A Lazy Day by the River
Our last day in the Célé valley. And what to do? Not too much is the general consensus, certainly no stiff 20 mile hikes. How about a leisurely day hanging out by the river sitting in the sun and swimming?
So after breakfast we decide we’ll have a walk anyway and go and visit a local Dolmen (I’m confident we can find this one) and then a slow walk down the hill to the Célé valley and the village of Cabrerets. The bakery in the village is our target.
We set off around the back of the farmhouse at Métairie Basse and bushwacked our way until we came out onto an old shepherds trail on top of the Causse. The trail undulated a little bit as it wound its way through the scrubby woodland and through some old gates. Different paths seemed to break off in every direction but Leonardo and I had been this way earlier in the week and knew the way.
The trail stumbled down a rocky path and reached another cross-roads. Up the other side where the trail became more grassy. This is where we had chased some butterflies the other day. A few butterflies were about now, but we were ignoring all the Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers and looking our for the blues. We found a couple of different types too, including Tiuquoise Blues and Chalk-hill Blues.
Eventually we reached the large cross-roads on the very top of the causse. Tucked away in some undergrowth was the Dolment. A Stone Age burial site, perhaps 5,000 to 8,000 years old.
Our path from here swept in a huge downward arc and we dawdled on down. A group of young hikers passed us. They must have been camping in the wild somewhere. The boys ran off down the trail ahead of us and we meandered down until we came almost to the village. We could look down onto the river where we were paddling the other day, see the troglodyte buildings lodged into the cliff and the Devil’s Castle which looked quite small in the daylight.
As we approached the bridge we learnt something of the history of the village from the information board, and how the village was badly flooded a 100 years ago, and this bridge was built.
We walked through the village, past the Hotel de Grotte, where we have stayed in the past, and which is looking quite smart these days. Eventually we reached the bakery and cafe opposite the old flour mill and settled down for some coffee and cakes. A second breakfast.
Whilst we were sitting underneath the Chateau enjoying the sunshine a flock of sheep were driven past us. Of course the shepherd had a Quad bike with which he was leading the sheep, but he did also have a sheepdog bringing up the rear. The local sheep have curious black eye patches. The Panda look.
And then the rest of the day kind of disappeared. We drove back up to the picnic site at Sauliac and spent a couple of hours mucking about by the river and having lunch and then we went back up to the ford and mucked around there for a couple of hours too. A couple of local boys, with a dog, were playing around in the river as well and a lot of fun was had splashing around and throwing sticks. The adults of course just lazed around in the sun.
Before we knew it the afternoon was wearing on and we hopped back into the minibus for the drive back up to the farmhouse and another flop by the pool. But before that we decided to jump out of the minibus at the top of the climb and admire the view over Sauliac and walk the last two kilometres back to the farm.
How did this happen? We’ve arrived at our last night in the Célé valley. Richard & Helen provided a lovely dinner as always and we had a splendid last evening with speeches (you’re kidding) and toasts (of course) and copious amounts of wine. A massive thanks all round to everyone for a lovely holiday.