Randos' photos

We don’t see goose around here except at Christmas or as rillettes d’oie. which are very nice, but probably have an industrial history. Similarly, in both Prague and Budapest every resto seemed to have goose legs, but I never saw any breast dishes…

“Ciel moutonné” or “ciel pommelé”. Fluffy (and generally, white) clouds are called “moutons”.
Also, dust balls that you might find in one’s house under the bed, etc, are callled “moutons”.

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Today’s walk was from Calvinet, a well preserved village about 700m up in the Cantal, whose prosperity was due to several centuries of being a barony of the Grimaldis, the monegasque royal family.

Lots of interesting architecture cantalienne - lauzes roofs with tiny windows - these houses below are in the village’s main square (not my photo) which we usually use for the post-walk picnic, but today was so cold we went to one of the group’s nearby maison secondaire.


I’ve done this walk many times over the past ten years or so and last year did it with my brother whom I hadn’t seen for several years. We also had about twenty others in the group. Whereas this year, due to temporary and permanent physical probs we had to split the group into the 5 and 14 km walkers and it was sad to see that there were only four of us in the latter (self, OH and two strapping young Dutch sixty year olds).

Nevertheless it was a great walk through conifer and silver birch plantations, wooded valleys with streams, wild daffs, narcissi and orchids, and alongside precipitously steep meadows that provide Cantal cheese and Aubrac beef.

Below is an anonymous C21st possible sculpture in wood and a second one a few kms later

Conifer plantation

Typical open country in the southern Cantal

A tiny chapel in the forest - just room for the priest, a congregation of one and perhaps a miniature French poodle…

Contemporary antidote to the nostalgic romantic stuff

Re-entering Calvinet past this mediaeval house that’s happily been sold after ten or more years on the market -it has two enormous barns in the same style and what looks like a rare original mediaeval toilet facility just to the right of centre…


Down in the Gard, a small boucle around Goudargues.

Quite lovely temperature, and what more can one want but a view of Mont Ventoux (you have to look carefully between the trees), nightingales singing, giant orchids, and wind blown sculptures

(Will have to add images later, some IT problem)



Sounds like the start of your Kiefer trip?

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Out hiking today and came across a carpet of bluebells - delightful :blush:


Lucky you! I’ve not seen a bluebell wood since we left Cumbria.

Yes, booked for next week. I seem to remember you recommended a vigneron near Barjac, but can’t find the post?

Quite amusingly we had a German couple in the gîte last week. They had come up from the Ardeche and we were their second week on way home. Lovely couple, singer/artist and speleologist, and when we mentioned we were heading off in that direction once they had gone with the aim of going to Barjac
/Escheton foundation they screamed. Apparently had wanted to go for years! Popular place.

But on the flipside, I’ve also seen an awful lot of mud, so not all beautiful carpets of wild flowers :grin:


Some of us have been walking in shorts for a month now - easier to clean off afterwards :slight_smile:

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Glad you asked. The co-op at Saint-Gervais - we have dear old friends from Cape Town who’ve had a house there for many years and we visit them every other year , but this year, it’s our turn to host http://www.cavesaintgervais.fr/
It’s just a few kms south of where you are - lots of fine wines, but their boxes are especially a snip. Good stuff! There’s also a fine church and a neoclassical laundry (outside our friend’s house) that’s worth a glance

Another vigneron around there that we’ve bought from and can recommend is https://www.chartreuse-de-valbonne.com/les-

I hope you’ll post an account of your visit to Barjac - the structures there seem so prescient of what we see on TV every day.

Please be mindful of hookworms in mud


Thanks for the link to the map - glad to see they’re only concentrated along the Pyrenees and the Cote d’Azur.

And just when I thought it couldn’t get any more muddy :scream:


But I did see some of these :grin: