BACK IN THE LOT – season of plenty.

Just returned from a couple of weeks in France. Puy L’Eveque in the Lot valley, as in previous posts. Guess I like the place. Our last trip in June was poor weather wise, but this time couldn’t find a cloud in the sky. Most days over 30 degrees and the pool was 25.

I was usually up early for a walk from the house getting back just as the leisurely breakfast was appearing. The afternoons were just too hot.

As I’m the ‘chef’ on these trips I was keen to use as much fresh fruit from the vicinity as possible. The trees were full of plums, apples, mirabelles and figs. The hedgerows laden with blackberries.                                                                                                                        The grapes will be ready for picking in October but can be found now in bottles!  So grilled goats cheese, fig and walnut, drizzled with honey for a starter.  Figs and mirabelles in the fish couscous. Stewed plums in yoghurt with a blackberry coulis and ‘creme de mur’.  Get the idea…

To get back to the walking – one day I set off early on a longer walk aiming to be in Duravel by lunchtime for a rendezvous at Cafe de la Mairie. Walking through the vineyards to Touzac and across the wonderful iron bridge over the Lot brought me to another wooded region. Climbing up I reached the small hamlet of Cavagnac –  a fortified church and a few houses.

Here I joined the GR 652 which is a variant of the St. Jacques pilgrims route through France to Santiago de Compostela. I cycled this entire 1600k route 15 years ago. The waymarks are distinctive.

The route took me down into the Thèze valley and picturesque small village of St. Martin le Redon. Close by and visible are the limestone cliffs of Montcabrier where I’ve spent many days climbing in the past.

Time was short today and I was soon climbing out of the valley on ancient tracks through chestnut trees and over the ridge to Duravel.

Arriving as the church clock struck 12.  I was disappointed to find a closed sign in the restaurant!

My transport arrived and we diverted to Le Pigeonnier on the side of the Lot river in Puy L’Eveque. Massive, appropriate for today’s walk,  St. Jacques salads and then prune crêpes accompanied by Brittany cider in ceramic bowls.

Another day; another walk and I found more examples of rusting French cars for my photo collection.

I used to own a Renault Fuego – far too fast for British roads as I found out once taking a bend near Tyndrum on my way to some ‘Munro’

Deer came down into the garden to feast on the fallen apples, Blue Tits spent all day pecking at the over ripe mirabelles, Redstarts were  constant companions at meal times, Buzzards flew lazily overhead. Wasps were everywhere. Butterflies teased me as I tried to get photos.

So whether it was plenty of food , walking or wine it’s a great time to be in France.


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