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In this part of France walking and hiking seems to be very popular with every place having a club organising regular walks. There are many internet sites presented by the local clubs and other organisations and this means that one can easily find a route to follow either alone or with a group; also IGN, which is is the equivalent of Ordnance Survey, have detailed maps (‘L’indispensable carte de randonnée’) showing all the tracks and footpaths so we have invested in these.
Last Sunday we joined the ‘Rando-Lot’ group from Puy-l’Évêque to discover a little more about our area and find out how the clubs work. The group met at Place Henri in Puy-l’Évêque and then drove 20 minutes to Cambayrac which is ‘on the top’ at a height of 264 metres. Our area has a lot of limestone cliffs and pavements – called ‘causses’ – and the natural weathering creates valleys with tumbling springs and streams. The walk was to follow the tracks around the Gorges de Landorre, not as dramatic as the name ‘gorges’ implies but very beautiful. Our group of eighteen spent the morning travelling through scrubby woods that felt ancient and primeval, with velvet tree trunks swathed in moss and lichen. In the horizontal morning light it was ravishing and we wouldn’t have been surprised to see a Ptérosaure munching away in the background (in fact at Crayssac, which is not that far away, there is a ‘Plage aux Ptérosaures‘ with their footprints). The walk took about three hours and we covered 11 kilometres. At the points where we emerged above the trees it was equally wild and beautiful but a striking contrast to the woods. And surprisingly in the middle of nowhere there were several well-tended, open fields where hay is obviously harvested in summer. The group were very welcoming and suffered our poor, but improving, French with patience and help. We stopped halfway for ‘une petite pause’, elevenses (unkown in France) emerged from rucksacks and pockets, we were offered tea or coffee with various cakes and biscuits; very convivial.
This week we were once again struck by the abundance of wild flowers: the cowslips and primroses are almost boisterous in their energy, and wild hellebores and euphorbia are common. Sloe blossom has started to cover some of the, previously, unidentified bushes and trees by the stream; the flowers vary from creamy to pale pink making that side of the north field look very pretty.
On Friday we gave the village a present, this comprised 48 folding chairs and a trolley to carry them. They had been used at the club Liz ran in London and when they failed to sell – several interested parties but all expecting to pay a pittance – we decided that we would rather ship them to France with us and give them to the village to use in the salle des fête. Madame La Maire was very pleased because they offer the hall for weddings and event; but whilst they do have chairs they are the plastic bucket type that are not so smart. So now they can use the smart folding chairs for special occasions.
As we sign off the weather has taken a turn for the worse, the last few weeks have been a little like April in the UK constantly changing from almost tropical to quite rough. Our little tumbling, stream has become a torrent again and driving alongside the cliffs beside the Lot there are many gushing waterfalls and springs – even this ‘bad ‘ weather has it’s compensations and we are very happy here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator color=”custom” accent_color=”#deead0″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Perhaps you would like to know…
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