I woke on my 39th birthday feeling relieved that the migraine had passed. Leaving Rich to sleep in, I snuck downstairs for toast and jam, and waited patiently for him to get up so that I could finally open my pressies. We tend to buy each other experiences rather than material gifts, and as always his offering was extremely thoughtful – a weekend in a yurt in the middle of nowhere. We’d last stayed in a yurt two years ago, just before we got married and held our wedding party in this one, and we’ve been desperate to spend more time in one ever since.

Whilst I enjoyed my second breakfast of gluten free madeleines and fresh apricots, we decided that we’d spend the day visiting the Dinosaur museum, for which Esperaza is renowned, and then have a spot of lunch in the nearby T-Rex cafe. That a museum of this size can survive in such a small town, is testament to the passion and energy of its founders and supporters, and to the wonderful quirkiness of the town’s occupants. As both Rich and I both have geology degrees and a thing for fossils, we thoroughly enjoyed looking at the exhibits, and even bought t-shirts.

The hat museum is next door, and whilst they had some lovely hats for sale, it didn’t have quite the same appeal as the dinosaurs. Still it was free to look around, and so a worthy option if you’re on a tight budget. We scuttled around it quite quickly, and then found a table in the cafe for what we thought would just be a light bite, but ended up being a meal big enough for a family of five. Never before have we been unable to finish a plate of salad and chips, but in France food is king, and lunch is taken very seriously, so we must have seemed like lightweights.

We took our coffee outside to enjoy the afternoon breeze, before enjoying a short stroll around town to look at the fountains and campervan park by the river, and returning home to read in ‘the cave’. Once Rich had prepared the pasta sauce for my birthday dinner we sat in the square to people and cloud watch. Today was definitely a chillout day. More of the same please.

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