Going over several small ridges you enter Puy-l’Évêque by a bridge over the River Lot. Here one has an impressive view of the medieval village with buildings dating back to the 13th century. Wandering the alleyways of Puy-l’Évêque is like stepping back in history. This was once an important port on The Lot for timber, limestone and wine before the coming of the railways. In recent years the locks on the river have been restored in an attempt to make this section of The Lot navigable again. There are canoes available for hire on this stretch – great fun gliding down the river.
As I walked up into the village I realised I was way behind schedule but luckily the others passed in the car and I was able to get a lift up the hill through the village for a couple of kilometres. I was dropped off so I could follow the old lanes up into Martignac.
Further on you pass the village washhouse which has been recently renovated and provides a pleasant barbecue area.
As you enter the village on the edge of a field there is a very good example of a caselle or gariotte. This is a dry stone hut once used as a shelter for shepherds in this area of France.
The village of Martignac consists of a few scattered houses [one restored wooden building was once a tobacco drying shed] surrounding the church, which has a prominent elevated position.
It is inside the church that the faded but still discernible wall paintings are the great attraction. Above the altar is the God of all the world. On one side are the Seven Heavenly Virtues and on the opposite aisle are the graphic and imaginative Seven Deadly Sins to scare the congregation!
Our friend is doing well with his home improvements but I think he is enjoying the French social life a little too much to get his house finished on schedule. Can’t blame him – it must be good living out here. Didn’t have to walk back.