9 Sep 10: Sauges to Chanaleilles

Route: 15 km with 500 ft climb

Tour: We had a steady gentle climb (500 ft) over farm roads and good quality footpaths over sandy soil through conifer forest (looking not unlike the Carolina Sand Hills) in the morning. We are starting to see some sheep and horses in pastures now. The weatherman douses us with passing rain showers periodically throughout the day. We see fortifications from the Hundred Years War in the large towns (ex. tower keep in Sauges) and at high points in the countryside (our lunch spot). It was a long slog today and we are all tired. The countryside is still spectacular, a vivid mix of woods and pasture, as we near the first crest. We spent an hour this morning on logistics (post, grocer, sandwiches) for lunch, so walking did not start until 9:45.

Lodging: Chez Denise

Cuisine: Breakfast included a yogurt-like homemade dish – we were grateful for morning protein. Lunch was ham on buttered baguettes, with Cantal cheese (a French cheese that resembles cheddar). Dinner started with large slices of cured ham, followed by a fresh green salad vinagrette. The main was seethed potatoes and pan-fried pork chops, and the meal concluded with two local cheeses (we are really falling in love with the regional blue cheese) and assorted fresh fruit (the French peel everything).

Grace: The chapel in Chanaleilles dates from the 12th century, and has a lovely wooden carving of Mary with child, similar in style to the figure in Sauges. Our host lost her husband unexpectedly in April, and she is having a hard time carrying on the business single handed.

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