Distance: 12.5 km
Weather: Rain overnight, cloudy and cool for the day’s walking, afternoon high 65F. The sun came out later, followed by drenching rain.
Route: Rolling countryside with stony farm roads giving way to chestnut forest and views overlooking the lake. Although rain threatened all morning, all that dampened us was a few minutes of mist – hardly worth the trouble of rigging for rain, which we all did at the noon halt.
Lodging: Gite-Chambres et table d’hotes Les Balcons du Lac, 145 Chemin de Baluran, Le Pin Plage 38730
An old farmhouse overlooks Lac du Paladru.
From a crossroads 1 km before Le Pin, take the side road 1 km downhill towards the lake. There is a connecting path in the morning, no need to climb back up the hill.
Madame and Monsieur are close to their 90’s if not well into them, but they are friendly and generous hosts. Since we are short-notice guests at the height of tourist season, we gratefully accept the simple supper prepared for us from her garden abundance. There are tomatoes so dripping with juice it runs down our chins, and a zucchini tart, for starters. The main is a plate of Spanish-style ham with salami, and a filling sauté of fresh potatoes, mushrooms, and tiny green peas. A cheese course of bleu-style Camembert and Emmenthaler follows. And dessert is slices of Panetone, topped with homemade berry sauce. All very homey and domestic, and we are immensely grateful to be warm, dry, and quite well fed (as the contrary alternative was very near miss).
This is a farm, and they keep horses overnight as well.