Rufus goes swimming at Moulin de Salazar

Rufus swimming in the stream that runs through the grounds of the Moulin de Salazar.

Rufus swimming in the stream that runs through the grounds of the Moulin de Salazar.

25 July 2013

Yesterday, Wednesday, we left Île de Ré and headed for our next stop, one of the pet-friendly gîtes at Moulin de Salazar, a converted water mill in a beautiful valley in the Quercy area of south-west France.

We have come to visit Rufus’s old friend John Wells, who is helping owner Paulette over the summer. John holds a special place in Rufus’s heart as he lived with us for a while and took Rufus on lots of walks. Rufus is truly thrilled to see John, although Heidi, as a newer addition to the family, doesn’t know him so well.

While we unload the car, John and Paulette take the dogs for a tour of the five-acre grounds, which include a huge garden with tall trees providing plenty of cool shade and a lovely shingle beach at the edge of the stream.

Then we are shown around our gîte and after a refreshing glass of rosé we head out for dinner with John at the Belvedere hotel. The food was first-class and Rufus and Heidi were on their best behaviour. After our meal we call into nearby Lauzerte, a medieval hill town, and have a drink at the lively bar Le Puits de Jour.

Next morning, after we have a dip in the swimming pool, and just before leaving for our next stop, we let the dogs off their leads and they run through the garden to the shingle beach. Rufus strolls straight into the pool that the stream forms here and starts swimming off towards the cascade at the other side. We call him back frantically — the word “treats” usually does the trick, but he loves it so much he doesn’t want to get out of the water. We’d forgotten how much Rufus likes swimming – he doesn’t get many chances to swim back home in London.

Eventually Rufus comes back to us and we put him and Heidi back on their leads. Then Rufus goes back in for another swim. Heidi is not so keen on the water but enjoys paddling at the edge of the cooling stream.

We leave very reluctantly as Rufus and Heidi absolutely love it here. We are planning another visit in September, but now it’s time to head for our next stop – Crillon-le-Brave in Provence, where we will be staying for three nights (which is a bit of a relief after four days on the road).

On the way to Crillon-le-Brave we take a detour to see the Millau Viaduct, a very tall and very beautiful bridge across a beautiful valley, calling in to Millau itself for lunch before driving back up the valley to continue our journey…

Denise and Rory (Terriers on Tour road crew)

• Have you got any suggestions for what Rufus & Heidi (and Denise & Rory) should do while they are staying in Provence? Tweet us your travel tips @PetsPyjamas with the hashtag #PPJterriersontour for a chance to win £250 to spend on you and your pet on (click here for more details and terms & conditions).

The shaded garden at the Moulin de Salazar

The shaded garden at the Moulin de Salazar


Rory with Heidi and Rufus, admiring the Millau Viaduct

Rory with Heidi and Rufus, admiring the Millau Viaduct

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