Monday, August 23, 2010

Limping and Lizards

So, what have we been up to since our return from Spain? Not much for a few days as we needed to recover from our trip. Then we had to prepare for more visitors – Gill and Brian, who were already on their way, staying in Paris for a few days and then camping down through France.
Firstly, we had to fix the bed in the gîte. Jim attended to the joints whilst I went off to Figeac to look at mattresses in BUT (name of store). I selected one and told the assistant that I would return on the morrow with his husband and our trailer – my French doesn’t improve!  
Getting goods delivered to the Moulin is an expensive business – thank goodness we have the trailer.

It was good to see Gill and Brian again especially as they came loaded with supplies of PG Tips – two big boxes. French tea, even when labelled English Breakfast or similar is anaemic stuff and we were down to our last two teabags.

Gill, Brian and Rufus
 We went into Figeac on the Saturday morning to look at the market and have lunch. The town was very busy – swelled by tourists and we had a job finding somewhere to park.

Another visit to Conques as Gill and Brian had not been there before – they were impressed. There was a good exhibition of Chinese paintings in the gallery. We finally got to buy one of those butterfly things in the toyshop that Jim has long wanted.
The butterfly revolves round the flower
We had details of a two-hour walk recommended to us which we thought that Gill and Brian would enjoy. I think I should have read the description more thoroughly than I did. Jim talked of elevations but I took little heed.
We found the start of the walk at La Vinzelle after some trouble with reading the map and set off. La Vinzelle is perched on a rocky outcrop above the River Lot and has spectacular views.
I had already noticed that the walk was going to involve some strenuous climbing and perhaps this knowledge disturbed my attention to the path at my feet because I stumbled and in the fall twisted my ankle. Unwilling, as always, to retrace my steps, we carried on – and up, and on, and up to the top of a crag and down the other side. Finally, after two and a half hours we reached the Auberge in the village and some cold beers. It truly was a delightful walk but better perhaps without a sprained ankle and not on such a hot day. These pictures give some idea:

Gill and Brian
River Lot from near the top of the crag
Another view along the Valley of the Lot

At the top of the crag - a much needed rest
View of the village from the crag - we have to walk there!
Colourful rock

Limping the last few yards to the Auberge
One for the kiddies - a cat at the Auberge

Our friend Brian is a geologist and has spent many happy? hours here scrabbling through the brambles, up rocky slopes etc to map the geology of the domaine. I am hoping to get a pictorial breakdown of his findings at some stage which I can add to the blog.

On our last evening we went to L’ Auberge de Mourjou for a meal. Excellent, as usual, and quite busy too. We sat outside and enjoyed the view over the Chataignerie.

After Gill and Brian left we began to prepare for our next lot of visitors – a family of four from the U.K.

Rufus managed to step on a lizard – deliberately – and it’s tail came off. I knew that this could happen and seem to remember it as a child. The tail kept squirming about on it’s own for quite a while. The lizard escaped and will grow a new tail in due course although it will never be quite as good as new. Amazing!

Firebug Pyrrhocoris apterus
Lizard in a bucket - we freed it (not the same lizard that lost his tail)

Wild rose

1 comment:

  1. What a lot to comment upon. You are very game to have carried on with a sprained ankle. But I hope for your sake that game won't turn to gammy and a permanent limp. I look forward to seeing the butterfly revolving around the flower and I look forward too to seeing a firebug, if there are any. Doesn't it look like an African mask and a voodoo one at that. I surprised a lizard at the Mill once and it ran away leaving its tail behind. They are made for this purpose and I suppose it helps if a group of lizards begin to feel peckish on a walk.