Circuits and chemins

For the first time this year it’s stopped raining. Not just that but the sun has appeared so from out of nowhere it feels like spring has sprung. It hasn’t, but in Scotland today would have felt like summer. We actually know spring is on the way as a large dance of cranes was seen this weekend, migrating north as they do with the onset of warmer weather. This local knowledge comes courtesy of our amis Carol et Frank who during our weekly banquets offer us all manor of cultural insight and wisdom. The cranes are clearly meteorological experts as this week is down as warm and sunny, bordering on shorts and t-shirts weather. Not quite, but for the first time since we arrived we were able to sit out on our terrace without a coat this afternoon after our walk with Pepper. There’s even talk of an imminent round of golf.

I must confess to feeling like I had realised my dream today. It was 4pm, the sun was shining and I was sitting on the terrace with Heather, Pep and a glass of wine, glancing up repeatedly at our beautiful panorama and I was cleaning fifty years of cobwebs and dust from an old wooden bottle crate ready to be sold on Etsy. A dream scenario, for sure. Today’s walk took in the nearby lake at Boischenu before heading out to the Circuit de la meteorite, the trail we most tread. Taking in Babaudus, La Chabaudie and endless fields, farms and fragrances the trail offers various two or three hour routes. Yesterday we ventured further afield, stepping out to Baubadus and on to the Circuit de la cigogne. Twelve extra kilometres of new paths, chemins, hamlets, ancient barns and country vistas, the Stork circuit was a joy, though as always we have a very close eye on Pepper.

Circuit de la meteorite

We think Pepper loves it here. It must be said that her four-legged friends here in Rochechouart aren’t as amiable as those in Edinburgh. Most dogs we meet greet us with a chorus of protective growls, sometimes in chains from the confines of a front garden. Most that venture out are on leads, primarily as the risk for a dog that strays too far away from its owner could be, well… tragic as French wildlife is not quite the same as that found on Arthur’s Seat or Blackford Hill in Edinburgh where wild boar have yet to be sighted. That said, there are plenty of playful pups who like a sniff, lick and chase and Pepper still greets every human as if they’re laden with her favourite treat; carrots. So, Pepper can’t adventure too far away as all types of poultry, farm and wildlife are a constant corner away. But, sniffs are endless, every day is a new explore and unlike in our former life Pep has us all together almost all day every day.

Circuit de la cigogne

Following our deer incident we’ve been without a car for a few weeks and will be for a couple more. Our trips to brocantes and depots have slowed down but our walks are a daily constant, and we fully expect them to be for as long as our legs can carry us. There are many more circuits for us to discover with endless routes, paths and sentiers to be found off the beaten tracks. We can’t wait to pass on our knowledge and passion for our local surroundings to our imminent gite guests. The walking routes will be our specialist subject although we’re hoping at some point that will be extended to local eateries and attractions. Rochechouart is living up to our expectations but hopefully, with science on our side it will come to life this summer. The rain has stopped, blue skies and sunshine have appeared and we’ve just made our first sales on Etsy. La vie est belle.

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