#Vanlife – Castelsarrasin, France

Living even temporarily, as we are currently in our motorhome, you need to adapt to life on the road. That was the case for us yesterday, with an unexpected extra day in the small town of Castelsarrasin. It was intended only as a quick stop to break our journey to Bordeaux. However, overnight on Sunday our dog Lizzie was really not well and after doing shifts to look after her through the night, first thing Monday we were looking for a vet.

We looked online and found one which described itself as a veterinary hospital and decided it might be better equipped to accept an unscheduled appointment. As I have the best French speaking, Lizzie and I were on my bike to get there when they opened at 08.30 on Monday. After a couple of wrong turns we made it there just after 8:30am. However, they were already busy and explained the soonest we could get an appointment would be 08:30am on Tuesday. The receptionist was clearly busy and not too tolerant of my fledgling French. I accepted the appointment but decided to make the leap of faith attempting phone calls in French to the rest of the vets locally to see if I could get an appointment that day. One call later and miraculously I had managed to convey the issue and book an appointment for 3.30pm (hopefully anyway as long as I got my numbers right!).

I popped back in and cancelled my appointment for the morning and set off back to Clouline, only to find as I remounted my bike that the back tire, which was feeling a bit flat going out was now totally flat! The pump being attached to Kev’s bike as it would not fit the frame on mine, I had to call for assistance or push Lizzy all the way back (30 min walk). Luckily Kev responded and was with me within 5mins, having found a smarter route down the canal which we were staying next to. To top off his rescue mission, he even had a mini compressor powered off a universal Makita 18V Lithium Battery pack which also powers drills, chainsaws etc and he had bought before we came out with quite a speech about the necessity of buying, which he was feeling vindicated for by his rescue mission. Within moments we were cycling back. Once we were back with a cup of tea, Kev was telling me all about how Lola had been trying to chase all the cats who lived on the houseboats as they passed on their walk.


A quiet day passed awaiting Lizzy’s appointment with not much to see locally and not wanting to walk her too far until she was a little better. We headed off later, the other way down the canal, to the vets arriving in plenty of time. We were greeted very cordially at this much smaller practice of two vets. The lady vet that Lizzy and I saw was really nice and very patient with my French. We managed the whole consultation in French, with only a brief use of Google Translate at the end which helped to make sure I had the instructions for the medication right. She gave Lizzy a jab and some paste medication, which translated as a bandage in Google translate but I knew what she meant. It was great experience, such a huge relief to have Lizzy better and such a lovely lady vet who looked after us. The bill was probably half what we would have paid for the same treatment in the UK.

We picked up some supplies at the supermarket next door and dropped them off at Clouline. However, Lizzy was already perking up since her jab and we all felt like heading out for a walk to the local town after being in Clouline much of the day. It is a small town, not many shops and the canal being the main feature, though the name translates to Saracen Castle, so it has had a history in its day. The out of town shopping malls appears, like many places in the UK, to have had a major impact to the town centre. However, we did manage to get a drink in a very traditional Bar Tabac, with Formica tables, serving the local workers and Belgian beer. It is called La Tout Va Bien (All is well), a pretty good end to the day and certainly how we were feeling now we had both dogs healthy again.

All is Well

2 thoughts on “#Vanlife – Castelsarrasin, France

  1. Glad you got Lizzie sorted. We had health problems with Molly whilst on tour and called at a couple of vets over the time, we also found them very helpful.


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