Monday, 31 August 2009


Yesterday we went on a bit of a hike. We set out from Le Vaulmier, walked through a footpath towards St Vincent-de-Salers, then followed a path uphill to the plateau above the valley . The path went through hazel woods for some of the way, mixed with other trees, so was pleasantly shady on what was a hot day. When we woke up in the morning, the sky was a clear cloudless blue, and remained that way all day and evening.

I must say that when we got higher up the path, past the waterfall which is signposted a couple of times ( and didn't have much water in it at this time of year) we met several obstructions, in the form of either metal or barbed wire fences strung across the way, which we had to crawl under a couple of times.There is also little if any signage for the path higher up, although it is marked on the blue series IGN map of the area. Much of the higher reaches of the path, indicated in a couple of places as part of a Grand Randonnee were quite overgrown with bramles and nettlesand other vegetation. It would seem that not many people use it to gain access to the plateau, or to descend from it. This is a great pity, as the path could well disappear completely in time if it is not used or maintained, and it is a really lovely way up past the mill at Orfaguet and higher. We eventually reached the plateau above the valley and were rewarded with gorgeous views , seemingly over half of the middle of France. Its almost like another world up there, as there is nothing between you and the endless sky; almost like flying. On one walk we did earlier this year, we saw an aeroplane flying along the valley below us. There are usually few if any other people, only the cows on their summer pastures, birds, and wild flowers for company, and of course no traffic noise, except possibly a passing 'plane. A fascinating place to get away from it all, but an hours walk downhill through a shady path brought us back to Le Vaulmier and the house.

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