LE CHEMIN DE STEVENSON. Prologue

RLS.   “There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.”

An easy or rather a Ryanair flight landed us in Nimes just in time to miss the  fast  train to Puy en Velay. So time to see the famous Roman Ampitheatre.

A slow, and I mean slow, train took us up the twisting  Allier  gorge on what must be one of the most spectacular lines in France. IMG_20140912_174835_695-1

Eventually after a connecting bus we arrived in town below the  Notre Dame statue and the Chapelle on their twin volcanic plugs. Too dark for photos. This whole region is volcanic with all the old buildings made of black basalt. A quick crepes and we were dead for the night.              Le Puy — Le Monastier.                                                                                                                       Today’s walk took us to Le Monastier where Stevenson and his donkey started their trek in September 1878. We had a leisurely day on old tracks through small villages making us feel at home here…Jpeg…all above wonderful volcanic countryside.Jpeg

I was particularly interested in a field of climbing ‘blocs’ in the woods. Each boulder being formed in columnar basalt showing all aspects, geology exhibited for all to see and play on.Jpeg

A comic episode occurred as we tried to decipher the code to enter our hotel for the night. Eventually quite a crowd were invoved all giving advice in various French accents. A scene worthy  of   Mr. Hulot.

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