When you live in the rural south of France in a village of 1,500 souls that's off the main road to anywhere, the countryside is right at your doorstep. Walk a few minutes in any direction and the accoutrements of modern living fade away. In a place with as rich a history as our little corner of France, you may even run across a 1,000 year-old church back in the woods, the exterior in amazingly good condition, with no signage to point the way. Is that an old Roman road leading up to the restored walls of an abandoned windmill? Could be.
The season for group walks approaches. Over the winter, I mostly walk alone. Short, brisk walks along a manicured path maintained by the village along the old railroad bed. Just to get the blood pumping. But as the weather warms and friends begin to open their holiday homes for the season, I begin walking in groups at a more leisurely pace to more interesting destinations. My brisk 2.5 miles in about 45 minutes becomes 10,000 steps in about two hours depending on the stops to take in the sights. Here's one route that starts and ends in our little village of Quarante with a bit of scenery and a bit of history along the way.
|It doesn't take long to go from town to farm. In this direction, horses. In a slightly different direction, donkeys.|
|On a clear day, the Pyrenees. Maybe I should cloudfund a better camera.|
|We live with views like this every day, everywhere.|
|It looks like snow in the vines. They call them rockets. They are supposed to be edible but they are also a diuretic. Best to leave them alone|
|Just in from a colder climate, Sue is enjoying the weather.|
|Another in my series entitled "Bathtubs Among the Vines".|
|The bubbling Quarante at the low point of the walk. It's been all downhill so far. From here, uphill.|
|Home is thataway.|
|The grounds of Domaine Peche Laurier. How would you like to be married among the plane trees in front a statue of Mary?|
|Out of nowhere, with no sign pointing the way, this ancient chapel. We're not certain of its history.|
|Not quite completely restored.|
|But surprisingly intact.|
|The base of an old windmill. Grounds well kept but again, no sign.|
|And again, more investigation as to origin required.|
|Could it really be an old Roman road? They were certainly in the neighborhood.|
|And it's right across from the windmill and right next to a cistern.|
From here, it's an easy downhill walk along a blacktop back to the village. A little more than two hours. A little more than 10,000 steps. One of the first of many walks to come. I'll try to keep y'all posted. For more walks, and my take on life in France in general, check out my France Page HERE.