-Puy we again have huge difficulties locating this Hotel and drive through the village 074numerous times, up and down all the narrow alleys searching for it. Suddenly, as we drive through the Grande Rue, there it is – along with a Michelin grading beside its sign, “La Lumiane“, and we wonder how we could have missed it. Somehow, the photo on the brochure doesn’t quite match up with the building itself, probably because the photo was taken from the rear of the hotel. 073The proprietors here are probably the nicest people you could ever come across. Alain and Gisele Eman at Grande Rue, 32310 Saint-Puy, France – both speak French and great English and he is a real character, cracking jokes all the timeso that we fell about laughing! They gave us a nice room with a view of the church from the bathroom window. Gisele told us that in fine weather 070there is a superb view of the Pyrenees mountains, which are already well covered with snow. We will probably stay two nights if it’s possible.  A small cafe/bar restaurant 50 metres away served us a simple dinner that night and it was interesting to see that a small dog was allowed to be present with its owners inside the restaurant under the table. We were told that many restaurants allow this to happen.

It’s getting really cold here now and we have to wrap up warmly just like the locals do when walking anywhere outside, with warm scarf, coat and woolly hat or cap.


  1. Wow I feel s if I am in the midde of a beautiful travel brochure. Not sure how you have found the time to wite all of this but what a wondeful time. Great reading love Glynis & Philip

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